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Intended Learning Outcome:

To structure thought processes when faced with study/career problems.


This framework comes from Sarah Ellis and Helen Tupper in their book You Coach You (released January 2022, It is a coaching tool to help people consider and work through their career challenges. It can be adapted to help students to coach themselves through study and career choices and can be

applied to problems in the classroom as learning opportunities using Problem Based Learning (for example, in Event

Management, you set the class a scenario concerning an event problem and ask students to try and come up with

possible solutions using the framework).

COACH is an acronym for the five stages to process through when trying to make decisions:

C = Clarity – Seeking clarity and understanding of the problem to be addressed by asking and answering questions such as why is this a problem? what are the challenges? which is the most pressing challenge? what is needed to move forwards?

O = Options – Explore all the options available by asking and answering what could I do? how else could I address it? how might others approach this?


A = Action – Identify actions by asking and answering which action could make the most difference? which one seems the most useful option?

C = Confidence – Build confidence by asking and answering how confident you feel about taking the possible actions (rate them on a scale of 1 – 10)? what might stop this action from happening? what could you feel most confident about taking action?


H = Help – Look for ways to seek help by asking and answering what help do I need? Who could help me? Where and how do I find this help?


Set a problem scenario (such as how to record a five-piece band in a small home studio).

Ask students to work in pairs or small groups to come up with a preferred solution using the COACH framework as a guide.

Then ask students to consider a study or career choice issue of their own and apply the framework to their own situation.


Use the Problem Based Learning Guide to help set up the scenario (see below).


Large Group Teaching:

This is suitable for large group teaching (more than one group could work on the same scenario, and the solutions can be compared in a plenary).

Online Teaching:


Students show confidence is exploring and solving problems

Next Steps:

This is a useful tool to help around assessment period and towards the end of a course when career choices need to be made.

Links to other activities:

Further reading:


This framework comes from Sarah Ellis and Helen Tupper in their book You Coach You (released January 2022,, adapted with permission from Sarah and Helen.


  • Amazing If is the website of Sarah Ellis and Helen Tupper and contains many other coaching tips:
  • Problem Based Learning Guide:
  • Image to use on slides etc.:

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