Free coaching with Henley Business School

ACEVO has secured a coaching agreement with leading executive education provider Henley Business School. Henley is offering free coaching opportunities for ACEVO members. The coaching programme is tailor-made for each individual, who may meet their coach anywhere from once only to up to 10 times across a year.

Applicants are matched with coaches by Henley Business School. Most of the coaches have 20 or 30 years of business and management experience and their services are being offered free as the sessions comprise part of their postgraduate programme. If you are interested please email 

About the programme

1. Who is Henley Business School?

Henley Business School is a highly rated international business school, ranked number three in the world for executive education. It provides a host of programmes, including executive coaching. Its participants are usually senior and middle managers from public and private sector companies across Europe. Henley Business School is part of the University of Reading.

2. What is coaching?

Coaching is a one-on-one conversation that is facilitated by a coach and focused on the needs of the client (coachee), with the objective of supporting the coachee to become more self-aware, to take more personal responsibility and, through this, to become more effective. The role of the coach in the process is not to provide the answers but, through asking questions and providing a process, to enable the coachee to identify their own solutions and to consider the best course of action for them, their team or their organisation.

3. How can coaching help me?

Coaching is helpful in supporting managers to resolve a wide range of challenges at work. It’s helpful in leadership development, helping managers apply new skills. It’s also helpful for managers delivering change and for those experiencing workplace stress. While it does not offer a ‘magic solution’, the feedback is that coaching provides a useful space to talk about an issue, and that having someone who is independent to listen, support and challenge you as you work out a solution, can lead to a more constructive discussion.

4. Who will provide the coaching?

In this programme the coaches are participants undertaking a postgraduate programme at Henley Business School. They are part way through a programme, and are required to undertake a specified number of coaching hours and receive feedback on their practice from their coachees. Most of the participants are individuals with up to 20 or 30 years of business and management experience and have already undertaken coaching with other clients.

5. Do I need to go to Henley?

You can choose to meet at a mutually convenient location, on the phone or via Skype (conference) call. Alternatively, you can arrange to meet your coach at Henley Business School, if that is convenient for you both. We will, however, ask you to connect for the first time before a deadline, as the participants will use their reflections (although none of the content) in a coaching supervision session.

6. What can I expect?

You can expect the coach to be focused on your needs, and to help you explore the issue you bring along to talk about. To join the programme, email and you will be sent a form to complete. ACEVO will supply your name and contact details to Henley Business School which will hold this information with the sole purpose of connecting you to your coach and for any follow up for evaluation or research during the following two-year period.

Henley will use the contact details you have supplied to connect you with a coach. It is then up to you and the coach to arrange a time and place to meet. A coaching session will generally last 90–120 minutes. After the first meeting you can mutually agree how and when to continue to meet. Most coaches meet every 2-5 weeks, and meet between four and six times, but this will be down to you to agree.

7. What will Henley expect of me?

Henley ask three things in this process.

Firstly, that you attend the coaching sessions you have agreed upon. If you are going to be late or need to change the date, let your coach know. They are working professionals too and may face the same challenges, so occasionally they too may need to change a date or time for a coaching session.

Secondly, you will be asked to send your coach a feedback form within 12 hours of completing the coaching session. Receiving detailed feedback from their coachee is one of the benefits for the coach (and is instead of payment). They want to hear your experience of what they did well and what they can do differently to continue to learn and improve.

Thirdly, you may on occasion be asked to participate in a research study. Henley Business School is a leading centre for coaching research and such research helps it to better understand the coaching process. Participation is voluntary and, as with all of our research, all data will be anonymised, so your name, organisation and specific details about your work will never be used.

8. What happens if I want to change my coach?

Henley suggests what is called a ‘no-fault-divorce’ clause in all its coaching. If you or your coach think someone else would be better placed to help you, discuss it together and then email Henley so it can try and match both of you with new partners.

9. How long will I need to wait before I am paired with a coach?

Henley runs around nine cohorts per year. As a result, waiting times may vary where there is a surge of demand or where Henley is waiting for a course to start. As a rough guide you can expect to wait 4–10 weeks for your first coaching session.

10. Is it confidential?

The simple answer is yes. There are no arrangements to report back to your manager or your organisation on the session or what you said. Furthermore, the coach is under an obligation not to share what you talk about with anyone. However, in extreme circumstances, such as where there is risk of serious harm to you or to someone else, or in cases of serious illegality (such as terrorism), Henley may have a legal obligation to share information.

11. What happens at the end?

Henley would generally expect the coaching sessions to continue as long as you need and as long as the coach feels able to support you. From experience, this is generally between four and six meetings. However, sometimes one meeting is sufficient and in other cases people may meet eight or 10 times. At the end, just let your coach know that this will be the last session. If you would like more coaching at a later date, just contact ACEVO, and we will re-nominate you.

12. What happens if my ACEVO membership expires after the programme has started?

You must be an ACEVO member throughout the duration of the course. If your membership expires during the 12 month coaching programme, you will not be able to continue.

13. If I have other questions, who can I ask?

If you have any questions question please email our Director of Leadership and Governance, Jenny Berry. If you are unhappy with anything that happens during the coaching process, again please contact Jenny.