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The Street Cred of a Qualification


Last year Stuart Clark and I ran our first ILM training (Level 5 in Coaching and Mentoring) together. Six months after its completion, I caught up with one participant, Lesley Downs of Sea Breeze Counselling Plus, to see what she made of it…


Why did you want to do the ILM course?

It was the street cred of the qualification. I work with local business owners and I wanted to have the credibility of the ILM behind me.

And is there anything else about credibility?

It was important to me to have the qualification. I learned a lot about coaching and now I’ve done it, I have the confidence to put it into practice.

What did you think of the course as you were doing it?

I thoroughly enjoyed it. I enjoyed the information we were getting and I found it motivating and inspiring to be part of a group where you learn from each other and share experiences. That gives me the motivation and inspiration to keep learning.

The practice sessions between the training days were good too. I was always part of a group that got on with it. We booked it in, committed to it, and did it. It was good experience because we learned from each other.

The written work was hard, especially as I run a business, but I’m quite determined, and so I just blocked that time in my diary and I got on with it until it was done. I worked my way through the assignments, and I kept to the schedule. If I hadn’t had the dates to work towards I don’t think I would have had the focus, but I stuck with it, and completed everything on time. The schedule worked well for me.

What have you used most since the training?

Our group did a project where we looked at the GROW (Goals, Reality, Options / Obstacles, Way forward) model and how it worked, and translated all of the traditional GROW model questions into clean questions and that’s been really useful.

Was it the right course for you?

Yes! I’ve been involved with clean for about 3 years, so it was about using the knowledge I already had about clean in a different context. It built on my clean knowledge and built on my coaching knowledge and integrated the two things together.

For you, completing the ILM Course was like what?

It was like tying together a lot of loose ends. I’d done lots of clean courses: Core Skills; Clean Facilitator Certification; Train the Clean Trainer; and The Professional Clean Coach (Clean Change Company). And I’m a trained counsellor. It brought it home to me how I can use all these skills, in a coaching way.

And since then?

I’ve used the skills to give taster sessions so that people can get an idea of how I work and I’ve had commissions from that, where people have become clients. It’s about getting people used to the idea that this is what I do and how I can help, and I have that confidence now to do that.

Now I have the ILM qualification, I know I have something good that I can offer, particularly to the sole traders I work with. I suggest they use me as a ‘sounding board’. I tell them to come to me with all their stressors and what’s in their head that they have no one to share with, and they go away with an action plan of what to do.

Next I’m really looking forward to the Systemic Modelling training in September, because it’s building on the knowledge and experience of how to coach individuals, and looking at how to work with groups.

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About Sue Sharp

Sue Sharp loves helping individuals to grow their confidence and skills, particularly during times of change and transition. She is a passionate coach and trainer and is a certified Clean Facilitator, an NLP Trainer, a Magical Spelling™ tutor and an ILM certified coach.

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