OUR SURVEY: 46% FAVOUR EXTERNAL REGULATION

Appetite is growing for greater professionalism and a more united structured approach to quality control and standard setting in coaching.

Almost half (46%) of respondents to a Coaching at Work survey favour external regulation while a quarter would prefer an alternative, such as the UK’s Professional Standards Authority’s (PSA) Accredited Register System. The PSA (formerly the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence) sets standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredits those who meet them. It is accountable to the UK Parliament.

Some 16.5 per cent of respondents are against external regulation and 11.5 per cent don’t know.

The survey, Shaping the Future of Coaching, was carried out to mark Coaching at Work’s 10th anniversary. There was a strong desire for more professionalism, including for coaching to become a recognised established profession (see page 23).

Professor Stephen Palmer said: “Let’s be pragmatic. The Government isn’t into unnecessary and/or over regulation of the professions because it costs money. So state regulation of coaching practice is not going to occur [yet]. Accreditation of professional body registers using the PSA system is the way forward if we want to do so. It’s already working for other professional groups. I informally recommended this move some years ago to various professional coaching bodies and at that time I contacted the PSA and their response was positive.”

Jacqui Bateson, Senior For Life Ahead proposition manager at Skipton Building Society in the UK, wanted “one professional standards body where all coaches work to the same standards and coachees have some certainty for their expectations”.

Paddy Ryan, director of coaching at Execoachingpm in Ireland wanted “regulation to prevent the watering down of the standards, but not by non-professional bodies”; Alison Dixon, owner/director of Success Coaching & Development in the UK, wanted “accreditation recognised collectively by the professional bodies so as to ensure consistent standards without it becoming overly restrictive or exclusive”, and coach/coach supervisor Eve Turner also wants coaching to be “regulated by collaboration between professional bodies”.

Some were open to a solution, such as the Register, but needed more information. “I would need to understand better how this works,” said Singapore-based Camilla Sugden, managing director of Niche Pte. Sugden saw “maintaining high standards without becoming unduly bureaucratic” as one of the greatest challenges for coaching over the next 10 years.

Others were in favour of regulation, but concerned that it would mean “huge financial overheads” and “prohibitive cost or red tape” for external providers.

“If any profession is to remain flexible and responsive then regulation has to match that need…. most often regulated industries become sources of bureaucratic red tape and forget what they are really there for,” said Bridget Farrands, director at Figure Ground Consulting in the UK.

Both Mike Hurley, director of Intuition Coaching & Mentoring, and Wendy Johnson, president of the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches, preferred self-regulation.

Paul Brown, faculty professor – organizational neuroscience, Monarch Business School, Switzerland, warned that it would be a “disaster [for coaching] to be regulated by an external body – see the Health Professions disaster for a worked example. Independence is most crucial and self-regulation the hallmark of good professionalism.”

See the full report on pages 15-24

BIG FOUR: COACHED STAFF BRING ‘POSITIVE RETURNS’

By Kate McGuire New partners given coaching to manage their transition become income generators twice as fast as those who aren’t coached, according to research by EY. Those receiving coaching showed positive returns within nine months of their appointment, contrasted with an average of 18 months for those not coached. Nicki Hickson, director of coaching […]

WOMEN LEADERS NEED TO MAKE BETTER ALLIANCES

By Rachel Ellison It’s not so much a case of glass ceilings, but glass cliffs and poisoned chalice jobs when it comes to many women’s workplace experiences, according to Dianah Worman OBE, CIPD public policy adviser, diversity. Worman discussed the findings of the ‘Women on Boards’ Davies Review and her own research into diversity in […]

RESILIENCE: THINK OF A SLINKY

By Liz Hall and Rachel Ellison All leaders have resilience, but in times of high, relentless pressure, they may lose access to it, and it’s not about bouncing back, said Carole Pemberton in her keynote at the conference. Pemberton, who researched resilience for her PhD, said resilience is not “coping and clinging on”, nor is […]

NEWS IN BRIEF

Our Award winners Congratulations to this year’s Coaching at Work Award winners: Louise Buckle; Tatiana Bachkirova; Peter Hawkins; Bridget Farrands; Dee Cullen and Sarah Edwards; Sarah Gilbert, Michelle Lucas and Eve Turner (see page 26 for report).   Big changes are learning opportunities Seeing major transitions as opportunities to develop and grow, rather than as […]

BACHKIROVA: 100 WAYS WE DISLIKE SUPERVISION

COACHING AT WORK ANNUAL CONFERENCE, LONDON, 1 JULY 2015 By Rachel Ellison Instead of navel gazing, in coach-speak, about supervision being a good thing that we all supposedly do and enjoy, Tatiana Bachkirova’s research expressed the unsayable: resenting supervision; not wanting it, not doing it. In her refreshing and congruent workshop on ‘100 reasons to […]

QSA USES MINDFULNESS TO HELP POVERTY-STRICKEN

COACHING AT WORK ANNUAL CONFERENCE, LONDON, 1 JULY 2015 Mindfulness – a brain training that leads to greater clarity, less stress and more balanced energy – is being embraced by organisations to help people manage themselves and their workloads. It’s also a natural ally of coaching – both enable people to fulfil potential; tap into […]

SWAROVSKI: MENTOR LEARNING IS ADDED BONUS

COACHING AT WORK ANNUAL CONFERENCE, LONDON, 1 JULY 2015 A global mentoring programme at Swarovski has created a new sense of camaraderie among its mentors, enhancing their listening and enquiry skills, and giving them significant personal learning, as well as the benefits experienced by mentees. The programme was initiated by Petra Lockhart, global vice president […]