An Outline of the EMCC Supervision Competence Framework

An Outline of the EMCC Supervision Competence Framework

The EMCC is the leading professional body for accrediting both the training and the professional credentials of coaching supervisors.

In this article, I share the EMCC’s coaching supervision competencies enabling a better understanding of what coaching supervision looks like.

What is Coaching Supervision?

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.

EMCC definition

The purpose of supervision is to support the wellbeing, learning and development of the supervisee as well as benefitting the supervisee’s clients and related organisations.

The EMCC Supervision Competence Framework

There are eight competencies outlined in the EMCC Supervision Competence Framework.The eight competencies are divided into four main areas:

  1. Framing the supervision relationship
  2. The three functions of supervision
  3. The capacity of the supervisor
  4. The ability to lead group supervision

The eight competencies are:

Competence 1 – Manages the Supervision Contract and Process Competence 2 – Facilitates Development
Competence 3 – Provides Support
Competence 4 – Promotes Professional Standards
Competence 5 – Self-Awareness
Competence 6 – Relationship Awareness
Competence 7 – Systemic Awareness
Competence 8 – Facilitates Group Supervision

The EMCC Supervision Competence Framework has been developed by EMCC to guide best practice of coaches, mentors, supervisors and related training providers in the area of supervision.

1. Framing the Supervision Relationship

This provides the structure and foundation for the supervision relationship, can be agreed verbally and/or in writing and is a working agreement, evolving as the needs of the relationship evolve.

Competence 1 – Manages the Supervision Contract and Process

The Coaching Supervisor engages in a dialogue with the supervisee to inform the supervisees needs and support needed depending where they are on their journey as a coach. Contracting can be a verbal and/or written agreement and generally evolves over time, encompassing logistics, boundaries, roles, responsibilities and confidentiality as well as bringing clarity about purpose of coaching supervision, how it differs from coaching and the frameworks which underpin it.

2. The Functions of Supervision

EMCC recognises the three functions of supervision as outlined by Hawkins and Smith (2013), which are:

  1. The Developmental Function
    The supervisor supports the development of skills, understanding and capacities of the coach or mentor.
  2. The Resourcing Function
    The supervisor provides a supportive space for the coach or mentor to process and reflect upon client experiences – both successes and challenges.
  3. The Qualitative Function
    The supervisor guides the supervisee with quality, work standards and ethical integrity.

Related to the functions of supervision are: Competence 2 – Facilitates Development

The Coaching Supervisor encourages the supervisee in their personal and professional development through supportive challenge, the need for critical reflection and sharing of experiences, resources and perspectives.

Competence 3 – Provides Support

The Coaching Supervisor provides a safe and restorative space for the supervisee. The supervisee can openly share reflections about client interactions and about the development of their coaching practice with the security of knowing that their wellbeing and resilience is of paramount importance.

Competence 4 – Promotes Professional Standards

The Coaching Supervisor promotes high standards with regards to professional, ethical and reflective practice in coaching, mentoring and supervision.

Professional standards for both supervisor and supervisee include holding membership of an appropriate coaching industry body, ensuring insurance is in place, compliance with local and, if appropriate, global rules and regulations and keeping up to date with knowledge in the coaching supervision community.

Ethical standards include abiding by a relevant code of ethics, respecting diversity and inclusion, developing ethical maturity as well as supporting the supervisee to resolve ethical dilemmas and seeking alternative professional support if needed.

Reflective practice, demonstrated uniquely by each person, supports the supervisor to take time to reflect on continuous learnings through engaging in Continuing Professional Development (CPD), in own supervision and obtaining feedback from supervisees.

3. Supervisor Capacity

The supervisor capacity highlights how the supervisor is, both as an individual and within the supervision relationship and this forms a basis for the relational process and how the needs of the supervisee are respected and met.

Competence 5 – Self-Awareness

The supervisor continuously engages in personal and professional development acknowledging their capacity as a supervisor and strives to be the best for the supervisee and wider system.

Competence 6 – Relationship Awareness

The supervisor is aware of, understands and works with the varying relationship dynamics such as healthy boundaries and communication while maintaining a non-judgemental, collaborative and developmental stance.

Competence 7 – Systemic Awareness

Competence seven may be aligned with Eye 7 from the 7 Eyed Model of Supervision. The Coaching Supervisor brings to the awareness of the supervisee how the system in which they operate, as well as the system in which their clients operate affects the behaviours, mindset, beliefs of both respectively. Systems can relate to organisations, society, family influences and the supervisors role is to raise the supervisees awareness of system dynamics, culture influences and ability to take wider perspectives.

4. Dynamics of group supervision

This encapsulates the work of a supervisor with groups and how effective the group supervisor is at group facilitation, holding a safe space and leading a group.

Competence 8 – Facilitates Group Supervision

The supervisor is expected to contract with each individual member of the group as well as with the group as a whole, agreeing logistics and roles and responsibilities of each member. The supervisor provides a safe holding space while supporting the development of the

group and the development of the individuals within it recognising where each person is on their coaching journey and provides normative, formative and restorative encouragement.

Holistic Uniqueness

As mentioned, the EMCC Supervision Competence Framework offers guidance to support best practice of coaching and mentoring supervision. It must be noted that EMCC recognises and celebrates the uniqueness of each of us.

With that recognition, the eight competencies cannot cover all the aspects of a healthy, supportive and respectful supervision relationship. Therefore, it is wise to refer to the framework in combination with a holistic view of the persons in the relationship such as, for example, referring to our seven human capacities.

‘The 7Cs’, introduced by Elaine Patterson, help us to reflect on how we are as coaches and supervisors, not only on what we do. ‘Being’ as a coach not only ‘doing’ coaching.

The 7C’s are Care, Courage, Curiosity, Compassion, Connection, Creativity, and Contemplation. They help us connect with ourselves at a deeper level as supervisors and coaches and as we do, the impact of enhanced care, courage, curiosity, compassion, connection, creativity, and contemplation resonates positively throughout the whole system.

The coaching supervision profession is one that’s in its early stages but I believe these competencies provide a rigorous framework to assess ourselves against and to guide coaching supervision schools, such as the ICCS, in their work.

Author Details
Siobhán is a Personal, Leadership and Executive Coach and Coaching Supervisor. She returned to Ireland after two decades abroad where she gained global management and leadership expertise spanning from working with The Wall Street Journal to working on Wall Street. She founded an Executive Coaching business as a way of harnessing her experience, education and values, supporting individuals to lead and manage their lives and organisations. She is an EMCC Accredited Coach at Senior Practitioner level and is engaged as mentor with The Chartered Governance Institute (ICSA) supporting governance professionals, Carmichael and the Professional Women’s Network (PWN) as well as supporting peer coaches and supervisors to obtain their accreditation with the EMCC. Her coaching practice follows the EMCC Global Code of Ethics which supports best practice of coaching professionals internationally. Her mission as an Executive Coach is to help organisations and individuals become the best version of themselves. For individuals, Siobhán supports awareness that each decision, choice and action results in favourable governance or poor governance in our lives and the choices we make are the strands to create a fulfilling and peaceful tapestry. She offers a space to talk, a place to unburden and to move forward lighter with your purpose.
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Siobhán is a Personal, Leadership and Executive Coach and Coaching Supervisor. She returned to Ireland after two decades abroad where she gained global management and leadership expertise spanning from working with The Wall Street Journal to working on Wall Street. She founded an Executive Coaching business as a way of harnessing her experience, education and values, supporting individuals to lead and manage their lives and organisations. She is an EMCC Accredited Coach at Senior Practitioner level and is engaged as mentor with The Chartered Governance Institute (ICSA) supporting governance professionals, Carmichael and the Professional Women’s Network (PWN) as well as supporting peer coaches and supervisors to obtain their accreditation with the EMCC. Her coaching practice follows the EMCC Global Code of Ethics which supports best practice of coaching professionals internationally. Her mission as an Executive Coach is to help organisations and individuals become the best version of themselves. For individuals, Siobhán supports awareness that each decision, choice and action results in favourable governance or poor governance in our lives and the choices we make are the strands to create a fulfilling and peaceful tapestry. She offers a space to talk, a place to unburden and to move forward lighter with your purpose.
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