On 1 July, Coaching at Work brought together the pioneers and champions of the coaching profession at a ceremony in London, to recognise and celebrate their achievements

By Liz Hall


A host of movers and shakers received accolades for their contributions to coaching, at this year’s Coaching at Work Awards.

The awards were announced by editor Liz Hall at a ceremony at the end of the annual Coaching at Work conference in London on 1 July, which was then followed by a reception to celebrate the awards and Coaching at Work’s 10th anniversary.

Award winners were given a plaque if they got ‘first prize’ and a certificate if they came second (highly commended).

Coaching at Work’s editor Liz Hall, said: “We are delighted to acknowledge with these awards the particularly high quality of the articles submitted by the winners and those highly commended, and the generosity and passion exhibited by those winning and highly commended in the Internal and External Champion categories. We hope the awards will encourage others to share their research and thoughts in the form of articles, and their time, energy and passion.”



  • Louise Buckle
    (Internal Coaching Champion)
  • Tatiana Bachkirova
    (External Coaching Champion)
  • Peter Hawkins
    (Best Thought Leadership)
  • Bridget Farrands
    (Best Practical Article)
  • Dee Cullen and Sarah Edwards (Best Case Study)
  • Sarah Gilbert, Michelle Lucas and Eve Turner (Best Research Article).


Highly commended

  • Sally Bonneywell
    (Internal Coaching Champion)
  • Darren Robson
    (External Coaching Champion)
  • John Blakey
    (Best Thought Leadership)
  • Lindsay Wittenberg
    (Best Thought Leadership)
  • Sara Hope and Louise Buckle
    (Best Practical Article)
  • Clive Mann
    (Best Case Study)
  • David Megginson
    (Best Research Article).


The awards nominations and judging process was the same as in previous years. First, the Coaching at Work team drew up a shortlist of potential winners in each category. The team then invited members of the Coaching at Work editorial advisory board to make their choices in each category, arriving at winners and the highly commended in each.

Below are some of the judges’ comments.



WINNER: Louise Buckle

Louise is executive coach, Acting Head of Partner Development and Coaching, KPMG UK.

She joined KPMG in 2009 as Lead Coach in the Advisory practice, working to promote and leverage coaching and, in particular, to ensure coaching is acting as a change enabler.

Louise has a Masters in Coaching, a Diploma in Systemic Team Coaching and is currently working towards a Professional Doctorate with Oxford Brookes University.

Judges’ comments included:

  • “Louise is doing a lot to shape and manage coaching in both KPMG and the broader field”
  • “She is a pioneer”
  • “She is a true champion of coaching”
  • “Not only is Louise involved in best practice initiatives within KPMG, inspiring other organisations to raise the bar, she is generous with her time and energy outside the organisation, regularly attending the former Accreditation Forum (now Collaborating for the Future of Coaching) group
    and writing articles to raise the bar in the wider industry.”


Sally Bonneywell

Judges’ comments included:

  • “Sally gets my vote. Having been an internal champion of coaching in a major corporate myself, I know how hard it is to engage senior leadership consistently on this topic. It is one thing to do this in a major consultancy like PwC or KPMG, but I think it is harder to do it in a corporate because at the end of the day GSK’s business is about pharmaceuticals, not management consultancy”
  • “Sally is highly passionate about the power of coaching”
  • “She’s not only making things happen internally, but commits much of her time to industry-wide initiatives, such as the former Accreditation Forum.”



WINNER: Tatiana Bachkirova

Russian-born Tatiana is an academic, coach and coaching supervisor. She is Co-Director of the International Centre for Coaching & Mentoring Studies and a Reader in Coaching Psychology, both at Oxford Brookes University, UK. She is a chartered occupational psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.


Judges’ comments included:

  • “For her passion for coaching; the part she is playing in getting coaching research on the agenda; her critical mind and courage in challenging thinking”
  • “Tatiana has often been in the shadow of other key research names. It would be great to see her recognised for her contribution – and as a female in a field where the ‘movers and shakers’, in the UK at least, are males; time for a rebalancing of the genders in academic research into coaching”
  • “Tatiana deserves far more credit for her pioneering work than she has had (though Coaching at Work has helped redress it). She brings academic rigour and genuine originality of thought”
  • “Tatiana’s humility has meant that she has not shouted from the rooftops, yet her emerging voice is powerful and extremely welcome.”


Darren Robson

Judges’ comments included:

  • “For his commitment and passion for making a difference to society with his MOE Foundation charity helping the disadvantaged; his many years of contribution to the Association for Coaching, his generosity and passion generally for coaching”
  • “He’s doing a lot of good stuff regarding coaching – making a difference in the world. He is a good example of a male role model for the younger generation – going beyond the ‘alpha male’ stereotype of leadership and showing a more caring approach to masculine identity.”



WINNER: Peter Hawkins

For his article “Cracking the Shell”
(C@W, Vol 10, Issue 2)

Judges’ comments included:

  • “This article busts open some of the widespread myths about coaching and was both challenging and inspiring”
  • “An important contribution to the path to mastery”
  • “Succinct, challenging and punchy”
  • “The issues it addresses are so fundamental – and largely avoided.”


John Blakey

For his article “On Trust”
(C@W, Vol 10 Issue 1)

Judges’ comments included:

  • “Originality on a long-established concept; plus John has contributed to the wider field and his contribution has largely come quietly”
  • “A refreshing look at something we take for granted – as important.”

Lindsay Wittenberg

For her “Reflections” column series

Judges’ comments included:

  • “For her honesty and willingness to share her vulnerability”
  • “I always relish reading Lindsay’s very open, astute reflections. They really resonate and open a coach’s mind with thought-provoking reality. They really make one think, are grounded in experience and are very well-received.”



WINNER: Bridget Farrands

For her article “How To Use Polarities” (C@W, Vol 9, Issue 5)

Judges’ comments included:

  • “Polarities is an interesting emerging tool in coaching. Bridget did well to bring this to the attention of the Coaching at Work community and help us understand how we might use it in our work”
  • “ I particularly liked this, because it explored a theme that coaches often don’t even have in mind”
  • “Polarities are at the core of Gestalt, and Bridget Farrands is a well-regarded practitioner. She makes this intervention accessible and relevant.”


Sara Hope and Louise Buckle

For their article “Inside Out, Outside In: Five Years On”
(C@W, Vol 9, Issue 6)

Judges’ comments included:

  • “This was an interesting article that would speak to many coaches about career options and paths”
  • “Very interesting to see a follow-up to an earlier article to see how things have progressed.”



WINNERS: Dee Cullen and Sarah Edwards

For their article “Testing the Reality”
(C@W, Vol 10, Issue 2)

Judges’ comments included:

  • “For the rigour, commitment to learning, and attention to detail of the scheme and how the learning is shared in this article”
  • “I have a lot of respect for how PwC has implemented its coaching strategy. This article captured its best practices well and I think this deserves to be recognised”
  • “An inspiring example of best practice”
  • “PwC has been pioneering in coaching – I recall speaking to them some considerable years ago, when coaching was just on the rise. As you would expect from a professional services organisation, they have implemented coaching in a professional and sophisticated way. It would be great to see their hard work recognised.”


Clive Mann

For his article “The Big Four”
(C@W, Vol 10, Issue 1)

Judges’ comments included:

  • “For its detail, setting out best practice and the implications for others”
  • “The Big Four have a lot of attention at the moment so this was topical”
  • “For its depth and detail.”


WINNERS: Sarah Gilbert, Michelle Lucas and Eve Turner

For their article “Chain Reaction”
(C@W, Vol 10, Issue 1)

Judges’ comments included:

  • “A multifaceted article – practical and inspiring”
  • “Being a researcher now myself, I realise how individualistic the academic culture is. Therefore, I think that collaborative research and writing is the way forward: ‘two heads are better than one’. The practitioner community has some good examples of this approach and I think this should be recognised and encouraged”
  • “For its rigour and commitment to learning.”


David Megginson

For his article “Waking up the Dead”
(C@W, Vol 9, Issue 5)

Judges’ comments included:

  • “This is a hidden issue that is important to bring into open discussion”
  • “A taboo subject refreshingly covered”
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