This following summarises the position taken by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) regarding some of the key questions that are frequently raised on the subject of supervision for coaches and mentors. A pdf of the following guidelines for supervision can be downloaded here.
The topics covered are:
1. What is supervision?
2. How much supervision do I need?
3. How do I choose a supervisor?
4. How do I train as a supervisor?
5. How do I become an accredited supervisor?
Supervision is the interaction that occurs when a mentor or coach brings their coaching or mentoring work experiences to a supervisor in order to be supported and to engage in reflective dialogue and collaborative learning for the development and benefit of the mentor or coach, their clients and their organisations.
The functions of supervision include:
1. Manages the Supervision Contract and Process
Establishes and maintains a working contract with the supervisee and manages the supervision process effectively.
2. Facilitates Development
Enables the supervisee to improve the standard of their practice through a process of facilitated reflection.
3. Promotes Professional Standards
Supports industry standards, compliance with an ethical code and commitment to continuing professional development.
4. Provides Support
Offers an appropriate level of support, ensuring the supervisee prioritises their own wellbeing.
5. Relationship Awareness
Understands and works with the multiple layers of relationship that exist in the supervision process.
And where appropriate:
6. Working with Groups
Skilfully handles supervisees and group dynamics, enabling all present to benefit from supervision.
The full EMCC Supervision Competence Framework is available on the EMCC Website and can be downloaded here
EMCC believes that coaches/mentors should undertake no less than 1 hour of supervision per 35 hours of practice, ensuring a minimum of 4 hours per year, evenly distributed if possible. In addition, it is important to recognise that supervision is a form of reflective practice. The quality of the reflection that takes place within the supervision process is critical. Coaches and mentors are encouraged to think about the type, duration and frequency of supervision that they need in order to be supported in their professional practice.
We recommend that you apply the following criteria in selecting a supervisor:
EMCC also acknowledges that coach/mentor supervision is an evolving discipline and that in some countries it may be difficult for our membership to find a supervisor who fulfils all the criteria recommended here. In the absence of a supervisor who has undergone rigorous training and accreditation, then EMCC recommends that you look for someone with long-term, extensive and relevant experience.
EMCC accredited supervisors are listed here
EMCC accredits both individual supervisors and also, separately, supervision training courses. The EMCC European Supervision Quality Award (ESQA) is the accreditation for training courses. Coaches and mentors interested in pursuing a supervisory career are referred to the list of ESQA providers to find out more about these programmes. The list can be viewed here
There are other providers who offer training in supervision skills that are equivalent to ESQA programmes. This includes any course that is registered with the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) at level 5 and above.
It is important to note that attending an ESQA accredited training programme does not result in the individual being accredited as a supervisor with EMCC. Individual supervisor accreditation with EMCC is a separate application. You can find out more about the European Supervision Individual Award here
In addition to EMCC, there are other professional bodies who offer equivalent levels of accreditation for individual supervisors. You are advised to explore all options and choose the accreditation provider that suits your personal and professional needs.
Search through our database to find a Mentor and/or Coach near you who matches your requirements. If you are an EMCC mentor/coach and wish to set up/edit your profile please log in and go to membership then choose the option for “My Account”.