We provide a range of health coaching and Personalised Care courses, each involving an immersive and tailored training experience to support health and social care professionals to integrate and sustain helpful mindset and behavioural shifts (see the Health Coaching Quality Framework for associated evidence).

The core two-day programme is accredited by the Personalised Care Institute (PCI) and its curriculum is the basis from which all our other courses draw.

See below for an outline of our main courses; more detail on our theoretical approach and curricula can be found at the bottom of the page. For more information, and to enquire about designing bespoke courses for a range of audiences (e.g. GPs, nurses, HCAs, pharmacists, social workers, care navigators, social prescribers/linkworkers, hospital staff) please get in touch.

For an example of the skillsets covered in the courses, please see this short video animation about one of our motivation tools.

Coaching for Health – core two-day programme

The course has been developed and honed over the last ten years and continues to receive excellent feedback. When delivered face-to-face, the two full days are split by two weeks, providing an opportunity for practice in between. When delivered online, the course is split into four half-day sessions, each between one and two weeks apart. In summary, the course covers:

Coaching definitions — comparing coaching with other interventions, exploring its principles and how they can integrate with other consultative methods.

Coaching framework — with demonstration, review and practice, we cover the most popular coaching framework and break down how it can be applied in clinical settings with limited time.

Theoretical model — combining the Communication Ladder and Transactional Analysis to provide a model for balancing the expertise of patient and practitioner. Including understanding of when coaching can be applied and how practitioners can move between more and less directive approaches while still keeping the client responsible.

Questioning — exploring powerful coaching questions, using the technique of ‘non-directive to directive questioning’ to help explore ideas and beliefs while still remaining patient-centred.

Challenging — techniques for challenging health beliefs, goals, behaviour and inaction, while keeping the client in control.

Motivating — using Motivational Interviewing techniques, and a wider exploration of motivation, to look at how patient motivations can be first elicited and then built.

We create a safe environment that fosters open discussion and emphasises integration of the skills into a range of real-life healthcare situations.

“A really excellent course. It was great to have the chance to practice and to reflect and learn from others after trying out skills. The facilitators created a supportive space to enable learning. One of the best courses I have been on.”Occupational Therapist

Coaching for Health – two x half-day programme

For those interested in learning the core elements of the course over a shorter time, we also provide a compressed version. The two half days offer slightly less time for practice and integration, but still cover the fundamentals of applied health coaching and challenging skills. As with the longer course, we recommend separating the sessions by two weeks to enable participants to practice. In summary, the course covers:

Coaching definitions — comparing coaching with other interventions, exploring its principles and how they can integrate with other consultative methods.

Coaching framework — with demonstration, review and practice, we cover TRGOW, the most popular coaching framework, and break down how it can be applied in clinical settings where time is limited.

Theoretical model — emphasising Transactional Analysis with the aim of using a coaching approach in health, and understanding when it can be applied to support clients to take responsibility for their health.

Challenging — techniques for challenging health beliefs, goals, behaviour and inaction, while keeping the patient in control and responsible.

“Nick and Doug deliver some of the most, engaging, professional and motivating training I have even been on. They created a safe atmosphere for discussions and sharing and ensured everyone felt comfortable with the concepts. As session facilitators they were extremely passionate individuals who taught the techniques with an empathy which can be applied in the real world.” – Social Prescriber

Coaching for Health – bitesize session delivery

Recognising the increasing demand on health professionals’ time, we now also provide our two half-day course over four bitesize sessions. These are delivered online, in 90 – 120 minute slots, and are scheduled over lunchtimes to enable participants to integrate the programme into their day-to-day professional lives. This format also allows for further practice between sessions, which helps to embed the skills.

The first three sessions cover the same elements as the two half-days, with the fourth and final session providing an opportunity to bring the curriculum together and discuss any challenges participants have faced so far with applying the skills to their practice.

“This course really was eye opening for me. Brilliant delivery and great content. Thank you for putting it together in a considered way. I wish I learnt this years ago.” – GP

Coaching for Health for Social prescribers and other associated roles

Osca has been delivering Coaching for Health for Social Prescribers, Health and Wellbeing Coaches, Care Coordinators and Navigators, and other associated roles for many years.

The Coaching for Health curriculum meets the requirements of these roles acutely. It supports the development of non-directive coaching skills, which enable professionals to help support clients to develop their own plans, based on their own values, with the motivation to carry them through. In addition, it includes the tools for professionals to share their own expertise and resources in a way that keeps the patient in control.

As above, the course covers the same core components with an emphasis on the holistic nature of care and the importance of creating a safe space to enable a strength and asset-based approach, all aimed at supporting clients to take greater ownership of their health and wellbeing.

“Coaching for Health has been one of the most impactful training courses our staff teams have completed and H4All CIO now consider it to be a mandatory training for all of our staff teams delivering Social prescribing schemes across west London. The delivery of the training sessions is excellent and the content is practical, engaging and relevant. […] From a managers perspective it is one of the few incidents where all the staff were really enthused and energised following the training and keen to apply their learnt skills to the active case management of patients.” – Community Health Manager, H4All

Personalised Care – bite-size sessions

In addition to providing Coaching for Health training, we also offer a series of bitesize sessions aimed at building capacity within an organisation or network in the skills required to support Personalised Care. The training incorporates the key aspects of the Coaching for Health curriculum while integrating them with local system dimensions like Personalised Care and Support Planning and Social Prescribing. This course is delivered in much shorter sessions (between 1.5 and 2 hours each) and often online.

The following are examples of the sessions run, though these can be tailored to the needs of the organisation or network in question:

All Staff Workshop – covering the definition of personalised care and inviting a large group of staff to develop their own vision for personalisation, as well as an exploration of how each person can contribute towards it.

Quality Interactions – aimed specifically at professionals having shorter, one-off conversations with patients, this session focuses on the skills for building openness and willingness on the part of the individual to receive information tailored to their needs.

Quality Conversations – for professionals working with consultation times of ten minutes or so, this course covers the foundation of health coaching and personalised care and support planning and focuses on how to maximise individual buy-in and develop motivation for self-care.

Advanced Conversations – taking the skills covered in Quality Conversations to the next level, focusing specifically on challenging skills and topics such as working with resistance.

Embedding Activities: Refreshers & Masterclasses

The core two-day programme lays the foundations of understanding and practice, and participants often state how useful it can be to receive ongoing training to help embed the skills. We provide the following embedding activities which can be tailored to each context:

Refresher sessions – one-day training to refresh the core principles and frameworks, and provide an opportunity for further practice and reflection based on the participants’ experience of applying the models since the training.

Masterclasses – these one-day sessions take common challenging situations for using coaching skills and provide additional techniques, practice, and reflection. Situations covered include working with resistance, multiple agendas, motivation, limited time and non-compliance.

Embedding activities

In addition to the above refreshers and masterclasses, we run shorter webinars and action learning sets to enable participants to reflect on their experience and co-create solutions.

Bespoke & Tasters

In addition to our general courses, we also develop and run bespoke and taster courses based on specific team / practitioner needs and desired outcomes. Please get in touch for more information.

Train the Trainer
We provide Train the Trainer programmes to upskill health professionals to join our Coaching for Health trainers network and deliver the courses to colleagues in their local areas. This includes full Trainer manuals and pre-course materials, along with the Train the Trainer course and post-course supervision and support. This supervision involves Coaching for Health Lead Trainers, who will co-deliver the programme with new Trainers to improve their confidence and ensure the quality of the training. Do get in touch for more details.

Theoretical Approach

Coaching is a non-directive approach which sees the client as an expert. This is a vital aspect of the shared decision making dynamic of health coaching, but the practitioner must be able to integrate their own approach into the conversation. This adds a vital layer of complexity, which a number of health coaching programmes may not sufficiently address.

The skilled ‘health coach’ must be able to move between the roles of facilitator and expert, multiple times, in one conversation – recognising the patients’ varying needs and contexts, while maintaining a consistent approach. This isn’t easy. However, the potential benefits are significant, not only for client satisfaction and health outcomes, but also for the experience of the health professional.

To address this need, our approach integrates two theoretical models – the Communication Ladder and Transactional Analysis. We’ve been developing this approach in our delivery of health coaching over the last ten years. Transactional Analysis (from Eric Berne), a psychodynamic model, describes how responsibility is distributed in relationships. The Communication Ladder describes the spectrum of directive to non-directive communication approaches (from ‘Tell’ to ‘Empower’), and their impact on the patient and conversation.


Transactional Analysis model, Communication Ladder

On their own, each model is useful but partial; when applied together, they provide an approach for fostering responsibility in an ‘adult-adult’ dynamic where there can be a meeting of two experts who share decision making.

Without this, the risk is that participants of many health coaching programmes find themselves inspired but unable to apply the techniques with clients they see on a daily basis, too often resorting back to more traditional consultation practices and waiting for that elusive patient who’s ready for coaching.

However, with a model for understanding how to combine one’s own expertise with a client’s, and skills for both the directive and non-directive sides of the communication spectrum, one can begin to apply coaching with a much wider range of patient, incrementally, and where appropriate, moving them on the journey to ownership, self-care and self-management.

Curriculum details

Our Coaching for Health and associated Personalised Care curricula cover a range of areas and are based on the EMCC (European Mentoring & Coaching Council) competency framework:

  • Understanding self-management and ‘making the case’ – we use a mixture of evidence (e.g. around adherence), theoretical models around behaviour change, and practical experience to make the case around the importance of self-management. We also utilise behaviour change models (Prochaska and others) to demonstrate the likely stages and how health coaching can add value at each one.
  • Quality of patient interaction – the training breaks down the stages of the conversation and uses coaching principles (non-judgement, motivation, resourcefulness, holistic, and recipient-led) to illustrate the mindset necessary to foster quality interactions and how to create client safety and motivation.
  • Core coaching skills and model – the main model used is TGROW and it is adapted specifically for a health conversation, identifying how it can be used in 10 minutes, 5 minutes and 2 minutes – vital for real life health and care settings. Coaching skills are discussed and built in a series of interactive exercises, all based around practising TGROW (for familiarity) and around complementary questioning, challenging and motivational tools.
  • Non-directive & directive skills – coaching is principally a non-directive communication mode which has real value in health settings. However, health professionals occasionally need to be directive – to challenge patient beliefs and behaviours, and to provide advice. This course covers skills at both sides of the Communication Ladder.
  • ‘Real life’ examples – participants are invited to reflect on the skills and models in the context of real-life examples at each stage of the training. Practice is done based on ‘real-play’ not role-play. Participants practice the skills in between training days and bring back real-life examples.
  • Practice and feedback – participants practice coaching skills with each other, with observation from peers and tutors. Two trainers are on hand during each course day to ensure there is a sufficient level of attention across the whole group.
  • Action planning – at the end of each day, participants are coached (and coach peers) on how they can use these skills in real life situations, with clients they are due to see. The post-course evaluation includes the opportunity to record the associated plans (in TGROW format) and the follow-up questionnaire provides a space to reflect back on specific situations in which the skills have had an impact.