ILM Assignments and How to Complete Them

An ILM Level 5 Certificate (or Diploma) in Coaching and Mentoring is a really useful qualification and is especially relevant if you use a coaching approach in your workplace or work as a self-employed coach (or wish to do so). We offer a ‘clean’ version of this qualification, which we developed by working through all the criteria and determining out how each coaching principle and process could be delivered as cleanly as possible.

If you are already using Clean Language in your coaching, the qualification will broaden your skill base as well as giving you an officially recognised qualification. And if you are new to Clean Language, the course will provide you with some fantastic skills for getting started or continuing with your coaching career.

The taught part of the course consists of 6 training days delivered over three weekends. You are also required to undertake peer group coaching and client coaching and to complete the three assignments we discuss below.

This information will be helpful to you if:

  • You are considering joining our next ILM course, which starts in September.
  • You’ve already taken the course and are looking for help with the assignments.
  • You are already coaching and are looking for some handy resources to support you.

Assignment 1: Understanding the skills, principles and practice of effective management coaching & mentoring

This assignment is all about examining the world of coaching, understanding what coaching is, how it works, the skills you need and how you can practise it effectively. It looks at the individual and organisational benefits of coaching. It is about demonstrating what you know about the theory of coaching and mentoring and it requires you to do background reading / research.

The most useful book for this assignment is Jackie Arnold's book, Coaching Skills for Leaders in the Workplace. Jackie is an experienced coach, supervisor and Clean Language Facilitator who worked closely with the ILM to produce this book, which is like a ‘book of answers’ to the questions! Obviously, you can’t just copy it out – plagiarism is a no-no. But if you read it through and then use what you learn to answer the questions in your own words, that will get your assignment off to a great start. Then build on this basis by reading widely around the subject; you will need to quote from several sources to pass.

We also recommend you read Marian’s book, Clean Approaches for Coaches for a good grounding in how to use Clean Language as a coaching methodology.

The ICF and EMCC websites have useful information about coaching and mentoring, and each also has a code of ethics, which will help with Assignment 1: Understanding the skills, principles and practice of effective management coaching & mentoring.   

Other books about coaching you may find useful include:

  • Coaching for Performance by Sir John Whitmore
  • Coaching by James Flaherty
  • Co-Active Coaching by Laura Whitworth and Henry Kimsey House
  • Performance Coaching by Angus McCleod

And other books about clean:

  • The Power of Six by Philip Harland
  • The Five-Minute Coach by Lynn Cooper and Mariette Cast
  • Trust Me, I’m the Patient by Philip Harland

Assignment 2 - Reviewing own ability as a management coach or mentor

This assignment requires you to explore and reflect on your ability as a coach or mentor. This means demonstrating your awareness of how well you are performing and what you need to do in the future.

For this assignment, you need to show evidence of your ability, which can include feedback from your coachees or from your peer-coaching group. You will also need to undertake an evidenced-based assessment of your own skills, behaviours and knowledge against those needed by a coach or mentor.

You can make this assignment really easy for yourself by ensuring you keep good records of all of your peer coaching and client coaching sessions. And pay particular attention when course tutors or peers give you developmental feedback. Showing you can take feedback on board and work on improving in that area is a key part of the evidence that you are growing as a coach.

Assignment 3 - Undertaking management coaching or mentoring in the workplace

As suggested by the title, this assignment is putting what you learn about coaching into practice and demonstrating your skills with 12 hours of formal coaching, with a minimum of 3 coachees (100 hours are required for the diploma). Ideally, this will be within a company or organisation, although as long as at least half your coachees work in a supervisory or management role that will be sufficient.

You will need to develop a coaching agreement with the company and/or individuals concerned and then make sure you keep a good record of what happens so that you have plenty of material to refer to when you come to write up your assignment.

Completing the assignments

Of course, knowing what you need to do to complete the assignments is one thing, but sometimes getting on and doing them is something else entirely. If you have a tendency to procrastinate, here are some tips from past successful completers that may help:

  1. Get in touch with fellow participants and create a buddy group who work together to complete the assignments. E.g.: Let's work together on Skype for 45 minutes every Monday.
  2. Arrange a physical writing group: invite people to your place or to a café or library and spend a whole day together writing your assignments.
  3. If prefer speaking to writing, find someone who is willing to ask you the questions and write down your answers as you speak them out loud. Or use a recording device and get your spoken words transcribed.
  4. Find a coach of your own and ask for some regular Clean Coaching designed to enable you to complete your assignment: use the process to complete the process.

You might also be interested in this blog post about procrastination and how one person changed a habit of a lifetime. 

If you’d like to join our next ILM Level 5 cohort, you can save £180 by booking before 12th Aug 2017. Click here. And if you finished the course a while ago and have not yet completed your assignments, get re-motivated, and work with a different group of students by repeating the course for a low-cost repeaters fee. Contact us for details.

Past students – we’d love to know your tips for completing the assignments and any books you’d particularly recommend. Please use the comments box below to make your recommendations.


Tags: clean language, ilm, clean approaches for coaches, marian way

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About the author

Louise Hockaday

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Louise joined Clean Learning in 2016 to help with marketing the business. She has over 20 years' experience in the Defence and Aerospace industry and has held a number of senior positions delivering large marketing, communications and change management projects. She has a Master's Degree in Marketing, is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and is also a Chartered Marketer. Louise started training in Clean Language in 2015 and is working toward becoming a Clean Facilitator. She has a keen interest in the application and use of Clean Language and Coaching in business environments to improve business development and change.

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