RAF Cosford No 1 Radio School – the coaching and mentoring journey
No 1 Radio School, part of the Defence School of Communication and Information Systems, trains ICT Technicians to meet the RAF’s requirement for a huge range of complex communication, computers, information networks, sensors and detection systems in order to successfully undertake air operations across the globe.
The School’s Coaching and Mentoring work has grown out of its ongoing commitment to supporting and developing staff within the School. The initial Coaching and Mentoring programme was introduced into the organisation in 2013.
Coaching Lead, Dave Elkes, runs a four day Coaching and Mentoring course for staff, with the option for staff to be supported to gain an ILM level 5 Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring.
Post-course student questionnaires have shown consistent and widespread increases in self-awareness, feelings of work accomplishment and commitment, change management, stress management, communication skills, time management, listening skills, job satisfaction and management effectiveness.
Quotes from former Coaching clients:
‘I strongly feel that coaching has helped in my development, where I still use the coaching tools given to clearly prioritise and organise my personal and professional goals. In addition, as an Instructor, I feel that this coaching has/is having a positive impact on students.’
‘I cannot recommend coaching enough. It is a really helpful aid to organising thoughts and actions into manageable chunks. I knew what I needed to do when I started coaching – but knowing where to start with what seemed like an insurmountable task was where I struggled. Talking through issues and seeing things from a different perspective was eye opening and motivational.’
Interest in using coaching and mentoring to support all staff across the School grew, and the Coaching and Mentoring programme has now broadened with development opportunities being taken up by numerous external military organisations. The School currently runs its coaching and mentoring course 5 times a year, for staff interested in developing their skills.
Out of this work the School has recently established a Coaching Bank – a group of ILM level 5/7 qualified coaches – who deliver an internal coaching service for staff across the School; providing a reflective and supportive learning opportunity to assist individuals in their work roles and their professional development.
The School continues to expand its coaching work, developing its expertise in supervision practice and working in an advisory capacity with other areas of the MOD keen to establish similar successful good practice.
Further information – Dave Elkes, Coaching Lead Dave.Elkes298@mod.uk