Sarah chaired the NHS West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which had an annual budget of £800m to commission and deliver health services for a population of more than 500,000.

The CCG was in the midst of a merger with five other local groups to form the Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG, which came into being on April 1.

Sarah’s thoughts

Having been involved in mentoring for the past three years, I wanted to formalise and broaden my skills with a view to coaching as well as mentoring.

I chose the Level 7 Coaching and Mentoring Programme because of the friendly, helpful approach of the INPD team, the fair and reasonable cost, and the ability to undertake the programme online, which was greatly beneficial as it meant I did not need to be away from home and work.

The tutors were excellent. They varied their style and approach, which held my attention throughout the four days.

Also, the mixture of backgrounds and experience of my fellow participants made the small group learning sessions varied, informative and interesting.

Applying the learning

I learned a lot about the techniques of coaching and acquired some very practical skills.

The coaching and leadership models were readily applicable to my role and team, particularly in supporting colleagues through the merger process and helping me to recognise the different approaches required for individuals to grow and maximise their potential.

On a personal note, I came out of it really excited about developing a future coaching role by completing the qualification.

Self-reflection was very much part of the approach during the course, and this has helped me plan my next steps.

Verdict

The skills of both tutors were impressive, and I learned far more from the course than I was expecting.

I gained confidence as well as competence, and have felt better-equipped to make personal choices about my future and to support others to do the same.