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Chartered Coaching Psychologist | Everything You Need To Know

Updated: Jun 11, 2023

An image of chartered coaching psychologist.

In this article, I aim to share with you an overview of a Chartered Coaching Psychologist and how to achieve chartered status as a Coaching Psychologist using the British Psychological Society (BPS) level 8 standards.


In addition, I will briefly outline the importance of coaching supervision not only as a BPS requirement for achieving chartership status but as a measure of good ethical practice.


Essential reading: Handbook of Coaching Psychology – A Guide for Practitioners

What is a Chartered Coaching Psychologist?

Chartered Coaching Psychologists embed Coaching Psychology into their practice to ‘develop wellbeing, performance, and development in a range of areas using psychology-informed practices. This includes psychological theories, approaches, and methodology’ (Palmer & Whybrow, 2005).


Having a broad and comprehensive understanding of psychological theories and approaches allows the Coaching Psychologist to work with a range of presenting issues. Some examples include improving wellbeing, working towards achieving a goal or enhancing performance.


This diversity of approaches enables the Coaching Psychologist to use evidence-based practices within a non-clinical population. Also, possessing multi-modal expertise allows them to custom tailor the intervention to suit the client’s needs.


Coaching Psychology supports behaviour change

This wealth of knowledge sharpens the Coaching Psychologist’s ability to facilitate behavioural change in their client. Such a depth of understanding typically leads to different outcomes not produced with coaching alone.


A range of psychological approaches are available to the Coaching Psychologist. Some of these include (but are not limited to) cognitive behavioural therapy, person-centred, solution-focused, positive psychology, and motivational interviewing.


Continued professional development within the area of Psychology is essential for the Coaching Psychologist to remain updated with developments that could be applied to coaching.


History of BPS Coaching Psychology

Since the 15th of December 2004, the BPS set up the Special Group in Coaching Psychology (SGCP) to support psychologists involved in coaching practices. On the 21st of November 2021, the SGCP was finally recognised as a division in its own right and became the Division of Coaching Psychology.


The Division of Coaching Psychology successfully runs numerous interventions such as peer practice groups to support those engaged in coaching to join with other practitioners in the exchange of good practice and new developments. In addition, The Coaching Psychologist, a European publication, is also available for members of the division to review current research, practice, and case studies within Coaching Psychology. More recently, The Coaching Psychology Pod has been an initiative to promote Coaching Psychology.


Since the change in status from a special group to a division, avenues of change have opened within Coaching Psychology. This change in status to a division has led to a pathway of progression toward becoming a Chartered Coaching Psychologist.


Chartered Coaching Psychologist pathways

Below is an outline of the pathways toward becoming a Coaching Psychologist provided by the BPS. Becoming a Chartered Coaching Psychologist is a newly recognised route for psychologists using coaching within their practice.


Pathway #1: BPS Qualification in Coaching Psychology Stage One and Two (in development)

Stage One: A BPS accredited Masters degree in Coaching Psychology.

Stage Two: The BPS is currently developing a 2-year doctoral-level qualification which will lead to becoming a Chartered Coaching Psychologist.


Pathway #2: Professional recognition route

A ‘professional recognition route’ has been formed to allow non-Chartered members of the BPS, but have significant training and experience in Coaching Psychology, to demonstrate alignment with the level 8 standards in Coaching Psychology.

  • Accelerated route (temporary route - open until 31st December 2024)

Applicants are required to submit a reduced portfolio of evidence highlighting competency against specific standards (top-level and second-tier) of the level 8 standards in Coaching Psychology.

  • Full professional recognition route (permanent route)

Applicants are required to submit a full portfolio of evidence highlighting competency against each component of the level 8 standards in Coaching Psychology.


Chartered Coaching Psychologist Standards

Below you will find a brief overview of the components within the five standards that are required to achieve chartership. These standards have been taken from the BPS, and each one is accompanied by a short overview of each one.


Inside this image it says Standard 1: Develop, implement and maintain personal and professional autonomy, accountability and ethical maturity.

Standard 1 overview

  • Practice within legal, ethical, and professional boundaries. To ensure compliance with the BPS code of ethics. To appropriately contract, record keeping, and exercise a professional duty of care to clients at all times.

  • Take personal responsibility for your continued professional development.

  • To engage in regular supervision with an appropriately qualified and experienced supervisor.

  • Identify, assess and monitor workload, health, and emotional well-being. To use supervision to support this process.


Inside this image says Standard 2: Demonstrate a systematic, substantial and critical applied understanding of psychological knowledge at the forefront of coaching psychology, and create or interpret knowledge that extends the forefront of the discipline.

Standard 2 overview

  • Demonstrate a holistic understanding of the functioning of the human body. This includes the biological structure and function of the brain, including behaviour, cognition, and emotion, and how this underpins the coaching practice.

  • To integrate and understand the application of the lifespan and social psychology.

  • To be able to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues, while having an adequate referral process.

  • To review existing psychological theories, to develop and evaluate new techniques contributing to Coaching Psychology.


Inside this image says Standard 3: Demonstrate the ability to utilise a range of coaching and psychological skills, techniques and frameworks with a range of clients on a variety of topics, and demonstrate the ability to adopt a flexible, innovate approach and make informed judgements when faced with complex or unpredicted issues or professional situations.

Standard 3 overview

  • Evidence a total of 690 days of Coaching Psychology related work/training including 160 days of client work (e.g. preparation of sessions, reflections on practice & needs analysis).

  • Evidence of a total of 530 days of planned training activities (e.g. independent study, research-related work, training days, networking & courses).

  • Provide evidence of professional experience in coaching, including the use of coaching approaches.

  • Highlight a range of core evidence-based coaching skills, approaches, techniques, and strategies used to support clients.

  • Include the use of psychometrics or other standardised assessment tools in coaching practice where relevant.


Inside this image says Standard 4: Demonstrate the ability to conceptualise, design and conduct independent, original research in coaching psychology or a closely related discipline that is of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline and merit publication.

Standard 4 overview

  • Conduct an empirical research investigation or academic case study using quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods.

  • Research to be aligned with the BPS code of Human Research Ethics.

  • Evaluate contribution to the development of Coaching Psychology.

  • To distribute research findings where appropriate.


Inside this image says Standard 5: Communicate effectively and bring psychological influence to bear; for example, through consultancy, training or leadership, and by working effectively with other professionals.

Standard 5 overview

  • To communicate effectively to a range of different audiences.

  • Promote Coaching Psychology through consultancy, training, or practices using evidence-based research.

  • To be able to build and sustain working relations with others.

  • To be able to influence Coaching Psychology via contribution or dissemination.


The importance of coaching supervision

During the chartership process, it is important to use coaching supervision to support you along the journey to the completion of a Chartered Coaching Psychologist. The BPS states that:


‘…applicants must be undergoing supervision of their coaching psychology practice and be able to demonstrate 8 sessions within the last 2 years.’

Not only is supervision a requirement for the BPS but it can also help you with the below during and beyond gaining a chartership:

  • To support the progression of the supervisee’s portfolio, to ensure that you are working towards alignment with the requirements.

  • To support the supervisee with continued professional development.

  • The well-being considerations of the supervisee.

  • Understanding the clients and the context in which the supervisee works while offering space for reflection and exploration of client work.

  • To support the supervisee and ensure they are sufficiently resourced to manage coaching work within their capacity.

To find out more about coaching supervision please see the RCCS Clinical & Coaching Supervision page.


 

Conclusion

From this article, you should have a clear understanding of the role of the standards required to achieve Chartered Coaching Psychologist status. In addition, you will now be familiar with the historical development of chartership and why the BPS implemented this area of recognition.


In addition, and most importantly, you will appreciate the importance of engaging in regular coaching supervision. This being not only an integral part of the chartership pathway but an ethical necessity of the Coaching Psychologist.


 

Chartered Coaching Psychologist useful links

The British Psychological Society Division on Coaching Psychology https://www.bps.org.uk/division-coaching-psychology-careers


The British Psychological Society Code of Ethics and Conduct https://www.bps.org.uk/guideline/code-ethics-and-conduct


The British Psychological Society Code of Ethics and Conduct https://www.bps.org.uk/guideline/bps-code-human-research-ethics-0


 

This blog on how to become a Chartered Coaching Psychologist concludes with the author bio. It reads: Dr. Laura Allen is a Chartered Health & Coaching Psychologist who specialises in Mindfulness, Compassion, and Stress. She is a published author of numerous research papers in the field of Positive Psychology. Laura works one-to-one with clients in a coaching and therapeutic capacity.

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