Executive coaching

Course overview

For students wanting to learn foundational coaching skills as conveniently as possible, the Open University at RU offers a training program called CEFTP (Core Essentials Fast Track Program). The course is organized in cooperation with CoachU, an established training company. 

The CEFTP course introduces students to the core coaching competencies and skills required to effectively coach others. The program is accredited by the ICF and meets the academic requirements for the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) certification through the International Coach Federation (ICF).

The program offers beginner and intermediate courses to develop core coaching competency. In addition, the knowledge in developing an internal or external coaching practice or business, and personal development for sustainable success in coaching. These skills are essential for coaches providing individual and/or organizational coaching services. The program is enhanced with practice and project labs.

All RU coaching students will have free access for six months after the in-person training to all virtual-classroom courses offered in the Core Essentials Program (CEP). The course content and textbooks are identical to the in-person class offered at RU. CEP is attractive to those coaching students around the world who cannot attend an in-person program or who want to spread the training out over a longer period. 

Interview with Cheryl Smith, MCC Executive coach, instructor and mentor.

After completing the program, participants qualify to upgrade into other advanced coaching programs (Coach U's Advanced Coaching Program or Corporate Coach U's Advanced Corporate Coaching Program to learn advanced personal, business, executive and corporate coaching skills.

Useful material:

ICF Code of Ethics
Advisory board for Executive Coaching in the Open University

Reviews from participants:

 "Very professional and one of the best programs I have ever taken"
 "Unbelievable group, energy, atmosphere and trust“
 "Very diverse and interesting"
 "Great instructors and methodology"
 "Very diverse teaching methods and a lot of information that were delivered in a fun, yet professional way"
 "The Executive Coaching program at RU is fantastic. It exceeded my expectations"


The program starts September 23rd 2020 and ends April 30th 2021.

Time: See program syllabus

Length: 77 hrs.

Location: Open University, Reykjavik University, Menntavegur 1, 101 Reykjavik.



Cheryl Smith

MCC Executive coach, instructor and mentor, MA in Leadership and training and president of Leadscape Learning

Cheryl Smith has worked with leadership teams in more than 15 countries on five continents. She has been the senior facilitator of the popular Reykjavik University Executive Coaching program for over five years. Cheryl's considerable talent, energy and infectious enthusiasm ensure that her programs, whether at the individual or organizational level, have immediate and lasting impact. And she consistently receives acclaim from participants and stakeholders alike. After gaining marketing and management experience with IBM, Cheryl incorporated this expertise into her own leadership programs, and as a result brings a deep understanding of organizations into her training programs. Cheryl has a Masters Degree in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University in Victoria, Canada, where she is also an Associate Faculty member. She was one of the first coaches recognized as a Master Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation. Cheryl is a former Vice-President of Corporate Coach U. Cheryl recently co-founded Leadscape Learning Inc. to create training programs that leaders can use in their day-to-day conversations to develop leaders.


Hilary Oliver

PCC Executive coach, instructor and mentor

Hilary Oliver brings together her experience in business with a passion to inspire others to be their very best. She is a seasoned professional coach and all who meet her appreciate her warm and inviting personality. Since 2012 she has co-lead the popular coach training programme at Reykjavik University. Hilary's own coaching practice includes clients from around the world who work at all levels of leadership. Over time she has attracted high-potential young leaders who want to develop their management skills to prepare for more advanced roles in their organisations. After a successful career in the corporate world including many years at IBM and a variety of smaller and start-up businesses, Hilary brings an understanding of the demands of the work place to her coaching conversations. She believes that coaching is a core skill for all managers to master today regardless of their job title and is devoting herself to imparting those skills to others. Drawing on her experience and qualifications as a coach, Hilary mentors aspiring coaches to prepare for their own professional credential. She also trains more senior coaches in art of mentoring. Hilary was one of the first to earn her certificate as a coach supervisor and trains others in coach supervision. Hilary is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and is currently serving as a director on the ICF global board. She has been an inspiration and sponsor to the Icelandic coaching community in re- establishing the ICF Iceland Chapter.


Price: 790,000 ISK.

Included in the price: textbooks ( Essential Coaching Tools, Personal and Corporate Coach Training, Personal Development ), quality teaching from CCUI, PCDI self, articles, workbooks, right to ACC certification, access to blocked sites CCUI, registration of international coaching sites and catering.

Applicants holding a bachelor degree will be given priority. Students will be selected on academic achievement at secondary and tertiary level. Other qualifications will be considered, and are examined separately, as well as other factors, such as management experience and references.



Sandra Kr. Ólafsdóttir

Project manager

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