Now you’re a qualified coach - what next?

So you’ve completed your coaching professional apprenticeship. Maybe you’ve passed your ILM diploma or certificate. You’ve got some clients and you’re ready to go.



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A great next step is to get yourself a Coach Supervisor. Having regular sessions can enable you to:

· become more effective

· win more clients

· carry on learning

· share insights and expertise

· navigate challenging issues

· practice to the highest professional standards

Think of it “Super-vision”. A great supervisor creates a reflective space where you can get real perspective on your coaching work. It’s like having a magnifying glass and helicopter view of your practice all at once. Supervision can be enriching, enlightening and a fantastic source of expertise and support.

Must I do it?

With a list of benefits like that you may already have decided it’s a no-brainer. But if you’re a practicing coach, having regular coaching supervision isn’t just a nice to have.

Whilst there is no legal requirement, the most comprehensive professional code for coaches and mentors, The Global Code of Ethics (2021), stipulates that coaches must engage in supervision and reflective practice. It remains the most comprehensive professional code for coaches and mentors and was drawn up by the Association of Coaching (AC) and the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC).

Having supervision can also help give clients an assurance of high standards. Amongst the benefits listed by the AC is “Competitive differentiation on corporate contracts to maintain and enhance coaching quality standards”.

Supervision in the therapeutic professions is well-established - and the coaching world is following their lead. After all – although coaching isn’t therapy, coaches are also working in the emotional space, often in 1 to 1 relationships. There’s a growing body of research backing the idea of supervision as an essential part of best coaching practice. According to the International Coaching Federation (ICF), regular supervision can increase self-awareness, induce greater confidence, increased objectivity and a heightened sense of belonging.

Oh, and a note about internal coaching. Coaches operating in the same organisation that they work in face particular challenges – eg remaining non-judgemental, having to switch roles from “day job” to coach, feeling too close to the issues their clients bring, and potential breaches of confidentiality. Supervision can help navigate this.

How does it work?

A trained Supervisor is not the same as a Mentor. They are skilled in supporting reflection so that you understand better what happens in the coaching room, how you are responding to your coachees, and how you can become an even more effective practitioner.

As Professor Peter Hawkins puts it: allowing coaches to “ attend to understanding better both the Client system and themselves as part of the Client / Coach system, and by so doing transform their work and develop their craft” (Hawkins P 2006)

Inskipp and Proctor’s well-established framework divides the work of supervision into 3.

Restorative – To deal with the emotional impact of coaching on you. We will encounter and may take on the emotions of our clients. “To process it all we need the involvement of outsiders who have gone through similar experiences and can help us put our own into new contexts” (De Haan, E 2012)

Formative – To understand the impact of your work on the coachee and the system they work in; eg their team / organisation / our culture and society. But forget the whole teacher student thing. This is about growing your skill and knowledge, through exploration and sharing of ideas and possibilities rather than being told what to do.

Normative – To explore what’s ok and what’s not ok – ie ensure you are practicing ethically. Coaching isn’t bound by a legal framework, but supervision is a place to consider ethical dilemmas and keep your practice to the high standards laid out in professional codes of conduct.

Should I go for 1 to 1 or group supervision?

Both have their place. In a well-facilitated group, you will learn from each other, and get the perspectives of your peers as well as the supervisor. You may enjoy working with others and find the camaraderie and shared endeavour a useful resource in itself.

1 to 1 supervision might offer you a greater focus on your issue and your issue alone. Different insights may emerge as a result, and you may feel more able to air your reflections in this environment.

Where can I get supervision?

Coaching Supervision is now recognised as a profession in its own right. Professional bodies such as the AC and the EMCC accredit Supervisors. The ICF also recognises the importance of specialist training for Supervisors. Sure, an experienced coach-mentor can certainly support you with your development, but a trained Supervisor may have additional skills that can really support you to develop your reflection and awareness. They may, for example, work with a model such as Hawkins and Smith’s 7 Eyes (2013) – where you will “see” your practice through multiple perspectives.

At KINGDOM ACADEMY, we have excellent qualified supervisors who can facilitate groups or work as a 1 to 1. They understand the needs of both new and experienced coaches. Groups can be put together exclusively for your organisation or in a mixed cohort. Get in touch to discuss your requirements.


Association for Coaching “What is coaching supervision” accessed on 26.1.24 at What is Coaching Supervision? - Association for Coaching

De Haan, Eric 2012 Supervision in Action: A relational approach to coaching and consulting supervision” OU Press

Global Code of Ethics revised 2021 section 4.3 accessed on 26.1.24 at 

Hawkins, Peter 2006 The OCM Coach and Mentor Journal 201 p20 Accessed on 26.1.24 at Supervision-Peter-Hawkins.pdf (

International Coaching Federation – Credentials and standards Accessed on 25.1.24 at Coaching Supervision - International Coaching Federation

Further reading

Clutterbuck, D., Whitaker, C. and Lucas, M. (2016). Coaching Supervision: A Practical Guide for Supervisees. Abingdon: Routledge

Bachkirova, T., Jackson, P. and Clutterbuck, D. (2011) Coaching and Mentoring Supervision. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Hay, J. (2007) Reflective Practice and Supervision for Coaches. Maidenhead: OUP.