The term "supervision" describes the process by which the work of the coach/mentor is overseen and advice/guidance is sought. The process may differ in significant ways from that undertaken in other professions, such as psychotherapy and counselling.
Supervision is a mechanism to provide the coach/mentor, the client and the organisation with best practice and quality management. Supervision serves to help the coach/mentor manage high levels of complexity, maintain continued professional development, and have a mechanism for ensuring accountability and ethical practice. Supervision allows practitioners to re-construct their experience, reflect, understand, design their professional reality, and develop new responses for future practice within the supervision context.
The COMENSA Code of Ethics requires that all members have regular supervision with a suitably qualified supervisor who will regularly assess their professional development, competence and provide support to this end. COMENSA recommends a ratio of 1:15 hours of supervision to coaching or mentoring. Coaching and mentoring needs to establish themselves as professions of excellence in service which are capable of getting results and maintaining standards. Accountability, effectiveness and professionalism are core values for coaches and mentors. Supervision may take on different forms: one-to-one, one-to-a-group, or peer supervision; and will also depend on the different needs of the coach or mentor. For example, the type of coaching/mentoring, the specific activity, purpose or the context in which one is coaching or mentoring may determine the nature of the supervisory relationship, as well as the need for specific skills in the supervisor.