The AC role has emerged within the Education and Training Sector (ETS), over the last 30 years, originally as a result of the implementation of vocational (competence-based) qualifications (notably NVQs) and formalised work-based education and training. The AC is a dual professional, using their up-to-date professional knowledge and skills to support vocational and professional development across the formal ETS as well as in any employer setting, and at any level. They may, for example, coach and assess apprentices, trainees or new recruits (ranging from young entrants, to new CEOs) in the workplace, commensurate with their own level of experience and qualifications, as required by their employer or their sector. ACs coach and assess vocational learners, usually on a one-to-one basis, in a range of learning environments. Coaching skills involve complex communication techniques to actively listen, provide feedback and to engage learners in planning their individualised learning programme. These skills are also integral to assessing learners’ competence in-relation to work-related/industry standards and life skills.
ACs work co-operatively with other ETS or professionals (such as teachers, human resource professionals and mentors/supervisors in the workplace) in supporting the learner’s development of vocational competence and the wider skills that relate to employability and professionalism.