Our coaching programme is open to all Yorkshire and Humber trainees along with our Senior Educators / Trainers

What is coaching?

Coaching is time for you to think.  Your coach won’t judge you, or give you advice.  This means it is ok to talk about anything that you feel gets in the way of you doing your best at work. You can really think things through in a way that is different to talking things over with a friend, partner, TPD or Educational Supervisor - all people who tend to have another agenda for you.  Your coach will support you, and challenge you if necessary, to help you reach a conclusion that is helpful and meaningful to you.

You can have up to six sessions of free coaching with a coach.  It tends to work best if you have all your sessions within a 6 month window: this isn’t a hard and fast rule, we just notice that people get more out of coaching if they commit to it, rather than let it drift.  Please see the menu below for further details.

If you decide that you would like to participate in our coaching programme, click here to register your interest. You can contact your preferred coach directly once your account registration has been approved.

Once you have registered as a Coachee and your account has been approved please click here to log in to your account.  You will be able to choose a coach using the filters (eg, speciality, gender, geography, trust/employer and search for key-words relevant to you eg, career choice, leadership, part-time working, IMG).  Coaching works best if you pick someone outside your specialty.

You can find a quick start guide here


Are you eligible for Coaching?

Who is eligible for coaching?

This is a coaching scheme run by HEE in Y&H for Yorkshire and Humber postgraduate medical and dental trainees, FLP Leadership fellows, senior educators and HEE Y&H staff.  You can access coaching via this scheme if:

  • you are in foundation, taking an ‘F3’ year, or in specialty training in Y&H
  • you are a fellow on the Future Leaders Programme (sessions must be accessed during your fellowship year)
  • you are a senior educator (Training Programme Director, Associate Dean, Deputy Dean or Dean) in Y&H
  • you are a HEE employee
  • you are a SAS grade doctor in Y&H

What if I am not eligible but am interested in coaching?

The NHS Leadership Academy hosts a platform called Coachnet which is a register of coaches across Y&H and the North East.  Some are pro bono and offer this as part of their role, others are independent practitioners.  There are numerous independent coaches in the marketplace should you not find what you are looking for on Coachnet.  Colleagues in Public Health who are based outside the NHS eg in Local Authorities or civil service bodies are also welcome to access Coachnet.

Coachees - start here if you are considering coaching

Your sessions are completely confidential - your coaching is nothing to do with your performance in training, or your ARCP.  Sessions are usually between 60 and 90 minutes each and you can have up to six.  For some people one or two is enough, for others they wish to access all six.  Either is fine.

Coaching is a normal professional activity in other high-responsibility jobs.  The GMC and Royal Colleges recognise its benefits and coaching appears in many curricula.

Once you have signed up please do choose yourself a coach. The aim of developing a register of coaches is that you are able to access coaching from someone outside your speciality and trust. Some people find choosing a coach daunting - if this is you please do drop us a line at coaching.yh@hee.nhs.uk and we can advise.  If you don't choose a coach and you remain unmatched for 3 months your account will be deactivated.   If this occurs you can return at any time in the future to pursue coaching, please contact us at coaching.yh@hee.nhs.uk and we will be able to reactive your account.

Coaching used to be a face-to-face activity.  Since Covid all coaches have adapted to working virtually via zoom, teams, skype, facetime etc.  If you have a preferred platform then make sure you mention that at the outset - you may need to choose your coach accordingly.  Some coaches have access to Covid secure office space and some offer walk and talk coaching outside.  Again if you have a preference then please explore this at the outset so coaching is as comfortable and as productive as possible for you.

What are some of the reasons that lead people to having coaching?

There are many reasons, and no ‘right’ one.  Some issues that might lead you to access coaching might be:

  • There is something at stake, e.g. a challenge  or development opportunity and you want to make the most of it
  • You perceive a gap in your knowledge, skills, confidence or resources
  • You want to achieve different outcomes, improve your performance, or improve your leadership or management skills
  • You are experiencing a lack of clarity and have choices to make
  • Your work and life are out of balance, and this is having an unwanted impact
  • You have yet to identify your key strengths and how best to utilise them
What does a coach actually do and how do I choose one?

Coaches work with coachees to help them become more effective.  A coach will use challenging questions to raise the awareness of the coachee, help them develop new thinking about their situation, and enable positive change.  A coach will do much more listening than talking, and will not problem-solve on your behalf, or give advice.  Rather they will offer support and challenge and will work with you as you find your own solutions.  This is why it is better to work with someone outside your speciality - their externality will be an advantage.  However all our coaches are senior educators and understand the rigours of postgraduate training, and balancing career progression with the rest of life.

When you have created an account, have logged on and are ready to choose a coach, you will be able to browse the coach faculty.  There are 60+ coaches – this diversity is great for the breadth and frequency of coaching we can offer but it can be a daunting task choosing your coach.  Remember the recommendation is that you choose a coach outside your own specialty, and certainly not involved in your training.  You are able to filter by gender, specialty, trust and geography.  You may also wish to do an advanced search using key words relevant to you, if you are looking for a particular match with your coach, for instance career choice, LTFT, children, caring responsibilities, leadership, IMG etc.  It is worth saying that the essence of coaching is to support, challenge and enable you, and not to give you advice, so in theory any coach can work with any coachee, there doesn’t have to be an overlap of situation or circumstance.  It is a 1:1 relationship however and like all relationships connection is important.

I am still not sure what coaching actually is?

Here is a BBC programme about business coaching you might find helps to explain what a coach does:


Here is an article from BMJ careers focus:


Is it the same as sports coaching?

In some ways, yes.  A sports coach encourages a client to perform at their absolute potential and so does a coach.  In other ways, no.  There is no win-lose element in our kind of coaching.  It's not about competition with others.

Is coaching the same as mentoring?

There is much debate about the differences and similarities between coaching and mentoring. The majority view is that they are different, but overlapping, processes on a continuum: “Coaching and mentoring are learning relationships which help people to take charge of their own development, to release their potential, and to achieve results which they value.”  (Connor M, Pokora, J, 2007).  

How is coaching different from counselling?

“Coaching is overtly goal-focused, moves at a faster pace with more future focus.”  (Rogers, 2008).  This means coaching is more interested in the “what” question than the “why?” of counselling or therapy.  In general clients seek counselling because there are one or more challenges that are becoming barriers to participating fully in life, and in some cases this is impacting on mental well-being.  In coaching there is no assumption that the coachee has a ‘problem’, rather that they are resourceful, healthy and able to make changes in their life if they wish.

It is also different from therapy, line management, appraisal or educational supervision.  Coaching benefits anyone, at any stage of career and success.  You cannot be referred to coaching. Coachees must be fully engaged with coaching and seek it voluntarily.  

Can't a good friend do that just as well?

Probably not, unless they have also trained as a coach.  A coach is friendly but is not actually your friend.  The coach's strength is in being detached and objective as well as being firmly on your side.  The coach may be able to help you deal with things that your best friend could not.  Our experience of friends is that they often give you friendly advice - the one thing that a coach very rarely does.  A coach has questions, not answers.

Does everyone need a coach?

No.  As a coach you can only work with a willing client, so a coachee who is totally satisfied with their life cannot be coached.  But anyone who would like to get more out of their work or their life and is willing to give it a go can probably benefit from coaching.  A key idea with our approach to coaching is that you don't have to be bad to get better.  Building on success is an important principle.

My trainer has told me to have coaching, what should I do?

Coachees must be fully engaged with coaching and seek it voluntarily.  Coaching requires active participation.  Duty or obligation have no place in the coaching interaction.  You are welcome to apply for coaching but you must be committed to the process yourself. 

Is dependency an issue?

No. We encourage resourcefulness.

Therapists have been accused sometimes of harming clients. Can a coach do the same?

Abuse is possible in any private one-to-one relationship.  But it's less likely in coaching because the core of the coaching relationship is equality and respect.  Coaching clients are not in the fragile state that clients for therapy may be.  Also, coaching is very sensitive to word of mouth recommendation.  A coach who harmed a client would be unlikely to be used again.  All coaches in the HEE Y&H programme sign up to an Ethical Framework and will share this with you at the outset of your coaching.  Coaches attend both CPD and supervision for their coaching and take responsibility for the quality and safety of their whole scope of work in line with appraisal and revalidation requirements.

Can a coach provide their coachee with a personal or professional reference?

Our stock answer is 'no'.  Coaching is about helping someone help themselves, and not about making judgments about their aptitudes, ability and potential.
Some people confuse the coach-coachee relationship with patronage and hence approach the coach for a reference.  The problems with this are that:

  • The coachee may then say things to the coach with the aim of impressing them and not therefore engage fully in an open exploration of uncertainties and weaknesses.  They would not then make best use of the confidential coaching relationship
  • The coachee may have unrealistic ideas about how the coach could use his/her professional networks. We would like the confidentiality to be in both directions
Should the same person be both coach and clinical supervisor to a coachee?

No. In very small specialties or geographies, or in a situation where the supervisor and trainee have worked together through a difficult or challenging situation, this would need to be weighed against accessibility.  The key here is to define the roles carefully and keep to them.

If the coach is on the appointments panel and a current or ex-coachee is an applicant should he/she excuse themselves?

The coach will need to excuse him/herself, and he/she need not explain why - only that the coach knows them too well. 
Likewise if they are potentially involved in their competency assessment.

Are there any circumstances where the coachee can have more than six sessions of funded coaching?

Coaching is a focused, time-limited relationship hence the recommendation for a maximum of six sessions.  In exceptional circumstances eg, new and significant circumstances emerge in the last weeks of the coaching relationship, it may be possible to extend the coaching.  This requires discussion with the Coaching Lead and is not guaranteed.  We ask that before arranging these extra sessions with their coach, the coachee email coaching.yh@hee.nhs.uk to briefly explain the circumstances.

Can I ask to be assigned to a specific coach known to me who isn't a HEE trained coach?

No. If you already know who you want to be your coach and they are not part of the service, you should arrange this with them directly.

What do other trainees who have had coaching say about it?

Here are a variety of feedback comments from our coachees:

"As a person who was quite sceptical about coaching to start with, I have found the experience incredibly valuable and it has changed my approach to thinking about work and my goals. I found that my fears of not being able to fit coaching into my schedule were not true, as my coach was flexible with the sessions which were 2 weekly. The process was informal, non-judgemental and gave me the ability to speak freely as the coach is not someone from your speciality. Overall, I would highly recommend coaching and especially to those unsure about it – try it, you might be surprised!"

"I will stay in medicine!"

"Coaching provided different view-points and perspectives in a very supportive and non-judgemental space. I valued the confidential environment in which to voice        concerns. I feel more confident and more resilient."

"Coaching is superb. I want to train as a coach in the future."

"Coaching has helped me improve my ability to time-manage/prioritise and will also improve my performance when managing ward patients and especially on-calls."

" I feel more comfortable with uncertainty. I think about the organisational aspects of my life in a more positive way.  I am more proactive in addressing my PDP needs and asking for help."

"Coaching has helped me be less stressed and I will be able to deliver better patient care."

"Coaching helped me recognise and accept the dysfunctional leadership styles at my workplace so I can get the most out of my training."

" I will be more assertive and confident when communicating so I can get the best for my patients quickly."

" I am now clear about my preferences and priorities in life so am happy with my training. I feel more encouraged to work harder and carry on."

"Coaching is enabling me to get the most out of my training and therefore enhance my ability as a clinician."

"Whilst my coaching sessions focused on many different themes, one theme was regarding career planning and progression. Before participating in coaching I had not thought about the number of options available, nor did I truly understand about what provided me with true job satisfaction. Coaching gave me to confidence to apply for job promotions, whilst allowing me to focus my attention on what mattered to me when applying for jobs/ speaking to prospective employers."

Your feedback is important! Please read

Once you have completed your coaching sessions on MentorNet you will be invited to complete an evaluation survey.  Results will be amalgamated and used to inform requirements for future provision of the service.  All information will be treated in the strictest confidence and anonymised for reporting purposes.  Your feedback is really valuable in helping us shape the best service for trainees – please do complete the survey.  Thank-you in advance.

Coaches - Registration and Log in

Coaches -

Providing you have attended the HEE Y&H 7-day Coach Training Programme, and hold an educational role in HEE Y&H (Educational or Clinical Supervisor, Training Programme Director, Associate Dean) please click here to register as a HEE Coach. 

Once you have registered as a Coach and your account has been approved please click here to log in to your account.

Website User Guide


Coaches - CPD and Supervision Requirements

Our coaches are required to attend a minimum of two CPD/Supervision events per year.  Coaching CPD sessions are detailed on Maxcourse 

Some of the popular sessions we run:

Coaching CPD Supervision Day

This is aimed at coaches who are actively engaged in coaching centrally for HEE or more locally in their own organisations, and who may be engaged in completing/or have completed an ILM Certificate or other coaching qualification or accreditation. We will be working in small supervision groups of around 6 participants who commit to bringing aspects of their practice, to look at with an experienced coach. The aim if for the groups to meet for half a day around three times a year. Coaches will also complete a half day CPD session, looking at more advanced coaching tools and techniques. This could be to explore challenges, successes, or be curious about themes and patterns that crop up in their coaching practice.

Virtual Coaching Clinics


Do you have a tricky coachee?

Have you forgotten how to do the ‘meta mirror’?

Are you getting drawn into the story?

Then you'll find our clinics really helpful.

These short webinars are your opportunity for a quick booster or some troubleshooting. It’s a chance to ask advice (yes advice!) on your coaching, pick each other's brains, and get some great ideas you can use right away.

If you are an HEE Y&H Coach you may wish to check the NHS North East and Yorkshire Leadership Academy Coaching Offer or sign up to their newsletter.  They run a regular programme of events you are free to attend. https://www.nelacademy.nhs.uk/coaching-and-mentoring.

How do you become a coach?

The best way to become a coach is through well-devised training followed by a lot of practice and supervision.  Anyone can call themselves a coach and at present the profession is not regulated.   However all our HEE Y&H coaches have undergone a training programme and assessment, plus continue to attend CPD and supervision. 

Training as an HEE Y&H Coach


Nine cohorts of educational supervisors have already been trained to be coaches on the 7-day coach training programme run for us by SquareStar Ltd. and Matt Driver Consulting.

Coaching Skills

The documents below contain the outline of the course, and the reading list, for information.

Programme Briefing Pack

Reading List

Application process

Applications are now closed but please keep an eye on our website or contact the team via coaching.yh@hee.nhs.uk if you are interested in making an application in future.  

This is a competitive application process due to a limited number of spaces available so please make sure you consider this when completing your application.  Please ensure you can commit to all 7 days before submitting an application.

Please note: Applicants must have an educational role within HEE to be eligible to apply.

What About Peer Coaching?

In recognition of the enormous benefit speaking to a peer can provide, we are running a peer coaching scheme for trainees. Interested Trainees should contact peercoaching.yh@hee.nhs.uk  stating they wish to access peer support. They will be matched with a trained peer.

Trainees who would like to learn peer support skills can sign up for a training session on how to safely conduct a 6-step peer support session. Training will be via zoom and ongoing support and supervision offered. Sign up via peercoaching.yh@hee.nhs.uk stating you wish to train as a peer supporter.

More information on the benefits of peer coaching and how our sessions run available on wellbeing pages Here under the Wellbeing Support for Trainees tab.

Coaches - Video Guides

HEE Explainer - Coaching Log 


Coaches - useful links and documents
Coaching Code of Practice including Ethical Framework

For the Coaching Code of Practice including Ethical Framework please click here