How to get started
The diversity of coaching and mentoring means that everyone will
have a different route to becoming a coach.
Common career backgrounds for professional business coaches /
mentors includes occupational [business and Industrial -
Organisational psychology], Sport Psychology, Organisational
Development, Human Resources and Training. Senior management
and leadership roles within private and public sector businesses
also provide experience and skills which are fundamental to
becoming an excellent coach or mentor.
Personal or life coaches come from all walks of life and work
with a wide variety of people from private clients to far reaching
voluntary sector schemes. Many personal coaches are also qualified
psychologists, psychotherapists or counsellors.
What makes a good coach or mentor?
Being a coach or mentor is usually about supporting others to
develop and manage their own learning. To be a good coach,
therefore, means being able to listen and facilitate objectively
without solving peoples' problems for them. The most important
skill in coaching is asking questions framed within a coaching
conversation. Beyond this it is important to have relevant
competence or experience to support the coaching or mentoring
See What are coaching and
mentoring? for more about the role of coach or mentor.
How do I become a coach / mentor?
- Decide what sort of coach or mentor you plan to be and what you
can bring to this role. Options include setting up your own
business as a business or personal (life) coach / mentor, taking an
internal coach / mentor role within a business or working in the
- Consider what will make you a great coach or mentor and how
your skills, experience and expertise will differentiate you from
other coaches or mentors.
- Identify what additional skills and frameworks you need and
complete appropriate training, as required.
For more information download our Help Guide: Becoming a coach / mentor
Then, if you plan to offer your services commercially without
joining an existing company or practice:
- Set up as a business, partnership or as self-employed. Seek
advice from an accountant or business advisor if you are unsure
which route to take.
- Develop a business plan which includes your target market,
business proposition, marketing and sales plan and financial
What training do I need?
There are many different options for coach and mentor training
and Continuing Professional Development(CPD). Courses range from
introductory short courses to advanced programmes leading to
Masters or Doctorates. As well as content level, training providers
vary in terms of delivery methods and style so it's important to
find the course which both matches your personal learning style and
will best equip you for the market you want to work in. Whether or
not you will need specialist coach or mentor training before
becoming a coach or mentor will depend on your existing core
skills, professional qualifications and experience of people and
Download our free Help Guide: What training do I need?
I am very interested and want to take the next step!
The decisions you make at the beginning of your journey will lay
down the foundations for your future as a coach or mentor. In the
first instance, review the CMN information portal and consider
posting questions in the discussion forum.
Information portal -
find FAQ's, Guides, links and a range of coaching and mentoring
forum - ask a question and recieve answers from training
providers, coaches/mentors and supervisors
Whether you are considering a complete career change that will
lead to a new professional role, or seeking to integrate a coaching
or mentoring approach into your leadership or management
repertoire, the decisions about training and accreditation and
other life/work changes that will become part of your journey are
important. As this the case, personalised support from either a
coach/mentor supervisor or specialised careers advisor, could also
be of great value to you.
A range of coach/mentor supervisors and specialised career
advisors are registered with the CMN coach/mentor referral service.
To find a coach/mentor supervisor select the 'help with becoming a
coach/mentor' option in the detailed search.