Guidelines

Introduction

This provides information and guidance regarding the EMCC Global ‘Supervision Centre for Excellence’s’ perspective on supervision. It is work in progress and open ongoing to input and discussion. It addresses the following questions:

  • What is supervision?
  • Why is supervision important?
  • What kinds of supervision are there?
  • How much supervision do I need?
  • How may I find a supervisor?
  • How should I select a supervisor?
  • How may I train as a supervisor?
  • How may I gain accreditation as a supervisor?

Terminology

The term ‘practitioners’ refers to internal or external coaches/ mentors/ team coaches/ supervisors/ organisational development specialists, or leaders/ managers/ employees who may be practicing these disciplines as part of their role.

‘Practice’ refers to the practice of coaching/ mentoring/ team coaching/ supervising/ organisational development in this context. The term ‘client’ refers to the recipient of these services.

A pdf of the guidelines for supervision can be downloaded here

What is supervision?

The word supervision has a different meaning when used in our context compared with in common, everyday speech. It does not refer to the act of managing or overseeing someone’s work, and the supervisor is not present when the supervisee is working with their client.

Supervision is a form of professional support for the practitioner, and occurs separately from the interaction with the client. It is primarily a dialogue relating to their practice, an opportunity to reflect on and make sense of actual client encounters.

EMCC Global’s definition of supervision is

A safe space for reflective dialogue with a practicing supervisor, supporting the supervisee’s practice, development and well-being.

The purpose of supervision is

  1. To ensure the supervisee maintains appropriate professional standards
  2. To facilitate the development of the supervisee’s professional practice
  3. To provide support for the supervisee’s well-being

Supervision is not limited to reflection on specific client cases. Amongst other things, it can be a forum in which the supervisee

  • discusses ethical dilemmas
  • reflects on personal strengths and development areas within their range of professional competences
  • supports the supervisee to maintain well-being and psychological health
  • addresses more general themes in relation to the development of their competence, capacity and professional identity
  • maintains a sense of perspective, viewing their practice as if ‘from the balcony’
  • explores the direction in which they wish to develop their role and professional practice
  • develop skills as a reflective practitioner

Why is supervision important?

Reflective Practice

First and foremost, supervision is a form of facilitated reflective practice; it is a reflective dialogue that is designed to ensure we are all delivering our best work in the service of our clients, their organisations and all stakeholders.

Professionalisation

Globalisation brings challenges that highlight the importance of supervision. As the definitions of practice areas like leadership, coaching, team coaching, mentoring, supervision and organisational development shift between languages, cultures, industries and geographies, and develop over time, the value of supervision increases, reinforcing a professional approach around the world.

Accreditation

Accreditation supports and regulates an individual’s ongoing professional practice and provides a focus for their ongoing development. A commitment to supervision is a requirement for accreditation as a practitioner.

Professional Assurance

EMCC Global believes that supervision is a requirement for professional practice, and a means by which practitioners can ensure they are acting with responsibility and accountability.

Ethics and Inclusivity

EMCC Global adopts an integrated approach. The Supervision Framework, The Global Code of Ethics and Diversity and Inclusion Declaration sit alongside other resources that contribute to the awareness of the supervisor, whose role includes supporting the supervisee to maintain high, ethical standards in their practice, and maintain an inclusive mindset and approach.

What kinds of supervision are there?

Whilst there are other ‘kinds’ of supervision, EMCC Global believes that the following comprise the three main formats.

Individual Supervision

In this process, a practicing supervisor (ideally trained and accredited) meets the supervisee on a one-to-one basis, either in person or remotely.

When working towards accreditation, e.g. Global Individual Accreditation/s, EMCC Global requires candidates to use this form of supervision because it guarantees individualised attention for the practitioner.

Group Supervision

Group Supervision occurs when there is more than one supervisee in the session and it is being led by a practicing supervisor (ideally trained and accredited).

One of the advantages of this format is that the supervisees benefit from each other’s input, as well as that of the supervisor/s. The role of the supervisor is to engage the collective intelligence of the group.

Peer Supervision (groups)

Peer Supervision is where the group supervises itself. The process is not led formally by a designated supervisor. Peer supervision is most effective when participants also have some training in supervision skills.

How much supervision do I need?

EMCC Global believes that experienced practitioners require a minimum of four hours individual supervision per year, evenly distributed across twelve months. EMCC Global also believes that the minimum ratio of practice to supervision, for an experienced practitioner should be 35 practice hours to 1 hour of supervision received.

In the case that the practitioner is carrying out more than one form of work that requires supervision, then EMCC Global recommends that the minimum hours of supervision required per year increases from four to eight. In other words, if someone is delivering any combination of coaching, mentoring, team coaching, supervision and/or organisational development interventions, then the minimum number of hours supervision that they require is eight hours, distributed evenly across twelve months.

EMCC Global also believes that the more work a practitioner undertakes, the more they will benefit from supervision. Practitioners are encouraged to think about the type, duration, and frequency of supervision that they need to be supported in their work and context. After the minimum criteria are met, it is for the practitioner to decide, based on their unique circumstances and needs, exactly how much supervision they require to perform at their best.

How may I find a supervisor?

You may wish to select a supervisor from the list of ESIA holders. These are individuals who have been accredited as a supervisor with EMCC Global.

EMCC also accredits supervision training programmes. You also may find that one of the ESQA accredited providers will be able to offer you names and contact details of potential supervisors.

How should I select a supervisor?

EMCC Global recommends that you apply the following criteria in selecting a supervisor:

  • They have experience and are accredited as a coach/mentor
  • They have experience of being supervised and are themselves currently supervised
  • The have had training in an accredited supervision program and are qualified as a supervisor
  • They can explain a theoretical framework for their own coaching / mentoring practice
  • They can explain a theoretical framework relating to supervision
  • They show commitment to continuing professional development for themselves and their supervisees
  • They agree to abide by the Global Code of Ethics for Coaches, Mentors and Supervisors.

EMCC also acknowledges that coach/mentor supervision is an evolving discipline and that in some countries it may be difficult for the practitioner to find a qualified supervisor who fulfils all the criteria recommended here.

In the absence of a qualified supervisor who has undergone rigorous training and accreditation, then EMCC recommends that you look for someone with long-term, extensive and relevant experience. EMCC Global therefore supports members making their own arrangements e.g. engaging psychotherapeutically qualified supervisors, supervisors accredited by other coaching organisations/ ESQA approved awarding bodies or supervisors aspiring towards EMCC accreditation.

How may I train as a supervisor?

The EMCC European Supervision Quality Award (ESQA) endorses a number of supervision training programmes.  Coaches and mentors interested in pursuing a supervisory career are referred to the list of ESQA accredited providers.

There are other supervision training programmes which do not currently carry the ESQA award. If you are looking at these programmes, you are encouraged to find out what the ratio of taught input vs skills practice vs personal reflection is. We encourage you to select a program in which skills practice occupies a significant proportion of the total qualification time.

Please note:

Qualification refers to the level of your training. You may gain a supervision qualification on completion of a course with your preferred training provider. You may remain qualified many years after you completed this, even if you stopped practicing.

Accreditation refers to your ongoing practice, it relates to the present. Accreditation is a mechanism by which a professional body regulates quality within that profession. Accreditation with EMCC must be renewed every 5 years.

How may I gain accreditation as a supervisor?

As mentioned above, the European Supervision Individual Accreditation (ESIA) is EMCC Global’s accreditation for individual supervisors.

The following criteria apply to candidates seeking ESIA:

  • Accreditation as a coach/mentor with EMCC at EIA Senior Practitioner Level or above
  • Completion of an ESQA programme or equivalent
  • Minimum 120 hours supervision practice experience
  • Confirmation of ongoing commitment to
    • Continuing professional development
    • Supervision of supervision
    • Reflective practice
  • Compliance with Ethics and Diversity statements
  • Maintenance of
    • Supervision Client Log
    • Continuing Professional Development Log
    • Supervision of Supervision Log
    • Reflective Log

If you are interested in applying for this, please visit the EMCC Global Website.