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Taylor Clarke’s Programmes for Executive Coaches: Some Feedback we’ve had from Past Participants

“Have loved doing this course; the way in which it has been taught and the opportunities to practice as well as the support given by participants, tutor and others."

Taylor Clarke has been providing certificated coach training for the last 12 years; we are currently enrolling for Cohort 20. Previous participants have included OD Directors, Heads of Leadership Development and Talent, HR and L&D Managers as well as independent Executive Coaches.

This qualification is for internal or external coaches, who work with senior level coaching clients and is equivalent to postgraduate level study therefore participants are expected to engage in academic readings.

Three workshops each of two days duration, provide most of the models, tools and theory, needed for the qualifications.  Participants also have tutorials, dedicated 1-1 supervision, facilitated conference calls and peer group meetings.  The support, challenge and networking achieved through these learning forums can be huge!

And last but certainly not least, practicing coaching over a period of time with several coachees provides a rich source of ‘real learning’.

Have you thought about embarking on this journey to becoming certificated as an Executive Coach?

We caught up with 5 participants at different stages in their qualification to ask them for their insights as to what it is really like being on the programme.

What motivated you to undertake the ILM7 Certificate/Diploma in Executive Coaching?

Marcia Ramsey, Director for Localities, Alzheimer Scotland- I saw the course come up and looked in to it because I had benefitted from coaching myself in a senior role. I felt I would like to formally develop my own knowledge and skills and to practice as a coach myself.

Susan Forrest, Leadership & Management, Tesco Bank - In my role as Leadership Development Consultant, I wanted to be able to support delegates on my programmes from a coaching capacity.  Whilst I had been coaching informally for some time, I felt I wanted to experience a professionally accredited programme so that I knew I was coaching in the right way and had a strong coaching toolkit that I could work from.  I also was looking ahead in my career and longer term want to work for myself in the coaching / leadership development space.

Participant 2 , Head of Talent and Senior Staff HR, People Development, Scottish Government - I was working as an HR Business Partner and wanted to get better at connecting with and having conversations with my clients to get to the heart of issues.

What have been the main benefits of the programme for you?

Marcia- I have learned so much more about coaching approaches and have had time and space to explore and practice the skills with a team of other learners who are equally as passionate and interested in coaching as I am. I enjoyed the fact that we were a diverse group and could all learn significantly from each other as well as our tutor.

Phil McNaull, (Ex) Finance Director, The University of Edinburgh-I have learned to listen better, think better and respect others positions. This has also opened up a new line of income generating business for me.

Participant 1- Refining structure to my approach and the reflection after coaching. Meeting the others in the group and sharing our experiences

Participant 2- I have got to know myself better and have become a much better listener. My staff, clients and stakeholders comment on my ability to listen really well and to ask helpful questions. 

How have you applied your learning?

Marcia- I feel that I have been able to take coaching practice much further with the skills and knowledge which I have developed. I greatly enjoy this diversion from my “day job” and find practising really satisfying. I have also used coaching supervision in a group to continue to explore, reflect and develop. I would like to do much more!

Susan- Through my work as an internal coach. I have now coached 5 leaders at Tesco Bank and a few others informally as part of development programmes.  I have also set up a coaching group internally with Tesco Bank where we share our coaching practice and hints/tips, experiences.  I also attend coaching supervision which is a great way to check in on your practice and continue your learning.

Participant 2- I apply my learning every day. I use a coaching approach with my team (I am no longer an HRBP and now manage a large team), I use my listening and questioning skills in all of my interactions.  I have delivered over 140 hours of Executive Coaching, including Director level clients.

What has surprised you most during your learning experience?

Marcia- As the course went on, I have slowed down a little, in a good way, in order to take more time to prepare and reflect…

Phil-I was surprised at how ingrained habits can become; formally reviewing these in a process to develop new skills or enhance existing ones is very satisfying.

Susan-  How much coaches benefit from you coaching them!  You cannot underestimate the impact it has on them

Participant 1- That one of my volunteer coachees offered to pay for me to continue to coach them after the “volunteer” hours were done!

Participant 2- The extent to which becoming a great coach is about really understanding yourself and being in touch with your values, emotions and drivers. If you don’t know yourself you can’t really connect with others at a deep level.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about taking up this programme?

Marcia- Allow yourself to really focus on the course, the more you do then the more you benefit!

Phil- Commitment…If you are convinced, you won’t regret joining this excellent course.

Participant 1- This is a great programme for someone who has coached informally or formally but has not completed a qualification.  Wendy pitches the programme at exactly the right level to encourage, challenge and stretch us.

Participant 2 - Be prepared for some deep learning.  Go for it!

Anything else you would like to add?

Marcia - Have loved doing this course; the way in which it has been taught and the opportunities to practice as well as the support given by participants, tutor and others.

Participant 2 - Wendy is a superb tutor and supervisor. I feel privileged to have had the chance to work with her.

A big thank you to all five participants who gave time to share their experience!

If you are thinking about taking your coaching skills to the next level, please contact

Participant 1 requested feedback completely anonymisedParticipant 2 confirmed that although name could not be used but role and organisation could be revealed.All others confirmed full name, job title and organisation could be shared for this.

If you would like to find out more about our ILM Level 7Certificate/Diploma, please contact


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