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Coaching Supervision

Coaching Supervision is a collaborative learning practice to continually build the capacity of the coach through reflective dialogue for the benefit of both coaches and clients.

Coaching Supervision focuses on the development of the coach’s capacity through offering a richer and broader opportunity for support and development. Coaching Supervision creates a safe environment for the coach to share their successes and failures in becoming masterful in the way they work with their clients.

ICF’s Position on Coaching Supervision

ICF supports Coaching Supervision for full-time professional coach practitioners as part of their portfolio of continuing professional development (CPD) activities designed to keep them fit for purpose.

Coaching Supervision is sufficiently different from coaching, so training to provide the knowledge and opportunity to practice Coaching Supervision skills is needed. As such, all Coaching Supervisors should receive Coaching Supervision training.

Coaching Supervision and Credentialing

ICF recognizes Coaching Supervision as an important element of a coach’s professional development, learning and growth.

ICF Credential-holders may submit up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision (delivering or receiving) as Core Competency Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units toward their credential renewal.

Coaching Supervision may include:

  • Exploring the coach’s internal process through reflective practice
  • Reviewing the coaching agreement and any other psychological or physical contacts, both implicit and explicit
  • Uncovering blind spots
  • Ethical issues
  • Ensuring the coach is “fit for purpose” and perhaps offering accountability
  • Looking at all aspects of the coach and client’s environment for opportunities for growth in the system

ICF Research on Coaching Supervision

An increasing number of books and academic articles on the topic of Coaching Supervision are being published. ICF is actively contributing to this growing body of research, including its recent publication in International Coaching Psychology Review, (Volume 12, No. 1, March 2017), which identified key benefits for coaches who receive Coaching Supervision. These benefits include:

  • Increased self-awareness
  • Greater confidence
  • Increased objectivity
  • Heightened sense of belonging
  • Reduced feelings of isolation
  • Increased resourcefulness

Supervision Literature Reviews

ICF publishes annual updates on the state of coaching supervision.

One-Page Resource

ICF has created a downloadable, one-page resource that outlines our position on Coaching Supervision and highlights our research on this professional development modality. We encourage members of the ICF community to download this resource and share it with key stakeholders in their own communities.

Coaching Supervision FAQs

  • Are there available data on the benefits and efficacy of Coaching Supervision?

    An increasing number of books and academic articles on the topic of coaching supervision are being published. ICF is actively contributing to this growing body of research, including its recent publication in International Coaching Psychology Review, which identified key benefits for coaches who receive coaching supervision.

    These benefits include:

    • Increased self-awareness
    • Greater confidence
    • Increased objectivity
    • Heightened sense of belonging
    • Reduced feelings of isolation
    • Increased resourcefulness
  • Can Coaching Supervision or Mentor Coaching be counted toward client coaching hours for ICF credentialing?

    No. Coaching Supervision and Mentor Coaching are distinct activities from coaching. Therefore, Coaching Supervision and Mentor Coaching hours may not be used toward the client coaching experience hours required for ICF credentialing.

    Up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision and Mentor Coaching hours (receiving or delivering), however, may be used to meet the Continuing Coach Education (CCE) requirements for credential renewal.

  • Can Coaching Supervision take the place of Mentor Coaching for an ICF Credential?

    Not at this time. Given Coaching Supervision’s broader focus to include supporting the coach and sharing wisdom as compared to Mentor Coaching’s focus on a coach’s skill in the ICF Core Competencies, only Mentor Coaching is accepted to meet the Mentor Coaching requirements for an ICF Credential.

  • Can you direct me to the right location on the ICF website to find other programs, by other providers, on Coaching Supervision?

    ICF offers a Training Program Search Service (TPSS), a searchable directory of the ICF-accredited training providers. The TPSS includes Coaching Supervision training programs that have earned an ICF accreditation. The TPSS can be found on the ICF website at coachfederation.org/tpss.

    Courses on Coaching Supervision are also available in the ICF Learning Portal at learning.coachfederation.org/professional-development/supervision.

  • Does Coaching Supervision count toward Core Competencies Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units for credential renewal?

    Yes. A coach may submit up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision (receiving or delivering) toward the Core Competency Continuing Coach Education requirements for credential renewal.

  • Does Coaching Supervision count toward Resource Development Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units for renewal?

    No. Credentialed coaches may submit up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision (either receiving or delivering) for Core Competency credits toward the 40 Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units required for credential renewal.

  • How many hours of giving Coaching Supervision can I count toward ICF Credential renewal?

    ICF-credentialed coaches may count up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision (either receiving or delivering) as Core Competency credits toward the Continuing Coach Education (CCE) requirements for credential renewal.

  • How many hours of group Coaching Supervision can I count toward ICF Credential renewal?

    ICF-credentialed coaches may count up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision (either receiving or delivering) as Core Competency credits toward the Continuing Coach Education (CCE) requirements for credential renewal. Coaching Supervision does not have to be delivered in a certain format (e.g., group or individual) in order to be accepted for CCE units for credential renewal.

  • Is Coaching Supervision a requirement for ICF Credentials?

    Coaching Supervision is not a requirement for an initial ICF Credential at this time. A credentialed coach may use up to 10 hours of Coaching Supervision (receiving or delivering) to meet the Continuing Coach Education (CCE) requirements for credential renewal.

  • What are the requirements to be a Coaching Supervisor and where can I find a good one?

    ICF does not currently have requirements for Coaching Supervisor qualifications, nor do we currently offer a directory of Coaching Supervisors. One way to find Coaching Supervisors, however is to search for “supervisor” in the Name/Keyword field on the ICF Credentialed Coach Finder.

  • What is Coaching Supervision?

    ICF defines Coaching Supervision as a collaborative learning practice to continually build the capacity of the coach through reflective dialogue for the benefit of both coaches and clients.

  • What is ICF’s position on Coaching Supervision?

    ICF supports Coaching Supervision for full-time professional coach practitioners as part of their portfolio of continuing professional development (CPD) activities designed to keep them fit for purpose.

  • What kind of document should I submit for renewal to prove my Coaching Supervision hours (receiving & delivering)?

    To claim Coaching Supervision hours toward the Continuing Coach Education (CCE) requirements for credential renewal, a candidate will simply provide the coach supervisor’s name and email address, the total number of hours of supervision provided, and the start and end date of the supervision.

  • What’s the difference between Coaching Supervision and Mentor Coaching?

    A Mentor Coach primarily supports a coach in achieving the levels of coaching competency and building skills in the Core Competencies. Coaching Supervision offers a coach a richer and broader opportunity for support and development. In Coaching Supervision, there may be a greater focus on reflective practice and the being of the coach. Coaching Supervision provides a wide-angled lens to review one’s coaching practice with a fellow practitioner.

  • Which training program do I need to take to be a Coaching Supervisor?

    At this time, there is no specific training requirement for a coach to provide Coaching Supervision. ICF recognizes that Coaching Supervision is sufficiently different from coaching, so training to provide the knowledge and opportunity to practice supervision skills is needed. As such, ICF strongly encourages all Coaching Supervisors to receive Coaching Supervision training.

  • Why doesn’t ICF accredit Coaching Supervision training?

    Currently, ICF does not offer a Coaching Supervision training program accreditation, primarily because of a lack of Coaching Supervision competencies upon which such programs can be reviewed and accredited. While ICF has accredited several Coaching Supervision training programs, the accreditation has focused on the programs’ coverage of the ICF Core Competencies.

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