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On the coaching resources page you will find resources and tools to help you understand coaching and how it can support workforce learning and development. Social service organisations across Scotland are increasingly using coaching as one means of supporting professional learning and development, particularly for leadership and management development.

Coaching is a time-limited process during which the coach supports clients to achieve greater self-awareness, improved self-management skills and increased self-efficacy, so that they develop their own goals and solutions.

At the heart of coaching is the belief that people already have the answers they need within themselves, and what they need is to be enabled, through the coaching relationship, to find their solutions, and use their skills.

A coach is someone who, through specific training and education, has developed skills to enable others to develop their potential. They may be a colleague or someone external.

Generally agreed characteristics of coaching:

  • is essentially non directive
  • focuses on improving performance and developing skills
  • related activities have both personal and organisational goals
  • assumes the individual is well and doesn’t require clinical intervention
  • provides feedback on strengths and areas for development
  • is a skilled activity which should be delivered by trained people.

Where do I start?

  • Use the resources below to help you think about how to take coaching forward in your workplace.
  • Explore our growing number of good practice examples from within social services. Use the ‘are we ready to coach’ tool below.

Who should I contact?

The Scottish Coaching and Mentoring Collaborative is part of Workforce Scotland, which is a collaborative initiative to develop and support the workforce across public service organisations in Scotland

The Scottish Coaching and Mentoring Collaborative is a collaborative partnership providing in-house trained coaches and mentors to work across public service organisations. They support clients from first line managers to those in senior leadership and management roles across Scottish Public Services.


Coaching Web Resources

SSSC Coaching Learning Resource

The Scottish Social Services Council, with Brigid Russell, has produced a learning resource to support individuals and organisations who are interested in developing a coaching approach. It provides guidance about why an informal or more formal approach might be helpful, what is involved and how to develop a coaching approach.

Download the full Coaching Learning Resource or click on the sections below.


  • Are We Ready to Coach?
  • The Social Work Professional Support Service
  • The European Mentoring and Coaching Council The European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) exists to develop, promote and set the expectation of best practice in mentoring and coaching across Europe and beyond. EMCC is a recognised brand in mentoring and regulates and accredits mentors and mentoring programmes.
  • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development have produced a range of free and easily accessible resources to support a range of coaching and mentoring approaches.
  • Association for Coaching The Association for Coaching is an independent non-profit organisation with the goal to promote best practice, raise awareness and standards across the coaching industry, while providing value added benefits to its members – whether they are professional coaches or organisations involved in coaching.
  • International Coach Federation International Coach Federation (ICF) is the largest worldwide resource for professional coaches and the source for those who are seeking a coach. It is a non-profit organisation formed by individual members - professionals who practice coaching, including executive coaches, leadership coaches, life coaches and many more, from around the world.
  • The Coaching and Mentoring Network An independent website, providing information about the latest developments in coaching and mentoring.
  • Social Services Knowledge Scotland The Social Services Knowledge Scotland (SSKS) website provides a range of coaching resources including access to industry journals, articles, tools and techniques.
  • Coaching and consolidating the practice of Newly Qualified Social Workers: A Brief Literature Review This report was commissioned to support South Lanarkshire Social Work Resources Learning and Development Team develop a programme of induction that would facilitate the professional development and consolidation of good practice in newly qualified social workers.

Examples from Practice

Coaching for Wellbeing: free coaching service open to all working in health and social services.

You may want to explore taking up one of the free coaching options in the new Coaching for Wellbeing service available now. It’s designed specifically to support all health and social services staff in Scotland during the Covid-19 pandemic and is open to anyone at any level and in any role.

"To help and support people to manage their own learning in order to maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be."

Eric Parsloe, 1992

"Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn, rather than teaching them."

Timothy Gallway, 1974

Leadership Capability Indicators
Continuous Learning Framework (CLF)
learning log
360degree tool