What is Coaching Supervision and why is it important?

As someone who is buying coaching services for yourself or your business, Dawn Scott explains, in this extract from our book “100+ Top Tips on Managing your Coaching Needs,”  why you should care if your coach is receiving regular coaching supervision.

Coaching is still as yet an unregulated profession, unlike other similar roles in counselling, psychotherapy and often physical therapies, where you are required to demonstrate evidence of continuing professional development (CPD) and undertake what is known as ‘supervision’ in order to practice.

Supervision for the caring professions offers the practitioner an opportunity to reflect on their experiences with clients, the psychological processes observed and the impact of their interventions on themselves and their clients.  Coaching organisations such as The International Coaching Federation (ICF) or European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) require their accredited coaches to follow their own guidelines on supervision and demonstrate regular attendance as part of their reflective practice.

The best coaching providers follow the ethical guidelines set out by these organisations and this chapter explains why supervision is important to assure the quality of coaching that you are seeking for your employees.


Supervision Processes

  • Hawkins seven-eyed model of supervision is a well-known systematic and comprehensive look at the coaching process, the coach, the client, the supervisor and the relationships therein. The seven eyes are:
    • The client
    • The coaching process between coach and client
    • The relationship between the client and coach
    • The coach
    • The relationship between coach and supervisor
    • The coaching supervisor
    • The organisational context or system in which they all operate including professional codes and ethics, social context and norms, and organisational constraints.
  • Using this model offers a lens on every aspect of coaching including the supervision process itself and relationship between coach and supervisor. In supervision sessions parallel processes can be played out as those between client and coach and when this is apparent for the coach, rich learning can come from the realisation and a new approach formulated to serve the client better.
  • This model is also very helpful in viewing the coaching contract and its impact in the organisational context and is therefore a space to explore how coaching is viewed and its success in developing the organisation overall.


If you procure or manage coaching services internally or externally you need to ensure that your coaching providers engage with supervision to keep themselves and their clients safe in psychological terms. Recognition that supervision brings this self-awareness is key.


If you want to see the full version of this article then take a look at our book 100+ Top Tips on Managing Your Coaching Needs.