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Collaboration in coaching: Debbie Carter reports on the OCM's Annual Conference.

Earlier this summer the OCM conference gathered together a large group of coaching and mentoring professionals in Oxford to promote good practice and enhance their continuing professional development.

This was the tenth conference gathering and marked the first for the newly-created OCM--the amalgamation of the Oxford School of Coaching and Mentoring with its sister companies the Oxford Total Learning Group and the Oxford Coach-Mentoring Channel.

The newly created organisation is chaired by coaching champion Eric Parsloe, who has now handed over the day-to-day running of OCM to his son Ed, who is now its business director.

Ed Parsloe said: "Eighteen months ago we implemented a new business plan and succession strategy that focused on re-positioning ourselves within the market and ensuring the successful handover of the day-today running of the business from Eric to me.

"The re-branding of the company was one of my top priorities, as was putting in place new management structures like the School Executive and the Best Practice Review Group, to assist me with the day-to-day running of the business.

"These changes are now in place and we have been encouraged with the market's response thus far."

Eric Parsloe has long been a major figure in the coaching arena and, as well as heading up a very successful organisation delivering coaching solutions to both individuals and organisations, he has led the way in building standards and fostering collaboration between a variety of coaching and mentoring organisations in order to raise the stature of the profession.

The conference drew together representatives from OCM, the Association for Coaching, the International Coaching Federation and the European Mentoring and Coaching Council. The EMCC held a workshop for its UK Standards Committee on the first afternoon.

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The UK Standards Committee leads the way in developing EMCC products and services for members and these are now being taken up in the rest of Europe.

A major EMCC initiative is the European Quality Award (EQA), which began with a major piece of research into the competences of coach/mentoring and has been developed into an independent award for providers of coach/mentoring training. This recognises different levels of training and experience and uses an equivalence framework so that programmes can be benchmarked against others across Europe. This year Performance Consultants, the BBC and the OCM received the award from the UK Standards Committee.

The conference was held over two days, included a variety of practitioner-focused sessions and closed with a short presentation by MP Ann Widdecombe.

She admitted to being a coaching heretic and said that most people with any common sense could solve their own problems. She did, however, concede that there were a few exceptions, like people with learning disabilities and social problems who might benefit from the support of a coach or mentor.

To read more about the OCM conference and Ann Widdecombe's closing address visit the TJ website at http://www.trainingjournal. com/news/1568.html
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Title Annotation:NEWS FEATURE
Author:Carter, Debbie
Publication:Training Journal
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 1, 2008
Words:489
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