Prerequisites for becoming a Coaching Supervisor
What does it take to become an effective coach supervisor?

Prerequisites to becoming an effective coaching supervisor

In the early days of coach supervision, many supervisors were originally from therapy backgrounds (many still are). Some may have had supervision training geared up to supervising counsellors and then expanded their practise to become coach supervisors using the same skills.

By now though, most Coach Supervisors are trained coaches.

So, you may have been a coach for such a long period that you have gained credibility within the field and have been approached to give help and support to more “junior” coaches. Can you supervise?

Rather like brilliant football players who do not always translate into the world’s best football managers, then being a good coach does not automatically translate into being a good coach supervisor.

Here are some things to consider of your career as a supervisor:

  1. Ensure you are in regular supervision yourself as a coach. How can you practise what you preach if you don’t? It will also help you to see the life and role of a supervisor.
  2. Examine your key motivation for wanting to become a supervisor. Is it the same as what led you into coaching? Might there be an unconscious shadow side that can be explored? If as an independent what is your expectation of the financial and business reward from supervision; how do you know these are achievable and realistic.
  3. Look at your skills and personality. The ethical and quality control aspects of supervision do not suit everyone. Supervision is not just coaching the coach. There is a duty of care and elements of risk attached that even after training you may not feel happy to do.
  4. A supervisor must uphold standards and be willing to balance a tricky stance on ethical issues while at the same time being a safe and supportive environment for coaches to learn. Having your own supervisor to fall back on (point 1) will be crucial to alleviate risk.
  5. Who will you be able/want to supervise if you are a life coach versus being an executive coach? For coaches working in a corporate context there is a real need for a different focus for the supervision especially in a world of complex systemic issues involving multiple stakeholders and multi-party contacting. Having a corporate background as a coach certainly helps. Most supervision programmes (and competency frameworks) have a strong underpinning of psychological principles, so if your original coach training did not have this and your CPD has not focused on this, you may want to consider the implications of undertaking an in-depth programme of work. (The Coaching Supervision Academy, for example, expects you have been a coach for at least 5 years with a minimum of 250 coaching hours.)
  6. Are you hoping to work internally in organisations or externally as an independent supervisor working largely with independent coaches? This may affect the type of supervision training you take up not least from budget considerations but also models/content/curriculum wise. What about group supervision versus one to one supervision and your related skill set?
  7. Bearing mind how long it took you to become the excellent coach that you are? What is your timescale for achieving what you would like as coach supervisor?


If after fully exploring all these issues you still feel you have what it takes to become a good coach supervisor, then take a look at our Accredited and Recognised Supervisor Training Courses.

These will give you a head start in planning a CPD and development timetable that suits you as a person, your lifestyle and the “You” that is the Coach.

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