Post Grad mentoring qualification steers business leaders to success

BUSINESSES IN THE SOUTH WEST OF ENGLAND HAVE ANNOUNCED ABOVE AVERAGE GROWTH thanks to a team of sixteen senior directors and former CEOs who have themselves just graduated from LeaderShape’s Post Graduate Certificate (PGC) in Coach-Mentoring and Facilitation in Organisations accredited by the University of Chester.

Despite the economic climate, the £5 million cutting-edge European Union leadership programme has  seen impressive results. (See Case Studies below.) 

The two-year old Coaching for High Growth / Oxford Innovation Grow Cornwall Programme supported 120 businesses while the executive-level coaching team themselves learned how to develop the highest quality company mentoring programmes.

Their in-house qualification, the first stage towards a Masters Degree in leadership, was used to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) realise potential by, for example, producing a solid business plan, gaining early stage finance and safely protecting innovation. The executive graduates will be now able to apply their transferable skills – ensuring companies, industry and organisations of all sizes have the tools to thrive.

UK organisations spend over £38.5 billion on training but poor mentoring programmes often hamper their performance. PGC delivery team Senior Coach, Danielle Grant of LeaderShape says:  “The PGC qualification fills a gap identified by a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)[i] and is likely to cut training costs. CIPD research shows companies which do not train are 2.5 times more likely to go bankrupt and also to lose vital talent. Their latest survey shows[ii] one in five leaders and almost a quarter (24%) of HR professionals actually rate their organisations’ leadership development programmes as ineffective. With spending under pressure this PGC helps ensure monies are efficiently allocated and focus on business objectives.”

LeaderShape and the University of Chester developed the course as the first accredited programme for those who want to develop their ability to act as Coach /Mentors and Learning Set Facilitators to build expertise to identify, deliver and evaluate learning, development and training needs.

Places are still available for the new graduate cohort for the Summer 2012 programme, for Senior executives with a leadership role  – programme.  And see the range of courses up to Masters level here

The High Growth programme offers keenly targeted support; studies demonstrate a small number of highly motivated businesses generate most new and high-value jobs, most often in dynamic sectors which impact on a region’s prosperity.

Professor David Major from the University of Chester, overseeing the accreditation, says: “Learning and development (L&D) is vital to economic recovery and ensuring organisations are well placed for en eventual upturn.  Strong professional delivery of training and learning is among the most useful tool available. UK success depends on the generation of leaders we are training now.”


The Oxford Innovation team of coaches have a diverse set of business backgrounds and sector expertise, from aerospace and nanotechnology to dog food and beer. Their extensive networks enable them to identify specialists from across the UK and further afield, to address the challenges faced by businesses as they seek to grow.

Sullivan Cuff Software assists healthcare professionals control and manage anticoagulation in patients using warfarin.  With support from Michael Barritt, a coach with  IT specialist skills in the Oxford Innovation team, and a colleague with healthcare sector knowledge, the company has learned how to  address regulatory requirements in preparation for growing the business.   MD at Sullivan Cuff Software, David Barrett, comments “With the help of the expertise from the Oxford Innovation team we have been able to progress our business more quickly and effectively.  They have really lifted the pressures of planning for growth and guided us through the challenges faced by companies taking products into specialised medical markets.”

St Kitt’s Herbery, started by husband and wife team Susan and Paul Johnson in 2001, produce over 300 fine herb-based products, from toiletries to chilli-flavoured chocolate. With support and guidance and a focus on e-commerce and web-based sales opportunities, they experienced online sales increase by 88% in the four months from January 2010, compared to the same period in 2009.

Susan Johnson said “Laurence MacRory is responsible for social networking activities within Oxford Innovation. We would never have believed that the use of social networking activities could have such an impact on our sales. The results have made us rethink our sales and marketing strategy and we are excited about our future growth potential.”

[i] CIPD 2008 War on Talent

[ii] The 2011 Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) UK Global Leadership Forecast, also reveals that only a third (36%) of UK leaders and less than one in five (18%) UK HR professionals rate the quality of leadership as ‘high’ in their organisations.

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