Coaching & Mentoring

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Working at Coventry University

Coventry University is a diverse and exciting place to work and we share the enthusiasm of our staff and students to be the best at whatever they choose to do. As one of the City’s biggest employers, we offer some impressive benefits for our staff and are committed to delivering the very best opportunities. We have a comprehensive training, personal and professional development programme that provides our employees with the skills to enhance their performance in the workplace and grow in their careers. There are pension schemes, a generous holiday allowance and flexible working opportunities as well as lifestyle benefits including childcare vouchers, discounted membership to the £4 million sports and recreation centre and schemes such as Cycle to Work and the CU Car Share initiative.

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Coaching & Mentoring

Coaching & Mentoring

Coaching and Mentoring are developmental activities within relationships based on trust and established through conversations. These activities aim to develop the personal or professional competencies of the client. The focus is on the individual or the team and the resources and solutions they generate for their specific personal or professional context.

Sir John Whitmore, Coaching for Performance

In our photograph above, who do you think is coaching or mentoring whom? In this instance, it is the female who is coaching the male. At Coventry University coaching and mentoring are not reliant upon seniority, age, gender, grade, or job role. Your coach or mentor will come from our Coventry University Coaching and Mentoring Academy which aims to develop trained professionals who represent our organisation’s diversity.

At Coventry University we view coaching and mentoring as supportive, developmental processes. Mentoring is typically a longer-term relationship where the mentor is more skilled or knowledgeable in a specific area than the mentee and focuses on a transfer of skill or knowledge. A coaches role differs from that of a mentor, in that the coach will partner with the coachee to facilitate learning by using professional techniques. Both coaching and mentoring should support the achievement of the coachee and mentees goals. 

Coaching and mentoring are linked to our learning ethos and form an essential part of our leadership development at Coventry University.

Coaching and mentoring can help you with:

  • support with a new role or promotion
  • support a change programme
  • identifying the next step in your career and how to take it
  • building confidence
  • providing a neutral ‘sounding-board’ and offer constructive challenge
  • developing a new skill – e.g. new equipment/tasks
  • managing and adjusting to changes to systems and processes
  • support with special projects
  • improving interpersonal skills
  • succession planning

Coaching and mentoring are not

  • Methods where all solutions are provided by the coach or mentor;
  • Performance management
  • Directive;
  • A way of correcting behaviours or actions;
  • A replacement for counselling;
  • Unstructured.  Good quality coaching and mentoring conversations should be structured around the goals you would like to achieve. 

"Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them."

Sir John Whitmore, Coaching for Performance

"Mentoring is a developmental process in which a more experienced person shares their knowledge with a less experienced person in a specific context through a series of conversations. Occasionally mentoring can also be a learning partnership between peers."

European Mentoring and Coaching Council

What to expect from coaching and mentoring

Our coaches and mentors are committed to supporting the development of our staff.  Academy coaches and mentors are required to complete a coaching and mentoring qualification and receive regular supervision. 

The Academy adheres to the European Mentoring and Coaching Council’s global code of ethics.

Identifying your coach or mentor

Once you have completed a coaching or mentoring request form, Organisation Development will review this and match you with a potential coach or mentor.  You’ll be invited to attend a 'chemistry conversation' with that individual. A ‘chemistry conversation’ is an informal conversation between the coach and coachee, before the first official coaching session. The conversation allows both parties to begin to build rapport and to test the interpersonal dynamics, which a view to deciding whether they will work together.  The chemistry meeting is a vital part of the coaching process as you’ll need to have a rapport with your coach or mentor in order for the coaching to be successful. 


The most important element of entering into a coaching and mentoring agreement is commitment.  The coach/mentor and the coachee/mentee must place a high degree of importance upon their sessions.  Sessions should be booked in advance and neither person should cancel unless it is unavoidable.  Should a session need to be rescheduled this must be done with as much notice as possible. 

Format of coaching/mentoring sessions

All coachees/mentee will be offered a maximum of six coaching or mentoring sessions, each lasting up to 75 minutes.  The ‘chemistry conversation’ is in addition to the six sessions.  The first session is referred to as the ‘contracting’ meeting.  Continue as above.

The first session is referred to as the ‘contracting’ session. Your coach/mentor will clarify with you the aim of coaching/mentoring, discuss and agree the internal coaching/mentoring contract, and share mutual expectations and goals. You will agree a Personal Learning Plan (PLP), which will be reviewed frequently as you attend the coaching/mentoring sessions.

Requesting a coach or mentor

Coventry University Group are piloting the provision of a Coaching and Mentoring Academy for staff.  The Academy will allow staff to receive coaching or mentoring from a trained coach/mentor from across the Coventry University Group.  The Academy supports the achievement of the university’s corporate plan and values. 

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for coaching and mentoring all staff must have passed their probation period and have a clear, defined need that is supported by their manager. 

The Coaching and Mentoring Academy includes coaches and mentors who have a particular interest in gender, ethnicity and leadership development who are keen to support talent across the group. If you feel a coach or mentor with this background or expertise would be helpful, please include this with your application.

These coaches from our specialist university groups aim to support talent across the university group and help our staff reach their potential.

How do I request a coach or a mentor?

You will need to complete a form which will be reviewed by Organisation Development in order to identify a suitable coach.   You can find a link to the form on the Staff Portal (log in required).

How can I find out more?

If you’d like to talk through whether coaching or mentoring is right for you, please get in touch at

For more information or to request a coach or mentor, please visit the Staff Portal page.

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Visit the staff portal page

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