Coaching is a growing, though unregulated profession. This lack of clear regulation is coupled with a lack of clarity on what constitutes core education and training, and means that individuals with no knowledge or training in behavioural science can become a coach, despite being in close psychological contact with clients during their practice.
The Special Group in Coaching Psychology (SGCP) believes that the BPS should be the leading authoritative voice in the education, training, practice and development of the coaching profession in the UK. The SGCP committee therefore convened a working group tasked with developing standards for accredited training programmes and developing recognised routes to chartered status for Coaching Psychology professionals.
There are five key aims:
- to develop accreditation standards for coaching psychology education programmes (L7)
- to develop L8 standards which establish the competencies required to be recognised as a Chartered Coaching Psychologist
- to develop robust but flexible routes to chartership for Coaching Psychology
- to establish Coaching Psychology as a psychological discipline via redesignation as a Division (domain of practice) in accordance with Rule 62 of The Rules of the Society
- to revise the current Register of Coaching Psychologists to offer levels of registration to BPS for psychology-informed coaches in addition to Chartered status.
- A paper was presented to the Practice Board outlining the 5 key aims above. The Practice Board were supportive of the initiative with the proviso that the nomenclature ascribed to each tier of the register is carefully considered.
- The first draft of the L7 Standards for Masters Programmes in Coaching Psychology was approved by the SGCP Committee. These standards were then circulated to a select group of ‘critical friends’ for consultation.
- The Board of Trustees were updated on the progress of this work.
- The first draft of L8 Standards for Chartership in Coaching Psychology were approved by the SGCP Committee. These standards were circulated to a select group of ‘critical friends’ for consultation.
- L8 Standards approved by the Partnership and Accreditation Committee
- L7 Standards provisionally approved by the Partnership and Accreditation Committee subject to some minor changes to be signed off by Chair’s Action
- At a Special General Meeting, members of the SGCP approved a proposal to request redesignation of the Special Group to the Division of Coaching Psychology.
- Criteria for full membership of the newly established Division of Coaching Psychology was also approved as follows:
GBC + completion of an accredited MSc in Coaching Psychology followed by Stage 2 training (supervised experience/Society Qualification), or;
GBC + assessment of a portfolio of professional practice against Standards for Chartership in Coaching Psychology, or;
Completion of a non-accredited research PhD identifiable as being based in Coaching Psychology post GBC.
It is proposed that there will be a ‘grandparenting’ period available to those who can demonstrate that they meet the standards for Chartership of Coaching Psychologists.
It is further proposed that the Professional Recognition route will allow individuals to be evaluated against the standards for Chartership. This would also be evidenced through an assessed portfolio of evidence.
This proposed new and innovative route to Chartership reflects the findings from the member journey work that foregrounds the need to develop flexible entry routes into and between the psychology domains of practice.
The assessment for this will mesh seamlessly with the assessment of supervised practice/BPS Stage 2 qualification.
The next phase of work
Board of Trustees will be updated that the Standards have been approved, and that the SGCP membership voted for re-designation.
Members will be asked to approve re-designation at the Society Annual General Meeting.
- Mapping the standards for Chartership and designing assessment criteria and portfolio components for the Professional Recognition route;
- Building a business case for a society qualification in coaching psychology or supervised practice route, and developing that route;
- Reviewing and redesigning the Register of Coaching Psychologists to include tiered registration, and apply for accreditation of the register through the Professional Standards Authority;
- Establishing an Education and Training Committee and training and establishing a bank of supervisors and assessors/reviewers;
- Developing a strategic communications plan to ensure communication and collaboration with key stakeholders.
Professional recognition route
- A professional recognition route to Chartership in Coaching Psychology is being developed. This is a new approach by the Society which aims to embrace.
Call to action
These are exciting times, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us.
We’re always keen to hear from any members of SGCP who have questions, thoughts or contributions to make, particularly if you feel that you could usefully contribute to the next phases of work.
Please contact [email protected] if you would like to join the conversation or volunteer your time and expertise