The UK could have a Coaching Professional apprenticeship standard in place by the end of the first quarter of this year.

By Liz Hall

At the time of going to press, it was hoped that before the end of the year (2019), the standard and assessment plan which needs to be approved before delivery would have been submitted to the Institute of Apprenticeships, an organisation which empowers employers to help them define and create high-quality apprenticeships.

A number of organisations have contributed to the independent assessment including the ILM and Chartered Management Institute. In addition to approval for the plan, a funding band (core government contribution) needs to be assigned to the standard.

Business and financial adviser Grant Thornton has been instrumental in getting the initiative off the ground, drawing on its experiences in supporting more than 2,000 organisations to optimise their Apprenticeship Levy funding. Introduced in April 2017, the Levy is a payroll tax on employers. It has the aim of helping grow and upskill employees. To incentivise investment in apprenticeship training, the government provides a 10% monthly top-up on payments, meaning employers can get more out than they put in, and if employers spend more than their available levy funds, the government cover 95% of the additional cost in return for a 5% employer contribution.

Grant Thornton is part of the ‘trailblazer’ employer group creating the coaching apprenticeship standard, along with AJ Bell, Argent Group, Cabinet Office, Caffè 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 and Veolia.

“We thought, we’ve got coaches, we understand coaching and trailblazers, it’s an act of goodwill for our clients, and we’re interested in a systemic approach, and recognise the need to hold the entire industry to account,” said Grant Thornton’s head of coaching services, Sam Isaacson, whose predecessor Lucy Daykin kicked off the coaching apprenticeships standard process.

Isaacson said, “Because of the way apprenticeships work in the UK, this would be one way for organisations to gravitate towards coaching, and guarantee a level of quality across the country.”

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