Evaluation of coaching in police performance improvement


One of the research networks in the EMPAC partnership addresses ‘organisational transformation’, undertaking research to develop evidence of effectiveness of tools and approaches used to understand and improve policing organisations. Promotion of a coaching culture within policing is one key area of transformational change.

More widely, the investment in coaching in policing has been linked to objectives of increasing leadership skills, trust amongst the workforce, and increased motivation and morale. However, the CIPD (Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development) has concluded that despite coaching being widespread many coaching interventions were poorly evaluated. Criticisms include evaluation not being grounded in a capability perspective in terms of its links to the organisation and people plan.

This work will evaluate the impact which promoting a coaching culture has on an individual; team; and organisational performance level. This work seeks to inform decisions around the implementation and design of coaching programmes, as well as providing a proof of concept for the development of an evaluation toolkit for other policing organisations seeking to effectively evaluate their coaching programmes. This work will be of particular interest to those seeking evidence regarding the impact of coaching at an individual and team level; as well as those sponsoring coaching related initiatives within policing organisations promoting a coaching culture.

Research questions

This research aims include:

  • Identify the impact of coaching on an individual and team level
  • As part of the evaluation develop measures to track the impact of coaching on organisational performance
  • Identify how to track the journey of direction towards achieving a coaching culture


The delivery of coaching training to police officers, police staff and fire service management in Northamptonshire is being empirically assessed using both self-assessment and bespoke 360 peer-assessment feedback tools.

Existing management information including appraisal and absence data; as well as wider staff consultation data will be used. Assessment will be linked to measures developed from the Forces’ Organisation Development Strategy providing a mechanism by which to measure the wider organisational impact.

The practical utility of tools such as Return on Investment (ROI) and Return on Expectation (ROE) will also be explored.

Timeline of activity

  • June 2016– EMPAC Coaching Evaluation Interim findings event
  • November 2016 – January 2016 – further data collection
  • February 2016 – data analysis
  • March 2016 – final report and seminar sharing the findings