Internationally, and in South Africa, coaching has become a high growth field. As awareness of the benefits of being coached has increased, and as more scientific literature that attests to the results of professional coaching is made available, the demand for professional coaches has increased, opening up ample career opportunities. This, in turn, has created an ever-increasing demand for expert, accredited training.

“As a forerunner in coaching education, one of the first accredited private higher education institutions in South Africa to offer a coaching stream, the focus of SACAP’s Graduate School of Coaching & Leadership is on the importance of well-educated professional coaches, who have undergone rigorous academic training and have the necessary practical experience to fulfill their role in catalysing others to engage and contribute meaningfully within the country’s social, commercial and development fields,” says Karolyne Williams, Head of Coaching at SACAP.

Having trained professional coaches for more than 15 years, SACAP now offers a Post Graduate Diploma in Coaching (PGDC) to develop coaching competencies based on solid ethical and theoretical foundations, including those of applied psychology and adult learning. Registrations for their second cohort of students for the PGDC close on 10 May, with the first term starting on 26 May 2016.

Designed to accommodate working professionals studying part-time the 8 modules of the diploma are structured across weekly evening classes held on a termly basis, comprising 4 modules and a further 4 modules are completed as intensives of 4 days each. The 18-24 month programme also includes a supervised Practitioner Research Paper, a supervised Client Coaching Internship and a variety of valuable mentorship sessions.

Due to SACAP’s long-standing in the South African coaching training industry, students have the benefit of becoming part of, and engaging in a well-established professional coaching community while they are studying. “All SACAP educators are practitioners and experts in their fields,” Karolyne points out, “Student coaches are deliberately exposed to as many different educators, coaches and mentor coaches in our network as possible. This gives them valuable opportunities to learn from a diverse group of practitioners who have varied signature styles, diverse models and particular areas of expertise.”

The SACAP PGDC is offered at an NQF level 8 and is accredited by the Council on Higher Education (SAQA) and the Department of Higher Education and Training. The Diploma also meets the requirements of the International Coach Federation (ICF), and of Coaches and Mentors of South Africa (COMENSA).

Coaching plays an important role in developing South Africa’s future prospects through its ability to empower and build leaders who can unleash their own potential and thereby effect positive change and empowerment in society.

To complement the PGDC, and also address the broader range of coach training needs, SACAP’s Graduate School of Coaching & Leadership offers two additional coaching courses. ‘Coaching Fundamentals: Context & Skills’ is a four-month, part-time course designed to suit HR professionals, leaders and managers who want to entrench some fundamental coaching competencies in their workplaces. The course offers theoretical and experiential grounding in key concepts from Applied Psychology, as well as foundational coaching competencies. SACAP’s ‘Enhanced Coaching Practice: Facilitating Sustainable Learning and Change’ is a twelve-month, part-time course which builds on the fundamentals by focusing on the next level in the development of coaching competencies. This also includes a 3 to 6 months internship, aligning with SACAP’s focus on field work and practical experience for their students.

“Students undergo personal development by engaging in reflective self-observation and their own coaching journey. This is an important aspect of the programme, because it unlocks personal and professional growth, helps to enhance self-awareness, and increases self-mastery”, adds Karolyne “Our programme is for people seeking a future career as a professional coach practitioner, or for those who are already coaching and need to develop a solid foundation for their practice and earn a reputable qualification. It is ideal for Human Resources professionals, leaders and managers who wish to develop their competencies in this essential contemporary workplace skill-set.”