Experiences from Graduates of the Practitioner Diploma - AoEC Ireland

2nd August by Wendy Robinson

Reading time 4 minutes

Share this article:

Twitter LinkedIn
AoEC Ireland Graduates of the Practitioner Diploma experiences

For the last three years we’ve been running the Practitioner Diploma in Executive Coaching in Belfast and Dublin which means that we’ve supported 52 people to graduate with a coaching qualification.

We are absolutely delighted to be able to be a part of their coaching journey and wanted to get an idea of what their experience of the programme has been.  Following a series of interviews, here is a summary of how participants feel about the AoEC Practitioner Diploma in Executive Coaching in Belfast.

Why do participants sign up for the course?

Most of the participants signed up for the course because they wanted to improve their coaching skills for employment purposes. Some are consultants, some work developing leaders and others wanted to invest in their own personal development.

Many of the participants mentioned that the fact that the course is accredited, isn’t too long and comes recommended by other practitioners in Belfast and beyond as the major reasons for signing up.

What if anything made our programme stand out against our competitors?

When asked, participants said that as well as personal recommendations, the fact that the course is local was a huge benefit of this programme over others. Apart from the obvious time and financial savings of a local course, it enabled participants to meet other people who were also training as coaches which in turn provided a close network for the future.

Highlighted by a few of the participants was the fact that unlike some other courses of this nature, this course doesn’t include a large volume of written work but instead focuses on experiential  and observed learning. This has left them better equipped, confident and prepared to use their coaching skills straight away.  They found that they learned a considerable amount from the application and immediate constructive feedback during practical exercises.

The focus on business and executives as opposed to life coaching was another feature that drew attendees. Participants felt that there was a good ROI for the time invested, due to the strength of the facilitators, clear objectives and the structure of the programme. One participant mentioned that they felt that they would be learning from the best and although they could pay less for another course that they would get also get less value from a cheaper course.

What was your favourite part of the programme?

  1. Participants and networking opportunities.

Overwhelmingly the response to this question was around the other participants, the diversity of backgrounds, the networking opportunities and the fact that attendee diversity brought something new to the learning experience. Everyone had something different to contribute about how to be a coach. There was also a positive feeling about being challenged and supported by the other attendees.

  1. Focus on the coachee.

Participants reported that there was a relentless focus on the coachee. No matter the scenario; the coachee led approach was centre stage. Including confidentiality, privacy and boundaries.

  1. Being challenged.
    Attendees used phrases like ‘taking risks’, ‘stepping outside of your comfort zone’ and ‘being in a safely dangerous space’ where they felt supported and trusted. Many of those interviewed felt like it was a great opportunity for self-reflection and really challenging themselves.

       4. The facilitators.

“Wendy and Trudy held the group in a supportive way”

“Very well facilitated by Wendy and Trudy”

“The way that Wendy and the team were there for us – they were very gently holding us up. I liked that”

“Trudy and Wendy were great.”


What would you say, to someone who was considering whether or not to sign up for the programme?

“From a pure coaching perspective you will get well delivered, thought provoking content from a practitioner point of view and also personally. You will have a really great time out from your day job and great learning which applies to all aspects of your life.”

“Be aware that it will really challenge you – professionally and personally. It is a challenging course and a rich course. I think it’s really a great introduction to the world of coaching and the possibilities it presents.”


“It’s a gift worth having. It gave me the gift of insight and confidence and assuredness as well as the know how to be a better coach. It gave me the gift of joy – the joy of leaning and taking risk and celebrating the art of coaching. It’s going to take you to where you ought to be and beyond as a coach. By the end of it you’re not thinking of accreditation – its stretch testing yourself.”


“It’s nice to have a formalised qualification. The fact that it is a recognised qualification was important to me. I liked the structure of it – having the sessions split – two days here and there was really nice to reconnect with everyone. Wendy was very open about having conversation with people- I would encourage people to have a chat with her to understand what they are getting in to. It would be completely no obligation – no pressure whatsoever. I felt like any of my questions were answered! “


“Listen to what your concerns are. If you want to improve your coaching practice or understand coaching then it’s a good course. It’s important to consider your concerns and validate them. You have to invest the time into it.”

“What are you hoping to get out of it? Good for coaching skills, especially if you want to get accredited and upskilled. You get to practice your skills within the programme.”


 How have you been able to put your learning into practice since the end of the programme?

Apart from applying coaching into their practice as a professional coach, participants mentioned that they have used their skills within their teams, during conversations with companies they’ve worked with, in mediation situations, on Boards and applying wider understanding and methodology gained from the course in other aspects of business and life.


In summary, it seems that the participants have really benefitted from the AoEC Practitioner Diploma in Executive Coaching. If it’s something you’ve been considering and have any questions at all, then please get in touch with me; I’d be delighted to have an informal chat about the course. wendy.robinson@aoec.com

Our next course in Belfast is in October and you can find out more about it here: http://www.aoecireland.com/individuals/courses/practitionerdiplomainexecutivecoaching