Special Group in Coaching Psychology: Annual Review 2011

The SGCP continues to enjoy a thriving and committed membership. The work of its volunteers through the committees and subcommittees has been instrumental in meeting the needs of its members, for example, in the BPS this is all about the thriving preparations for another Conference - the main event in the academic world. The SGCP has raised its presence in particular in the international sphere through such events as the 1st International Congress of Coaching Psychology and its collaborations with global coaching psychology bodies in: UK, Australia, Denmark, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. 

In a difficult economic climate, the SGCP has continued to work with the BPS to raise the profile, credibility and recognition of Coaching Psychologists. This effort culminated in December 2011, with the launch of a Society Register of Coaching Psychologists, which is now fully operational. This achievement was a primary goal of the SGCP and is founded on the efforts and commitment of dedicated committees since the creation of the SGCP in 2004. Work will continue on the Register to develop a ‘practitioner’ status for those members who may not have Chartership. The SGCP aims to work with the BPS to consider the accreditation of courses and continuing professional development in Coaching Psychology.

The advent of a Register of Coaching Psychologists serves to promote greater recognition of this professional field in the public domain and further promulgates safe standards of practice. The profile of the SGCP will continue to be raised internally and externally over the following year as the BPS conference and events teams work with committee members to deliver the SGCP Learning and Development program and the 2012 Conference. The membership of the SGCP continues to grow substantially and is increasingly relevant to other member networks within the Society. The SGCP is actively involving and engaging with a number of new volunteers on the SGCP Committee over this year, including student representatives.

The Conference Committee, chaired by Haley Lancaster and Judit Varkonyi-Sepp, has worked tirelessly since the beginning of the year on the 2011 SGCP conference, ‘Innovation in Coaching Psychology’. The Events Committee, chaired by Sue Watsham and Zorica Patel, has again delivered a valuable range of professional development seminars and worshops. The Events Committee will continue to develop programs to provide Continual Professional Development aligned to accreditation. Publications and communications, managed by Jennifer Liston-Smith, Claire Townsend and Judit VarkonyiSepp remains a flagship of the SGCP through its website and publications. The Peer Practice Group, led by Derek Ross, continued to provide a welcome resource to members whilst promoting and promulgating good practice and assuring professional development. 

SGCP’s two peer-reviewed publications, the International Coaching Psychology Review and The Coaching Psychologist, edited by Stephen Palmer and Siobhain O’Riordan continue to grow both in terms of contributions and readership. Both are abstracted in leading databases and remain the main sites for publishing coaching psychology papers. Emma Short, as Research Officer, has informed members on current research and innovation in coaching psychology through the Research Digest.

The SGCP, through the Representative Council and the PPB, has over the year worked to influence policy and practice in the broader field of psychology, both providing expert opinion on consultation documents and communicating Society policies and opportunities through to the SGCP membership.

The SGCP Committee is comprised of a ‘transient workforce’ and an implicit requirement of the group is to maintain the transfer of knowledge within its committee membership whilst accommodating change. Achieving consensus, whilst facilitating innovation remains a key and challenging issue for the SGCP. This has been evident over the last year during which the SGCP Committee has continued to adapt to the loss of members and the change of roles of other members, creating a mix of continuity and change. Ho Law, Past Chair of the SGCP, Nadia Nagamootoo, Honarary Secretary of the SGCP and Emma Short, Research Officer, have been very welcome members of the Committee and have made a significant and welcome contribution to the SGCP. A philosophy of peer coaching is embraced by the SGCP within the committee structure and new members to the committees continue to enjoy the benefit of this.

The SGCP has very much appreciated the efforts of Annjanette Wells in her role as the Society’s representative on the SGCP. Annjannette joined the SGCP committee at the beginning of the year. Her knowledge of Society processes and policies have been instrumental in continuing to develop a productive and collaborative relationship with the BPS towards our mutual strategic objectives. 

Dr Angela Hetherington, Chair