Coaching service for staff

What is coaching?

Coaching is about maximising your potential, opening up possibilities and increasing personal choice. It is a process of growth and personal learning that facilitates self-awareness. It is about solutions, not problems, and is focussed on you moving from where you are, to where you want to be and helping you find the resources necessary to get there.

Coaching is a confidential and voluntary process that enables individuals to manage workplace issues in a more constructive and confident manner.

Welcome to workplace coaching

Welcome to the workplace coaching scheme provided by the Universities of Aberdeen and St Andrews Coaching Partnership. The Universities of Aberdeen and St Andrews launched a joint Coaching Academy in 2014 and we are now able to offer coaching programmes for staff at both institutions, helping people think through their options in relation to a range of situations they may be facing in the workplace.

Request coaching support

If you would like to request a programme of coaching from one of our coaching team, complete the online sign up form:

Request coaching support


If you have a preference for a coach from either St Andrews or Aberdeen, you can specify this preference on the sign up form.


Once submitted you will receive an immediate acknowledgment and we will try and match you with a suitable coach as quickly as possible.


Coaching programmes normally consist of 4-6 monthly meetings. The first meeting is used to discuss the coaching process, and to clarify the areas that the coaching programme might focus on. You and your coach will then agree the timing and frequency of subsequent meetings.


One of the outcomes of the first meeting is to draw up a 'coaching contract' which includes the agreements reached on timing and frequency of meetings, and well as an outline of the purpose of the coaching programme. The standard coaching contract template is available to view: ,

Aims of coaching

Our coaches work with their clients - or coachees - on a one-to-one basis, to help them address specific work-related challenges around people, projects, or issues relating to career development. Essentially, the coach helps the coachee to:


  • resolve,

  • prevent or

  • forecast challenging situations.


The aim of the coach is to promote independence in the coachee so that they take responsibility for their own learning, rather than by becoming dependent on the coach.  Coaching is suitable for people who are interested in exploring possibilities and setting goals to help them move forward.  This may be at the start of their career, in the middle or whilst undergoing change.


Coaching is a confidential and voluntary process that enables individuals to manage workplace issues in a more constructive and confident manner.


What it’s not …

Coaching is not about experience, wise counsel or advice. That’s mentoring, or something you might get from a friend or your manager. Your coach won’t advise you what to do, and it’s not just a conversation or having someone to talk to or to use as a moaning session. Coaching is action-oriented and focuses on goals and moving forward. Coaching is not just for senior managers or executives, it can be accessed by all staff at both Universities.

What coaching offers ...

Those receiving coaching benefit by:


  • learning to address their own challenges;


  • developing greater self-awareness in a safe and supportive environment that enables the coachee to gain insight into their approach and patterns of behaviour;


  • identifying their goals, and the potential barriers to achieving these;


  • developing appropriate skills and strategies and feeling empowered to take action. If they have management responsibilities, this may result in enhancing their ability to lead and communicate with others, provide direction and developing others.

Who are the coaches?

The coaches in the network come from a range of academic, research, professional, support and technical roles bringing a range of experience and insight to the coaching role. 


All coaches have attended accredited coaching training and receive regular support, supervision and CPD from staff development professionals in both Universities.  


The coaches take on coaching assignments in addition to their main job roles and responsibilities and, unlike mentors, do not need to have expertise in the work or discipline area of their 'coachee' although they will all have developed particular areas of coaching specialism.


Find out more about the Universities of Aberdeen and St Andrews Coaching Network coaches, visit the Coach profiles (PDF, 55 KB) .

Cross-institutional coaching partnerships

The Aberdeen - St Andrews Coaching Partnership opens the door to cross-institutional coaching programmes, which may suit some coachees. In order to make such partnerships a practical proposition, partnerships are conducted mainly by phone or Skype. The coach and coachee would normally discuss and agree the necessary arrangements during their first coaching conversation.

What participants say about coaching ...

The coaching programme has received very positive feedback from its participants, with an overall Satisfaction Index Rate of 92.8%.  94% of participants feel the coaching has had a direct beneficial impact on their work environment (workplace/team) and 93% felt their performance at work had definitely been enhanced as a result of the coaching.


Further feedback ...

What impact has the coaching had?

  • I have an increased self worth and belief in my abilities as a result of the sessions.

  • I feel more confident in dealing with tricky situations at work, and less worried about the possibility of conflict.

  • It has enabled me to identify areas I can change and where I cannot change other people and therefore identifying aspects of my job that are outwith my control but that I need to find coping mechanisms to deal with effectively.


What are you now doing differently as a result of coaching?

  • I am taking a more positive approach to life and work. I had a victim mentality before and that has diminished greatly.

  • I am raising issues more with my line manager, and finding ways to deal with seemingly harsh words.

  • I am more systematic in my approach to solving problems, communicate more clearly.


What in particular did you value from the coaching sessions?

  • There was a very friendly and open atmosphere in the sessions and I felt I could talk openly about anything.

  • I particularly valued being able to discuss workplace issues with someone who knew how to deal with them but who didn't know the people involved.

  • The external view, help in grounding me to my own competence.

  • Honest feedback, a sounding board.

  • My coach’s approach of asking questions that helped me to better understand the situation and consider different solutions without giving direct advice.

  • I value the opportunity to stand back and reflect and the time to think about what is important to me in my work and what steps I can take to improve my working environment. It has also helped in terms of realising that I am not alone and that there are some people who also have difficulties. It has also helped in that it has validated my concerns that some of the behaviours were not appropriate (of others) and that i should and need to take action against them.


Are there any other personal or business benefits you believe have been derived from your coaching?

  • I have more self confidence and belief in myself both at work and elsewhere. I feel a weight has been lifted and now have a much more positive outlook on life. Things which would have irritated, annoyed, or upset me before no longer do. Family and friends have noticed a difference in me and my outlook.

  • It has made me think about the way I react in certain situations, made me realise what is important and what is not. Also I am in control of my work not it controlling me as it was.

  • I have become much better at standing back at work and saying no when I can't do something or don't have time to do it.


Additional comments?

  • I have thoroughly enjoyed taking part of this programme and believe it has been most beneficial to myself. I would also recommend it and my coach to others. I am sorry it has come to an end.

  • My work is at times very loaded and I've been travelling a lot, therefore it was very good that the coaching sessions could be done flexible. Longer periods of "non-coaching" time was appreciated as otherwise it would have been too stressful.

  • Thank you very much for offering coaching. ******* has been a wonderful coach!

  • This is a great service to provide and i will be telling those who need it that it is a great thing to do for personal development

  • It was all very useful - both in terms of helping me build resilience, but also when exploring my own leadership styles.

Interested in using coaching skills in your work setting?

Coaching can be a useful management approach for working with your staff.  To find out more, it is recommended that you attend the Coaching: An introduction workshop which will explain the basics of the approach.

Train to be a coach

Would you like to take your commitment to coaching to the next level?


We are offering a limited number of places on a new ILM Level 3 Award in Effective Coaching (on Teams) starting early May 2023.  To apply please complete the ILM Effective coaching online application formThe closing date for applications is Friday 21 April 2023.


Download the 'Launch document', which includes further information about the programme ILM Effective Coaching Award Overview (Word, 26 KB)