UK ICF Prism Award 2015

The UK ICF Prism Award 2015 was supported by the Institute of Directors

IoD inspiring business logoThe UK’s leading business network to help businesses of all size to access the essential skills, powerful insight and crucial networking opportunities they need to succeed.

In 2015, it was awarded to Swiss Re, a leading wholesale insurance provider with more than 12,000 employees globally to support employee engagement and a healthy organisational climate. The Honourable Mention went to The Big Lottery, a progressive statutory organisation, who embraced coaching to move from a more traditional “command and control” management style towards a new corporate vision of  “People in the Lead”.

2015 UK ICF Prism Award Winners: Swiss Re (London)

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Helen Hambleton, ACC, James Clake, PCC and Laura Marsh at Swiss Re



Established in 1863, The Swiss Re Group is a leading wholesale provider of reinsurance, insurance and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer. Swiss Re employs more than 12,000 employees globally.

In 2012, following a global employee engagement survey, Swiss Re decided that in order to support the organisation in a climate of intense competition for the best talent in the industry, greater investment in the support provided to employees for their careers and development was needed.

Swiss Re was aiming for a healthy organisational climate where employees are:

  • Empowered and encouraged to discuss their careers and development more broadly
  • Aware of and encouraged to take advantage of the tools and resources available to support them
  • Actively supported and enabled to create practical and attainable strategies and development plans to achieve their career goals

One specific business head and his leadership team felt strongly that to achieve their strategic goal of taking the human capital agenda to a higher level, they needed to embed a clear philosophy on careers and set expectations of leaders in taking ownership for this area of staff engagement. In order to do this they felt that they needed to raise the quality of career discussions between employees and their line managers and so, in partnership with The Coaching Space, Swiss Re developed a suite of training initiatives focused on developing line managers to use coaching as a development tool to actively support their employees to create robust career plans enabling employees to take ownership of their careers and fulfil their potential. This commitment was made by the head of the division and his executive team in 2013 by embedding career skills development as a key part of their Human capital objectives. This ensured leaders were held accountable for the career development of their teams. Since the start of the initiative, over 80 Line Managers and 150 Employees have benefitted from the training offered globally.

Business results have shown that since the implementation of the initiative; employee turnover has remained very low with very few employees leaving for career opportunities elsewhere, rotations have increased substantially including an improvement in the quality i.e. targeted and better aligned with individual development goals, cross functional career moves into the division have increased significantly indicating that providing focus on career development, and offering opportunities to expand knowledge and expertise benefits both the individual and the company, and attracts other staff to join.

2015 UK ICF Prism Award Honourable Mention: The Big Lottery (London)

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Lee Whittington & Tom Kavanagh representing The Big Lottery



The Big Lottery Fund (the Fund) is a progressive statutory organisation and proud to be a runner up in the UK ICF Prism award.

Being a Non Departmental Public Body it commands a degree of autonomy that many public sector bodies do not. It uses this autonomy wisely to promote a culture of personal responsibility and effective judgment making across the workforce of around 850 people. In recent years it has embraced coaching in a number of forms to drive its aim of greater people empowerment and a move away from the more traditional command and control type management style. The new corporate vision is  ‘People in the Lead’ which further demonstrates its desire to create an environment and culture of personal ownership through coaching principles and best practice.

Coaching within the Fund is sponsored by the senior management team, represented by two of their members as validated ICF coaches. The Internal Coaching Network has representation across all salary bands and most directorates  which contributes to the successful development of a coaching culture. All internal coaches are validated to ICF standards and are working towards accreditation in order to maintain the integrity and credibility of the Network. The Fund does utilize external coaching support but this is by exception only taking in account  client needs and context.

Coaching is embedded and accepted within the Fund as a positive tool and all staff are entitled to receive coaching to support their development and aspirations. Coaching interventions are growing year on year and the network continues to develop to enable the greatest take up possible.

See here for background information on Prism Awards from around the world. To express an interest or if you have any questions – email the UK ICF on or Download Sample Application: UK ICF Prism Award document for coaches 2016