Coach Supervision Comprehensive Policy Document

1.1. Definitions
Coach supervision describes the engagement between a person qualified to offer the service of “supervision” and a coach. The practitioner providing the supervision service is known as a coach supervisor, hereafter simplified to supervisor. The practitioner receiving the supervision service is sometimes referred to as a supervisee, but hereafter referred to as the coach. The person receiving the service of coaching is sometimes referred to as the coachee, but hereafter referred to as the client. In scenarios in which supervision and/or coaching takes place within or is related to an organizational context, the organisation may also be seen as a client, but is hereafter referred to as the sponsor. For reference to a wider context, we represent this in Figure 1.

1.2. Introduction and Background
The aim of this supervision document is to convey the COMENSA policy, recommending supervision for all coaches, but making it compulsory for credentialed coaches. This document aims to provide members with the necessary information to answer questions about supervision for them to make informed decisions about their engagement with a supervisor and considers what supervision is, what value it offers, how to use it, and traits to look for in selecting a supervisor.

Coaching is a profession as such- accountability, effectiveness and professionalism are core values for all coaches. Supervision provides the coach as well as the client and the organisation with best practice and quality management.

Supervision offers a context in which practitioners can develop the capacity for reflective practice in order to understand and to design their professional reality.

It can be described as a collaborative, co-constructed space in which coaching competencies are explored and developed to,
  • help the coach manage high levels of complexity
  • have a mechanism for ensuring accountability and ethical practice within their limits of competence and to
  • support and stimulate continued professional development.
Supervision may take on different forms such as one-to-one and one-to-a-group. Duration and frequency of supervision sessions may also differ. The particular form of supervision will depend on the needs of the coach. This in turn will be determined by the context and the purpose of the coaching and by the developmental needs of the coach.

The COMENSA Code of Ethics advocates supervision in accordance with the supervision policy. The supervisor will be bound by the requirements of confidentiality referred to in this Code, but note the exclusions concerned with “harm to self”, “harm to others” “organized crime” and “money laundering”.

COMENSA recommends a minimum of monthly supervision (group or individual) for coaches. Regular, preferably monthly supervision, irrespective of hours of coaching, is regarded as necessary to remain “fit” to practice; to maintain professional development and quality standards of practice. For credentialed coaches, supervision will be a requirement and form part of the CPD allocation.

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