This apprenticeship is in the process of being revised. In the meantime, the version below remains approved for delivery. Further details of this and other occupational standards and apprenticeships in revision are available in the revisions status report.

Overview of the role

Work with individuals and teams to enhance their professional performance.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in private, public and third sector national and multinational organisations and employers. It is found in every sector across the country including, for example; the health sector, finance sector, engineering and manufacturing sectors, business and professional services, education sector, retail sector, leisure sector, technology sector and construction.

There has been a growing demand for the professionalisation of coaching to include one-to-one coaching, team coaching, leadership coaching and for coaching skills to be embedded within culture and governance infrastructures to support future ways of working.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to work with a wide range of individuals and teams across organisations, to empower and engage with them to enhance their professional performance. Coaching is a way of leading in a non-directive manner, helping people to learn through deep listening and reflective, open questions rather than instructing, giving advice or making suggestions.

Coaching is a way of treating people, a way of thinking and a way of being which is seen as vital to supporting individuals and organisations in increasingly volatile and ever-changing environments. The underlying and ever present purpose of coaching is building the self-belief of others, regardless of the context, to be curious and self-aware, better equipping them to collaborate, innovate, deal with the increasing pace of change and get the best from increasingly diverse environments. Effective coaching is future focussed, releases potential, and enables transition, transformation and change for business improvement. Understanding self, commitment to self-development, managing the contract, building the relationship, enabling insight and learning, outcome and action orientation, use of models and techniques and evaluation are key overarching areas which feature within this occupational area (and across all the knowledge, behaviours, skills identified below).


  • use enhanced listening and questioning skills to increase individuals' and teams' self-awareness to enable them to evaluate their own and others' strengths and development areas, allowing the individual(s) receiving coaching ("the coachee") to create and deliver bespoke actions leading to positive change.
  • Use their emotional and social intelligence in an applied way to support the development of self-awareness, adaptability, resilience, wellbeing, motivation and confidence in the coachee.
  • Are non-judgmental (neither denying nor affirming a coachee's perspectives and opinions) and encourage individuals to find their own solutions and appropriate ways forward.
  • Work with coachees in one-to-one relationships, in person and via video or audio conferencing, to aid in their self-reflection, and may observe coachees, for example by attending a relevant meeting, to provide non-judgmental feedback.
  • Work with groups and teams, to increase collective awareness and increase accountability associated with making positive change.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with coachees as their primary contact, bringing a fresh, independent perspective to support the individual/team/organisation with the development of its people. In moving organisations towards net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and embedding sustainability, an employee in  this occupation may need to coach employees at all levels through change that impact on them. 

There will be a wide range of stakeholders including line managers, senior leaders and/or heads of the organisation. The stakeholders they engage with may be at any level, including those senior to the coach.

They will engage with Human Resources teams, Learning and Development teams, and Organisational Development teams, learning providers, professional bodies, psychometric providers, coach training providers, the coach supervisor and peer to peer networks.

They may also interact with occupational health, support organisations, faith-based organisations and/or charities etc. to provide specialised support as needed to suit the circumstances.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for:

  • The coaching relationship with the coachees, the coaching contract, signposting to other services as needed across a caseload of individuals and teams.
  • Quality assurance of their own practice (and their team in some instances), including maintaining continuing professional development, participating as a supervisee in coaching supervision, and using and/or establishing peer-to-peer support networks.
  • Furthering the coaching culture.
  • Working with a centralised learning and development or strategy team focussed on embedding coaching skills in future or current leadership to better enable strategy future strategy, workforce resilience and innovation and succession planning.
  • Where appropriate, embedding a coaching programme around a new system, regulatory change and/or change programme.
  • Working with leaders to develop its diverse people to remove barriers that hinder success.
  • Working with experienced expertise in middle management and connecting it to younger generations, for example through facilitating "reverse mentoring" interventions.

Coaches may work in a variety of locations and environments, both indoors and outdoors, which may require travel and overnight stays or irregular hours. Coaching activity may be face to face or by virtual means.

Typical job titles include:

Business coach Career coach Coach Coaching practitioner Coaching professional Leadership coach Performance coach Sustainability coach Green leaf Systemic coach Team coach Wellbeing coach

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Plan, conduct and record coaching needs analyses to inform their coaching practice, coaching strategy and the organisation's coaching culture

K3 K4 K6 K9 K12

S3 S4 S5 S13


Duty 2 Agree and develop coaching contracts with all the relevant parties that also consider ethical issues in coaching and boundaries.

K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K10 K11 K12

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S10 S12 S13


Duty 3 Deliver effective and responsive coaching sessions, ensuring they reflect boundaries and professional requirements and contribute towards wider objectives, such as embedding an organisation's values, improving workplace resilience, the impacts of climate change and sustainability on the organisation and professional requirements.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K10 K11 K12

S1 S2 S3 S4 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S12 S13 S14

B2 B4

Duty 4 Select and use a suitable variety of coaching tools and techniques and/or psychometrics to challenge/support, analyse and enable learning and insights, such as awareness of others' perspectives to increase team functioning and accountability

K1 K2 K3 K5 K6 K8 K12

S3 S4 S8 S9 S10 S11 S13 S15

B1 B4

Duty 5 Review and interpret coaching needs analyses, identifying when coaching is / isn’t appropriate, and signpost those receiving coaching to other professional services when needed to complement or replace the coaching process, such as mental health professionals, charities, substance abuse support organisations, occupational health

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K10 K11 K12

S3 S4 S5 S6

B2 B4

Duty 6 Provide support to those receiving coaching in the definition and delivery of valid goals, through clearly defined and committed to actions, within the context of the cultures and systems within which those receiving coaching operate, and facilitate challenge to those systems where appropriate

K4 K5 K6 K9 K12

S2 S4 S5 S9

Duty 7 Design coaching interventions that frame, challenge and meet the agreed objectives in the coaching contract and conform to the coaching sponsor’s objectives and constraints, including budget considerations

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K12

S1 S3 S4 S5 S6 S8 S9 S10 S12 S13 S14

B2 B4

Duty 8 Evaluate the effectiveness of coaching interactions for the purposes of quality assurance, self-development for the coach and to measure return on investment (including being a recipient of regular coach supervision, and recording CPD, coaching hours, feedback and reflection, while ensuring confidentiality)

K1 K6 K9 K11

S7 S8 S11 S15

B2 B3

Duty 9 Maintain records of coaching practice including the logging of coaching hours, supervision, recording CPD and maintaining logs of practice



B2 B3



K1: Theories of learning and reflective practice such as Kolb, Gibbs, Schon, etc., and basic schools of psychology and neuroscience, including linguistic interpretation and application Back to Duty

K2: The theories of emotional and social intelligence, such as Goleman and Salovey & Mayer, and application of the theories to understanding self Back to Duty

K3: Diversity and inclusion and bias theory, including personality type theories, such as preferences for introversion vs extroversion, integrity, ontology and human values and how they impact on behaviour and organisations. The theory of self actualisation, such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, motivational theory, Herzberg Back to Duty

K4: The importance of coaching contracting and recontracting, and models enabling its effectiveness Back to Duty

K5: The theory of organisational culture (and values) and leadership styles, and the impact these can have on individuals and their behaviour Back to Duty

K6: Coaching theory, including maintaining good practice coaching protocols and a code of conduct within the coaching process (including "unconditional positive regard", non-judgmentalism and non-directiveness) Back to Duty

K7: Methods of communication including verbal / non-verbal / building rapport / matching and mirroring. Listening skills, including levels of listening. Theories of relationship management, including transactional analysis, power dynamics, and stakeholder management theories Back to Duty

K8: Theories of increasing self-awareness such as the Johari Window and the journey from unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence, and types of feedback Back to Duty

K9: Evaluation: theories of return on investment and delivery of value Back to Duty

K10: The differences and similarities between coaching, mentoring, training, counselling and consulting Back to Duty

K11: Relevant legislation (e.g. Data Protection Act, safeguarding) and coaching competencies and codes of ethics described by the main professional bodies Back to Duty

K12: The existence of a range of coaching models and techniques, and related psychological approaches, such as Whitmore’s GROW model, Kline’s Thinking Environment, Gestalt, neurolinguistic programming (NLP), cognitive behavioural coaching, positive psychology, metaphor, solutions-focussed coaching and skills and performance coaching. Methods of goal setting, such as SMART goals, alignment of personal and organisational goals, and aspirational/dream goals Back to Duty


S1: Time management, including scheduling coaching sessions, and self-leadership to resolve conflicting priorities and ensure sufficient time for record keeping and other role activities Back to Duty

S2: Working with those receiving coaching to set clear goals, including visualisation techniques, setting timescales, validating their achievability, recording outcome-focused, prioritised action plans and monitoring progress towards goals Back to Duty

S3: Communication, including (but not limited to) descriptions of the coaching process and roles and responsibilities (including those related to boundaries and confidentiality), and the benefits of coaching in relation to the context of those receiving coaching Back to Duty

S4: Contracting with all relevant stakeholders, including logistics, preferences of the coach and those receiving coaching, considerations of the system within which the coaching relationship sits, goal setting, outcome realisation and contract conclusion. This includes holding oneself to high ethical standards, particularly in the areas of confidentiality (including when maintaining coaching records) and management of boundaries (including their own competence and values, relevant codes of ethics, and relevant legislation, policies and procedures) Back to Duty

S5: Stakeholder management, including a range of challenging and senior people, and focus on their agenda and outcomes throughout Back to Duty

S6: Rapport/trust building and maintenance, including recognition of the personal values, emotional state(s) and response of those receiving coaching, validating their understanding of themselves and their circumstances, dealing with difficult coaching relationships and ensuring non-dependence on the coach Back to Duty

S7: Deliver feedback in a style that is useful, acceptable, non-judgmental and meaningful to those receiving coaching Back to Duty

S8: Identification of patterns of thinking and limiting/enabling beliefs and actions Back to Duty

S9: Questioning techniques to raise the self-awareness of those receiving coaching, including asking open questions, broaching challenging subject areas (e.g. emotional state, characteristics of wider systems) and questioning untrue, limiting assumptions Back to Duty

S10: Uses several established tools and techniques to develop their own coherent model of coaching to help those receiving coaching work towards outcomes. Uses models and approaches from the context of those receiving coaching Back to Duty

S11: Demonstrates emotional intelligence, including demonstrating empathy and genuine support for those receiving coaching ("unconditional positive regard"), and adapting language and behaviour in response to the whole person of those receiving coaching Back to Duty

S12: Applies coaching theories, models and tools, techniques and ideas beyond the core communication skills in order to bring about insight and learning Back to Duty

S13: Identifies energy shifts within a coaching context, enabling these to be aired and addressed and managed Back to Duty

S14: Manages and celebrates diversity in their coaching practice, including demonstrating how diversity and inclusion informs their professional practice Back to Duty

S15: Demonstrates awareness of own values, beliefs and behaviours; recognises how these affect their practice and uses this self-awareness to manage their effectiveness in meeting the objectives of those receiving coaching and, where relevant, the sponsor Back to Duty


B1: Committed to self-development, including self-reflection, gathering information on the effectiveness of their own practice, producing personal development plans and receiving coach supervision Back to Duty

B2: Self-awareness, including of their own behaviours, values, beliefs and attitudes, and attending to their own wellbeing, resilience and maintaining mental capacity Back to Duty

B3: Act as an ambassador for a coaching mindset and positive approach to personal development Back to Duty

B4: Is spontaneous, open and flexible, demonstrating respect and engendering trust Back to Duty


English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Professional recognition

This standard aligns with the following professional recognition:

  • The European Mentoring and Coaching Council for Accredited coaching practitioner
  • The Association for Coaching for Accredited coach
  • The International Coach Federation for Associate certified coach

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



this apprenticeship will be reviewed in accordance with our change request policy.

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 5
Reference: ST0809
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 28/04/2022
Approved for delivery: 13 May 2020
Route: Business and administration
Typical duration to gateway: 14 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £5000
LARS Code: 555
EQA Provider: Ofqual
Employers involved in creating the standard: AJ Bell, Argent Group, Cabinet Office, Caffe Nero, Cisco, Grant Thornton, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust, Health Education England (NHS), HFMA, Howdens, Impellam Group, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Trust, Natwest Markets, NHS Leadership Academy, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford Brookes, Post Office, Pret, Reading University, Royal Horticultural Society, Stride Treglown, Tarmac, TT Electronics, Veolia

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 13/05/2020 Not set Not set

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