England.  Change location

Developing a coaching culture

The aim of this course is to encourage managers to demonstrate their interest in developing people, their wellbeing and the organisations they work in, by using a coaching approach. It would also be of value if you're a professional or volunteer where supporting other people is important.

This course requires some prior knowledge and experience of coaching, whether you have a formal qualification or not. You don’t need to be employed as a coach to benefit, but you will need to have access to people you can practice the skills and behaviours covered in this course with.

Standalone study only

You will not be awarded credits for studying this course. It is available for standalone study only and cannot be counted towards an OU qualification.

Short course

Short course code



This is a non-credit bearing course.

Study method

Short course cost

Entry requirements

What you will study

This course expands on core coaching skills which equip coaches to work on a one-to-one basis for the benefit of yourself and others in your organisation. You may already be practicing as a coach or perhaps you feel you have limited opportunities for coaching conversations. Whatever the case, this course will help you to apply your interest and enthusiasm for coaching in the context of business, a voluntary organisation or a social context that matters to you. The emphasis is on realising benefits to people and organisations beyond the usual confines of the quiet coaching room.

As an online course you are free to move around it or browse as you like, however when writing it, there was a flow to the activities devised in successive units, and so some earlier activities underpin those in later ones. There are eight units in the course and as a practice-based course, many of the tools and techniques can be used to help provide structure and a framework to help your coaches clarify their thinking and define their goals. All units have something to offer and so we encourage you to engage with all Sections in them.

Unit 1
Me and my coaching assesses what you have to offer and pitches a vision for your coaching future.

Unit 2
My coaching community explores the organisational culture and opportunities for using your coaching skills in different situations.

Unit 3
Relationships, boundaries and transitions looks at the nature of coaching relationships and how you connect with others in the right way at the right time, recognising the importance of remaining non-judgmental and coaching ethics.

Unit 4
Conversation matters examines the power of effective questions as you develop a bank of questions to support your practice.

Unit 5
Deep listening, gentle challenge enables you to practice active and authentic listening and explores push and pull techniques for your conversations.

Unit 6
Minding our language shows how you can harness power in your coaching conversations to help teams talk, give feedback and how to use storytelling with candour and courage.

Unit 7
Reflecting on and in coaching cultures considers the benefits of coaching as a reflective opportunity and introduces you to the coaching supervision model.

Unit 8
Learning and growing together furthers your understanding of the ‘cycle of reflection’ and provides you with an opportunity to compare your experiences with other practitioners.

You will learn

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • assess and progress your own practice as a coach and advocate for coaching in an organisational setting using feedback to direct your own development
  • explain and demonstrate active practice in core skill areas required for an effective coaching approach: rapport building, listening, summarising, questioning, goal setting, using ‘clean’ language 
  • explore new and emerging practices in coaching using a variety of different media to apply a coaching approach, contract with and engage others in the use of coaching tools
  • record and reflect on your experience of coaching, communicating and working with others 
  • adhere to ethical standards in coaching, paying attention to the ‘being self’ (values, core identity, relationships) as well as the ‘doing self’ (career, roles, skills)
  • create a plan to enhance coaching culture in an organisation. 

Learner support

Expert, confidential learner support is available when you need it from a learning adviser, who will respond to you directly. Other support is available via the course forum, dedicated website and computing helpdesk.

Practice-based assignment

There is a practice-based assignment (PBA) which you complete at the end of the course to demonstrate how you have applied, or are intending to apply, the theories and models you have learnt. Once completed and successfully passed you will receive a digital badge and a course completion certificate which you can download as a record of your learning.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations, which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

Entry requirements

Although there are no formal academic requirements, this course requires some prior knowledge and experience of coaching, whether you have a formal qualification or not. You will also need to have access to people so you can practice the skills and behaviours covered in this course with.

You can register and begin at any time during the life of the course. You can study at your own pace and submit your practice-based assignment at any date before the final submission date for the course.

Please note that depending on when you register, you will have at least six months to study with a specific submission date for your practice-based assignment. Information about your final submission date is available when you register for the course. If you feel six months may not be sufficient time for your study and submission, please contact us to discuss your study options, including current final submission date before you register.

Course length

The course is made up of eight units and will require around 20 hours to complete.

You can begin at any time during the life of the course and study at your own pace.


Start End England fee Register
At anytime before registration end date Jul 2025 - see Entry requirements for more detail £250.00

Registration closes 31/07/2024


Ways to pay

Credit/Debit Card – We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron.

Sponsorship – If this course is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could ask your employer to sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. Your sponsor just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.

The fee information provided here is valid for short courses starting in the 2024/25 academic year. Fees typically increase annually. For further information about the University's fee policy, visit our Fee Rules.

Can you study an Access module for free?

Depending on eligibility and availability of places, you could apply to study your Access module for free.

To qualify, you must:

  1. be resident in England
  2. have a household income of less than £25,000 (or be in receipt of a qualifying benefit)
  3. have not completed one year or more on any full-time undergraduate programme at FHEQ level 4 or above or successfully completed 30 credits or more of OU study within the last 10 years

How to apply to study an Access module for free

Once you've started the registration process, either online or over the phone, we'll contact you about your payment options. This will include instructions on how you can apply to study for free if you are eligible and funded places are still available.

If you're unsure if you meet the criteria to study for free, you can check with one of our friendly advisers on +44 (0)300 303 0069, or you can request a call back.

Not eligible to study for free?

Don't worry! We offer a choice of flexible ways to help spread the cost of your Access module. The most popular options include:

  • monthly payments through OUSBA
  • part-time tuition fee loan (you'll need to be registered on a qualification for this option)

To explore all the options available to you, visit Fees and Funding.

What's included

You’ll have access to a course website, which includes:

  • a unit-by-unit study planner
  • course-specific learning materials and activities
  • the practice-based assignment
  • support from learning advisers.

Computing requirements

You'll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11), or macOS Ventura or higher.

Functionality may be limited on mobile devices. For example, voice recorder activities, which are common in language short courses, may not work on iOS/Apple devices.

Our module websites comply with web standards and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile App will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It's not available on Kindle.

It's also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you'll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.

If you have a disability

The course is delivered online and makes use of a variety of online resources. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet you are advised to contact us about support which can be given to meet your needs.

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying BGXC001 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.