Barclays Internal Audit

Barclays Internal Audit (BIA), part of Barclays Bank, underwent a transformation of their approach to learning when they realised in 2010 they were spending around half of their L&D budget on external coaches. They needed to harness the technical excellence of their own colleagues and enhance the skills of their line manager population through a coaching and mentoring mentality.

The L&D team began by partnering with the ILM to build an in-house coaching accreditation programme which would provide knowledge and skills to a select group of internal audit managers to form an internal coaching faculty. Using qualified members of the L&D team to role model good coaching experiences, an initial cost saving of £35k was achieved over the first 2 years.

"Enhancing the skills of their line manager population through a coaching and mentoring mentality"

A sustainable model for delivery was established by upskilling additional team members over time, and evolving course content in line with feedback. Additional infrastructure was introduced to support governance, and an evaluation model was built to assess ROI. As coaches are primarily Internal Auditors, the approach needed to engage and inspire colleagues to volunteer their time and energy.

The proposition was further advanced by introducing a function-wide reverse-mentoring programme to promote their focus on diversity and inclusion and ensure coaching and mentoring was open to all colleagues. Senior colleagues also benefited from mentoring from more junior colleagues.

Since programme launch in 2011, over 150 coaches have been trained, with 85 currently part of the faculty. Since the launch of reverse mentoring in 2017, 60 senior leaders are active mentees of younger colleagues.

Evaluation of feedback collated in 2017 suggested 78% of coachees would recommend their coach and 85% would recommend the BIA internal coaching programme to colleagues. The coaching culture established in BIA is contagious, with benefits seen across the wider Barclays Group and more central functions replicating their model.