UCL Human Resources


Coach at UCL

Here at UCL, we have a wide range of coaching and mentoring programmes for you to explore depending on your needs and circumstances.

What is Coaching?

"Coaching aims to produce optimal performance and improvement at work. It focuses on specific skills and goals, although it may also have an impact on an individual’s personal attributes such as social interaction or confidence." CIPD, 2019.


Our mission as the Organisational Development team is to embed coaching into UCL’s daily working culture.

We are evolving our current provision of coaching at UCL by adding a coaching programme for leaders from underrepresented backgrounds, updating and diversifying our external coaches list and refreshing our internal coaching network.

Though we are starting with underrepresented groups at management level, the aim is to expand this to all staff in the future.

Leaders as Coaches

We encourage managers/leaders to adopt a coaching style in developing their direct reports and teams. The videos below provide more information. You can also access a video playlist as part of our exclusive portal Lead at UCL.

Video:  The manager as coach

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HA3h2hcDTrA

Video: Coaching with the GROW Model

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbkXpdiyNs0


A coaching approach to line management can foster a supportive environment for your direct reports. It can help your direct reports to think about what they want to achieve, how they will achieve their goal/s and what steps they can take towards the achievement.

Today, managers are expected to devolve leadership, empower and develop individuals while encouraging them to manage themselves. They are expected to motivate people, lead innovation and change and enhance performance.

We will be using this site to keep our staff up to date with new and relevant resources on the subject matter.

Coaching is…

  • Short term in focus and targeted to specific goals
  • Facilitative, non-directive form of guidance
  • Opportunity to reflect and deepen awareness to better assess strength as well as areas for development
  • Enables practical action planning 
  • 1:1 relationship
  • Confidential

A coach may be external to UCL or a trained internal staff member.  

Coaching: External
  • In applying for coaching, it is assumed that a development need has been identified and that you and your line manager have explored other possible development options and agreed that coaching is the most suitable solution

  • UCL has an external coaching network that is most suited to senior staff who are Grade 9 and above

  • The coaches have been selected by UCL Organisational Development on the basis of their coaching experience, recommendations from those coached and experience working within the higher education sector. 

  • Line manager approval is required for both coaching and the cost associated before coaching commences 

  • You will need to agree the number of sessions and agree how much they will cost. It is likely that up to six coaching sessions will be appropriate.

    Find an external coach

If you would additional assistance in finding the right coach for you, please contact us at coachatucl@ucl.ac.uk 

Coaching: Internal (UCL networks)

UCL is on a journey to building an internal network of coaches who can provide specific short-term guidance and support to staff at grade eight and below.

Would you like to become a UCL coach? We're currently recruiting internal coaches. The time commitment is a max of 4 hours annually. 

Requests for coaching will be considered on an individual basis. We will try our utmost to match the coach and coachee; however, we cannot guarantee to meet the need in all cases. This is dependent on the availability of resources and individual workloads.

In applying for coaching, it is assumed that a development need has been identified and that you and your line manager have explored other possible development options and agreed that coaching is the most suitable solution. 

Coaching sessions under this scheme are currently free of charge and should be no more than three meetings (plus an initial exploratory call) over a six-month period.

Paperwork needs to be completed to record the initial score against objectives set and repeated on completion of coaching to demonstrate progress. These forms are then returned to OD. 

To submit an internal coaching request, please contact us at coachatucl@ucl.ac.uk and a member of the OD Team will be in touch to discuss your application.

Obtaining coaching qualifications

UCL do not currently offer accredited coach training but here are some suggested providers if you are interested in becoming a coach: