For Coaches, Mentors, OD practitioners, L&D & HR executives
Where do I find a supervisor?
Some coaches report that they cannot find a good supervisor locally and don't know where to start looking - we have done the work for you! You can find a supervisor easily by checking the map to view supervisors near you and to view their mini-profile and main profile. If there is no one near you, consider telephone supervision - many supervisors offer this by telephone or Skype. There may also be a live supervision group near you and there are virtual groups operating too.
We also want to help aspiring supervisors who are currently studying or working towards supervision status, who may offer you a lower rate while they are 'qualifying' (see Affiliate Members on map). We expect that these members will upgrade to full membership, once qualified, and gain the benefits that membership of AOCS brings - potential new clients, enhanced profile, CPD, etc.
How does a coach gauge the quality of a supervisor?
AOCS members are all trained and experienced in coaching supervision, most are accredited too, and all subscribe to a code of ethics and hold professional indemnity insurance. They retain membership of their own professional body, actively maintain their CPD, and are in supervision themselves.
AOCS cannot provide individual endorsements or recommendations but suggest you set up a short trial period with a new supervisor to see if you're compatible - just as coaches do with their clients.
As a further guide to Coach Supervisor requirements:
- Significant training and experience in supervision (although some may also be training or newly-qualified) and/or accredited by a major body.
- In touch with developments in the field of coaching, mentoring, OD and with current coach training
- Knowledge of corporate life and organisational systems, and to the ability to work with organisational issues
- Psychological theory especially as it relates to professional life and relationships
- Sensitivity to the coach’s situation
- Ability to draw on different coaching styles and adapt to the client's learning style
- Uphold, advocate and raise ethical and professional standards
- Be in regular supervision themselves
What will I gain from coach supervision?
- The benefits of working with a qualified and trained supervisor are many and varied.
- Coaching supervision draws on the best practice of psychotherapy and counselling supervision and places it within a coaching orientation. As such it upholds the principles of coaching and mentoring and the coaching relationship.
Coaches need supervision and increasingly corporate clients and procurement specialists are making evidence of regular supervision part of their quality assurance process. A supervisor is a more experienced coach who:
- Helps you benchmark your coaching against best practice
- Works through ethical dilemmas with you
- Brings perspective about the quality of the coaching practice and your presence
- Enables the coach to learn and to develop their own practice
How much does supervision cost?
This varies just as coaching rates do. As a guideline, coaches often pay more for their supervision sessions than they charge their own clients, as they value it highly. Sometimes a supervisor will ask you for your typical client fee and then quote you a supervision fee based near this. Affiliate and Associate Members may offer you a reduced fee whilst in training or increasing their supervision hours pre-accreditation, so do seek a quote on this basis (see Affiliate & Associate Members on the Coverage map).
Telephone/Skype/Zoom and group supervision usually reduces the cost of face-to-face sessions - do ask for a quote when you make an enquiry to a specific supervisor. Be aware that some may be VAT registered too.
What guidance is there on the ratio of coaching hours to supervision?
There is no definitive recommendation for frequency, as it depends on the coach's experience and the amount of coaching hours involved. New coaches tend to need more supervision hours to help their development. The following summarises the guidance of the key professional bodies:
- Association for Coaching - 1 hour's supervision to every 15 sessions, with a minimum of 1 hour per month
- BPS - 1 hour per month as a minimum for experienced coaches with a minimal case load.
- CIPD - 1 hour's supervision to every 25 hours coaching for experienced coaches, or 1 hour to every 20 hours coaching for trainees or newly qualified coaches. They also recommend that the gap between supervision sessions should be no more than 6 weeks.
- EMCC, ICF and APECS - advise regular sessions, but no specific frequency suggested
- Clutterbuck Associates - 1 hour to 20 hours of coaching; executive/professional coaches expect to be supervised more regularly than 'occasional coaches' working mainly on skills-development