A Hat-trick of Accreditation: Animas Training Awarded EMCC Global Quality Award

1st June 2021

Animas has always had great relationships with the accrediting bodies, recognising that in a self-regulating profession, accreditation from the organisations that set out to ensure the gold standard of coach training is incredibly important, not just for us as a coaching school that is committed to delivering training of the highest quality, but also those that train with us and the wider coaching industry as a whole.

Our Diploma course has been accredited by both the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the Association for Coaching (AC) for a long time, but we  recently have also received confirmation that our training has been accredited by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC).

We are incredibly excited about what this new accreditation means for us and those that train with us and so our content manager Sam Chambers sat down with Head of Coach Development Crystal Small to explore what went into the process, why we did it, what it brings us as a coach training organisation and our community of coaches, as well as why our relationships with the accrediting bodies are so important.

Sam: Hey Crystal, thanks for joining me to talk about the recent confirmation of our Diploma in Transformational Coaching being awarded the EMCC Global Quality Award (EQA). Firstly, congratulations, I know it was a team effort, but you were the main person pushing this along, filling out the forms and speaking with the EMCC. Tell me a little bit more about who the EMCC is.

Crystal: So the EMCC is a professional body that absolutely values the coaching industry, supervision and mentorship. It's incredibly important for us to have a regulating body that really holds the standards of what it means to be in a coach-client relationship. EMCC especially prizes development, support, and learning. They have taken the time to outline competencies that we are to embody to be able to best serve our clients.

Their global code of ethics adds weight to the responsibility we have as coaches within this field. It was a natural progression to seek accreditation with EMCC given their commitment to promoting good practice and influencing the coaching standard.

Sam: Excellent. And so what was the process for getting our diploma accredited by the EMCC?

Crystal: Well, there's a lot of hard work involved, discussions with our internal teams on how we do what we do, as well as helpful conversations with our EMCC contact who was really intrigued about how we do things at Animas. The great thing about the EMCC is that they value the work that you are already doing so it's really a reflection of our ways of working. So it wasn't about building new processes to shoehorn them into their categories. I was free to creatively show how we operate, what practices we have and what it is we really immerse ourselves in as we continue to evolve our course content and learning journey so that our students get the most out of their experience.

So first and foremost, it was really being able to document the purpose of the programme, details of our course structure and learning outcomes. I also showcased what it is that we provide to our students. What it is that we're doing behind the scenes in terms of making sure that our course materials remain innovative and up to date. EMCC were really interested in how we maintain the excellent standards around training delivery, they were invested in our experiential approach and comforted by how we offer development and support to our faculty.

Time was taken to really think about all of the things we do to keep our Animas body in a life long learning cycle which adds to the wealth of collective knowledge. It was great to reflect on where, how and when all of this happens and it was encouraging to realise just how many people are invested in this meaningful work.

Sam: You've answered my next question, because I was going to ask about that. did we need to tweak or change anything? What I'm hearing is that it focused on capturing what we're doing, and an appreciation of how we run our processes at the minute.

Crystal: Yes, exactly. We are always looking at what is happening in the coaching industry, who we are as a coaching school and what it is that we might be doing in this area of work. We care deeply about our humanistic philosophy and stand on our complementary approaches of being psychologically minded, holistic and integrative. We reflect on what this actually means so that our purpose is refreshed and passion remains ignited. So it wasn't so much tweaking a particular process but remaining explorative and open to what we might bring into the fold of our learning.

So as an example, our trainers run pod groups for every single module. On a quarterly basis they will meet and discuss how we maintain a developmental edge for our coaches-in-training.

The trainers deep dive into what learners really respond to and identify what practices or exercises resonated with them. And through those pods, you get the evolving of our practices and in that way we can move with not only the coaching industry, but people's learning styles and interests. There's opportunity for movement and creativity.

Sam: And so I know that our diploma is already accredited by the ICF (International Coach Federation) and the AC (Association for Coaching), so what are the reasons behind us also wanting to be accredited by the EMCC and what does it bring us as a training organisation?

Crystal: I think there will be many people that know ICF and they will be familiar with their gold standard of coaching. The EMCC also have their own standards. In a growing industry, I think there's something about being reassured that what you’re learning is recognised as meeting professional expectations. Increasing kudos to say that Animas meets multiple sets of competencies across 3 established professional bodies is something we are really proud of.

I think there's a comfort for people who are looking for a course that they want to invest in. That rubber stamp of approval speaks to the robustness of the course and integrity of our content.

Sam: Brilliant, and what about those who train with us and our community, what does the third accreditation mean for them?

Crystal: Students who have then become our alumni are still very well connected to us and we have such a diverse and international community! I think there's something to be said around the increased validation of 'what I have learnt here is of a high standard and becoming increasingly attractive, increasingly recognised as something of great value.' With multiple professional bodies giving the Diploma in Transformational Coaching their seal of approval, we hope that it is seen as a signature course in the coaching world.

There is something about that recognition that I think is a benefit for people that have completed the programme.

Sam: We touched on what it means for us as a training organisation and the community side, but how important do you think accreditation is when looking for coach training courses?

Crystal: I think it's tremendously important. If you were looking for a doctor or an accountant you would be comforted by their qualifications especially when placing so much trust in their hands. I understand that people may have natural coaching skills but due diligence, dedicated learning and ethical responsibilities are really paramount especially as coaches are in a position of impact.

When learning, I think choosing a training programme that is recognised in multiple spaces to meet all of the standards that the coaching industry honours is a definite plus.

Sam: With regards to the other coach training schools out there, do you know if there are any others that are also accredited by all three of these organisations?

Crystal: So not that I know of off the top of my head, but to be honest, I think that says something in itself. Now Animas has added EMCC to our suite, it feels like we've got a good hat-trick there! Integrity is the word that keeps coming to mind. Not just in the coach-client space but actually increasing the integrity of the whole industry.

Sam: And Crystal, why do you feel that Animas' relationship with the accrediting bodies is so important?

Crystal: I think it's really important to keep connected to the accrediting bodies because each one is doing their own work. They're at the front and centre of setting the gold standard. The accrediting bodies don't sit still and neither does Animas. Having that relationship with the accrediting bodies, and multiple contacts within that organisation means that dialogue is encouraged and it makes it easier to keep up to date with the latest developments.

Sam: So we have the three main regulating coaching bodies accrediting our training now, what might be next for Animas in this area?

Crystal: Well, that's a really interesting question, because Animas has a really diverse community that is expanding. As well as the UK and Europe, we will soon be taking our training to the US. I think a point of exploration is: what are the accrediting bodies in other countries that are recognised really well? Using America as an example, I would like to explore accrediting bodies there that others might value.

So it's like, what else is there? What else would be meaningful, not only giving us that seal of approval, but also the comfort and the kudos for the students who participate in our course.

Sam: Thank you so much for joining me to share this Crystal, it's a great achievement, one we are all excited to share and I want to thank you again for your key part in making this happen.

You can find out more about the EMCC Global Quality Award and what it means for us as a coach training school here.

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