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Coaching Supervision

September 27 2006 - New research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development finds that despite a dramatic growth in the use of coaching in organizations in recent years, very few are using supervision to support their coaches and to get the best value from their coaching services. The survey is based on responses from 525 coaches and 128 managers and purchasers of coaching, backed up by four focus group sessions involving practitioners.

Less than half (44 per cent) of coaches say they are receiving regular supervision, and less than a quarter (23 per cent) of organizations who use coaching are providing coaching supervision. Nevertheless, the picture has improved significantly in recent years with 58 per cent of those coaches receiving supervision having begun the process in the last two years.

The report identifies elements of good practice in coaching supervision, which include ensuring it:

  • takes place regularly - gaps of more than six weeks between sessions are not recommended, and a ratio of approximately one hour supervision to 35 hours coaching (or 20 hours coaching for a trainee) is recommended.
  • provides support and professional development for the coach - using reflective learning to constantly improve practice and performance.
  • quality assures the coaching provision - developing common understanding of what good practice looks like and making sure that individual practice is opened up to peer scrutiny.
  • generates organizational learning - so that the outcomes of the supervision benefit the organization as well as the coach and the supervisor.

Eileen Arney, CIPD coaching adviser, said:

"Supervision is really only beginning to be established in the coaching profession. We know that it can yield enormous benefits for coaches, for their clients and for the organizations which employ them. There is a growing minority of coaches and organizers of coaching who are committed to developing models of supervision which meet the needs of the coaching profession. This research has shown what organizations need to do to get maximum benefit from their coaching services."



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