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A – Z Coaching and Mentoring – This week’s extract explores ‘Evaluation’ and how it provides information on which to base decisions about investment in coaching or for improvement to coaching services.

Don’t forget if you have a special request for a definition of a coaching term or principle, just let us know! Perfect for anyone studying for an ILM Coaching & Mentoring qualification, or as a refresher for experienced coaches.


Evaluation of coaching tends to be a largely subjective process as the benefits are often behavioural and difficult to quantify in monetary terms. Evaluation provides information on which to base decisions about investment in coaching or for improvement to coaching services.

One of the most popular training evaluation models (Kirkpatrick 1976) suggests four different levels, adapted here for coaching: ?

  • Reaction – how does the client feel about the coaching? (Surveys, questionnaires, interviews.) ?
  • Learning – to what extent has learning taken place and to what extent have attitudes been changed? (Surveys, questionnaires, interviews, skills assessment or tests before and after coaching.) ?
  • Behaviour – to what extent has their job behaviour changed as a result of coaching? (360 feedback, psychometrics, behavioural competency assessment before and after coaching) ?
  • Results – to what extent have results been achieved? (Goals achieved, profits, morale, grievance rates, return on investment, quantity or quality of output.).


Kirkpatrick Model – Source: www.kirkpatrickpartners.com

McGurk (2010) suggests the following elements for effective evaluation of coaching:

  • Develop an integrated approach that utilises both qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Use reflective notes and scaling data as a raw material for coaching evaluation.
  • Start and end coaching with 360-degree feedback data, psychometrics, learning inventories, team diagnostics, appraisal tools, engagement surveys, HR metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) – all of these can be used as start and end point measures.
  • Calculate the financial return on investment and use it to support other evaluation methods.
  • Collect testimonies of the impact of coaching from clients.
  • Show explicit links between coaching and key business metrics, such as KPIs, organisational targets and service levels.
  • Develop links between ownership and sponsorship, positioning and context, resourcing and procurement, and assessment and evaluation.

Further useful reading on this topic can be found in Coaching at Work – John McGurk shares his practitioner guide to real-world coaching evaluation.

Taken from the A-Z Coaching Handbook by Clare Smale where you will find a comprehensive A-Z, plus a full list of references.

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