Original Research

Evaluating a training programme for executive coaches

Karolyne Beets, Suki Goodman
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 10, No 3 | a425 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v10i3.425 | © 2012 Karolyne Beets, Suki Goodman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 October 2011 | Published: 13 July 2012

About the author(s)

Karolyne Beets, Section of Organisational Psychology, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Suki Goodman, Section of Organisational Psychology, University of Cape Town, South Africa


Orientation: The evaluation of training programmes provides methodological and logistical challenges to evaluators and human resource (HR) managers. The training of executive coaches is no exception in this regard.

Research purpose: The study aimed to investigate one particular aspect of the results of an executive coach training programme, and the extent to which knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired during the programme were applied in practical settings.

Motivation for the study: Too little is known in South Africa about the effectiveness of training programmes, including executive coach training programmes. There is a need to demonstrate methodological approaches that would provide valid and reliable data.

Research design, approach and method: The success case method (SCM) was used to guide the study, consisting first of a survey of 80 participants in the training programme, followed by eight interviews to compare successful with less successful cases of skills transfer.

Main findings: All six successful coaches were applying the proximal outcomes from the training with good results, with several valuable consequences resulting from the training. Barriers to successful implementation included personal circumstances and unfulfilled expectations of the programme content.

Practical/managerial implications: Aspects of the training programme that could be improved included: the buddy selection system, more individualised feedback about self-development, closer supervision, and more support from programme managers.

Contribution/value-add: This evaluation contributes to the evaluation literature by providing a documented exploration of a systematic application of the SCM. It also contributes to the coach training literature by providing a systematic evaluation of a coach training intervention in South Africa.


training evaluation; executive coaching; success case method; programme theory


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