Updated: Jun 11
In this article, I aim to share with you an outline of coaching supervision, the key elements of coaching supervision and the benefits of engaging in regular supervision with a qualified supervisor.
In addition, I have included as one of the benefits of coaching supervision the importance of coaching supervision in order to obtain chartered status as a Coaching Psychologist, a new division created by the British Psychological Society (BPS).
What is Coaching Supervision?
Coaching Supervision has been defined as ‘a formal process of professional support, which ensures continuing development of the coach and the effectiveness of his/her coaching practice through interactive reflection interpretative evaluation, and the sharing of expertise,’ (Bachkirova, Stevens & Willis (2005).
Coaching supervision is closely aligned with clinical supervision. The development of supervision models was first proposed in a clinical setting for both psychotherapy and counselling approaches.
Clinical supervision for therapists, counsellors, and psychologists is not only a mandatory component of their practice and a requirement of their ethical body but most employers expect this as part of their work as a practitioner.
Coaching supervision has evolved to take a similar viewpoint, highlighting the importance of regular supervision with a qualified supervisor to support the supervisee navigate their practice and personal development (Standards Australia Guidelines for Coaching in Organisations, 2010).
The Key Elements of Coaching Supervision
According to Hawkins and Smith (2006), coaching supervision has three main functions, these include:
(1) Developmental. This includes supporting the supervisee to develop the skills for progression while understanding the capacities of the supervisee.
(2) Resourcing. This includes a focus on the emotions and well-being of the supervisee to ensure that they can manage and hold the emotions of the client and discuss referrals where appropriate.
(3) Qualitative. The supervisor may oversee the supervisee's work to ensure as a coach they are working in an ethical way to best support their clients.
The Benefits of Coaching Supervision
Below, I have outlined some of the benefits of coaching supervision and what you can expect from attending coaching supervision.
Benefits of coaching supervision #1: Client Cases
The benefit of coaching supervision includes a safe and confidential space to discuss and explore client cases. In the majority of cases, the coaching supervisor will have worked in the field longer and be more qualified than the supervisee. This allows the supervisor to support and pass on their experiences and knowledge regarding casework.
For a supervisee, this can be one of the most important aspects of supervision, especially for those coaches newly qualified and/or working alone in private practice settings.
‘Supervision offers coaches an opportunity to reflect on their practice, developing themselves in order to be in service to their client[s],’ (Hullinger et al., 2020).
Benefits of coaching supervision #2: Continued professional development
Continued professional development (CPD) is essential for all practitioner roles. CPD is used to help individuals develop and build their confidence in integrating new approaches and enhancing practical skills.
One of the benefits of coaching supervision in relation to CPD is working with a supervisor who can support your development as a coach while offering their knowledge and experience in CPD.
The book by Nieuwerburgh and Love focuses on the coach’s professional development while also highlighting the importance of coaching supervision for developing their practice.
Benefits of coaching supervision #3: Well-being of the Coach
This ensures that any concerns are explored in this space and the next steps are discussed. This not only protects the supervisee but also the clients of the supervisee.
As a supervisor, you offer a layer of accountability not only to your supervisee but to the clients they work with.
Benefits of coaching supervision #4: Building your practice
An additional benefit of coaching supervision includes an opportunity to explore building your practice. This benefit overlaps with CPD but is slightly different in the approach.
For supervisees looking to expand their coaching practice, they may look to their supervisor to help explore opportunities to progress in a specific field of coaching, e.g. health coaching.
Benefits of coaching supervision #5: Becoming a Chartered Coaching Psychologist
A final benefit for eligible coaches is to receive support and guidance towards the status of a chartered coaching psychologist. To gain this status a requirement includes regular supervision with a chartered coaching psychologist who is also required to sign off the supervision.
The achievement of becoming a chartered coaching psychologist not only shows clients your development as a coach but you can also become a member of the BPS Division of Chartered Coaching Psychologists which offers numerous benefits.
From this article, you should have a clear outline of the definition and the key elements of coaching supervision.
In addition, you will be familiar with some of the benefits of coaching supervision and how you can enhance your practice as an ethical coach.
Hullinger, A. M., DiGirolamo, J. A., & Tkach, J. T. (2020). A professional development study: The lifelong journeys of coaches. International Coaching Psychology Review, 15(1), 7-18.