Making the most of Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

by Cheryl Winter, Genius Within Director and Coach


There are a number of things which are certain in life, and change is one of those things. At Genius Within we value our Associates and support them to work with the ever changing needs of our clients by offering CPD events.

Our business is based on the reputation of our coaches and we know CPD is an important part of any coach’s profession.  We offer 4 complimentary events each year where coaches can meet, explore new skills and share their own coaching experiences.  From Visual Spelling to Clean Language we offer CPD events free as we value the need to grow as a coach.

Our coaches are nationwide from Inverness to Truro, from Hull to Liverpool.  It can be challenging to bring so many together for CPD.  In 2015 one of our Supervisors Tamsin Hartley, has helped ups build a unique CPD forum – Coffee Table Seminars.

Coffee Table seminars are Skype group coaching sessions.  Groups of coaches are brought together by a host on a Skype discussion for around an hour and a half.  The coaches work on topics taken from our ILM Endorsement in Neuro Difference – from memory to communication to numeracy.

A host facilitates the group for around 30 minutes exploring theory and current knowledge of the topic.  Next the coaches break off into mini groups on Skype and coach each other or share further ideas around the topic.  Finally the host regroups all coaches and the sessions are concluded with a sharing of learning and action steps to put their learning into place.

This virtual coffee table is conducted in such a way that the coaches often comment they feel like it has been ‘coffee and coaching’ (often accompanied by a cup of coffee!)

This form of CPD take our coaches away from their environment of work paper and calendars – mobile phones are turned off and the focus is on reflective learning from the comfort of your own home!

CPD in this forum allows flexibility as we offer evening, first thing in the morning or mid afternoon options – varying the time to allow all coaches the opportunity to build the event into their week or day.

Coffee table seminars are 3 times more cost effective to deliver than face to face training for Genius Within which means we now offer them monthly.

With no travel time, no petrol costs, no child care arrangements to make and no long journeys home, this makes sessions highly cost effective for our coaches too.

What do the coaches say that they get out of these events?

  • “It was useful being coached around memory myself to feel what it is like for the client.”
  • “Co-coaching is valuable and we, as coaches, could set up sessions ourselves”
  • “I now understand HOW I don’t do time management well.   As a result of this I will aim to explore sense preferences with clients when TM is working well and when TM is not working well.”
  • “What a great way to spend my Monday evening, coffee, great company, and brilliant learning about organisation.”

Our coaches have taken to this CPD with such enthusiasm that Tamsin has recently trained a number of our coaches to host the Coffee Table Seminars, which means even more of our coaches can participate in CPD and manage the ever changing needs of their clients.

We continue to offer face to face training days as we know the value of networking yet Coffee Table Seminars have been a huge hit with all our associates.

And what about the CPD needs of our clients?  Could Coffee Table Seminars for our clients be the way forward?  Watch this space.



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