‘BASIC’ Coaching Course

This course is aimed particularly at senior and middle leaders who are interested in gaining the BASIC coaching certificate and going on to develop a coaching culture at their schools.

Coaching is a powerful tool which can transform your professional conversations, increase motivation and productivity in your team and foster a culture of openness, collaboration and high performance.

The BASIC method of coaching is a powerful way to structure coaching conversations and to develop the clarity you need to have coaching conversations with confidence. The BASIC method was developed by Andy Buck author of Leadership Matters and is the preferred method of coaching for some of the latest National Professional Qualification providers.

Training objectives

  • To understand and practice using a coaching approach 
  • To understand the continuum between coaching and mentoring
  • To gain an understanding of different models used to help structure personal and professional development.


  1. To gain a ‘BASIC’ coaching certificate 
  2. To improve the quality of coaching conversations with colleagues
  3. To understand how to approach building a coaching culture in your school


  • The course is delivered in person over two terms of the academic year 
  • Five face-to-face sessions (at Norwich Research Park) including a practice coaching conversation
  • Gap tasks including online video resources and a reflective journal exercise
  • On submission of the reflective journal and a video of a coaching conversation, delegates will be awarded a BASIC Coaching certificate (quality assured by the central BASIC coaching team).

Session 1

Introduction and BASIC steps and coaching conversation 1

In this session introduces the method and gives an overview of the methods, we look at the coaching continuum and the difference between mentoring and coaching. This session also explains the four BASIC Steps; Background, Aims, Strategy, Implementation and Commitment. 

The coaching conversation is an opportunity to start asking the seven questions.

Session 2

Questioning Masterclass and coaching conversation 2

Session two is a questioning masterclass, exploring in more depth the seven powerful questions and looking at the theory underpinning them. Looking more closely at open and closed questions and useful questioning techniques.

The coaching conversation aims to work through each of the BASIC steps.

Session 3

BASIC Qualities and coaching conversation 3

This session explains the four key basic qualities that are needed for successful coaching conversations, trust, curiosity, empathy and positivity. We also introduce some useful visual coaching tools.

The coaching conversation aims to demonstrate these  qualities.

Session 4

BASIC Habits and coaching conversation 4

This session explains the four key habits that are needed for successful coaching conversation; Ask first, Frame well, Listen Hard and Play back.

The coaching conversation aims to demonstrate, recognise and practice these habits.

Session 5

BASIC Feedback and coaching conversation 5

This session explains the importance of Feedback in coaching and how to make it as effective as possible making connections and feeding forward. We also look at how the skills can be used to improve professional conversations across our organisations and how you could create a coaching culture in school.

The coaching conversation aims to practice giving feedback in this way, working in triads.

How do I take part?

Autumn 24/25 Cohort Dates:

Summer 23/24 Cohort Dates:

Sonia Innes

Sonia Innes, VNET’s Education Director, is an experienced education consultant, adviser and ex-school leader. In all elements of her current and previous roles she has seen the value of coaching as a tool to bring about improvement. Sonia is a qualified trainer for the BASIC method of coaching, trained by Andy Buck. She looks forward to sharing her experience and expertise with candidates on the course.

Nania Poulson

Nania is VNET's Operations Director, she has a commercial background and 10 years experience of Governing in a Norwich school/federation. Her interest in the coaching approach led her to complete the Basic Coaching Qualification in 2020 to formalise her skills. Nania's recent coaching experience has been in working with non-teaching, school staff. Nania is also a qualified trainer for the BASIC method of coaching, trained by Andy Buck.