Coach mentoring and supervision

There is often confusion around whether coaches need mentoring or supervision. The difference is sometimes hard to see but a concise description would be;


A mentor helps the coach develop their skill set and the practice of their skills. They help them check that they are meeting and maintaining the core competencies of the accrediting body, and that the sessions are task focused. A mentor may offer suggestions and knowledge from their own experience to help the mentee progress.


A supervisor acts as someone to whom a coach can bring their coaching experiences with clients to, to reflect on, explore and learn from them. This can be both practically and emotionally around their role as a coach.  A supervisor works collaboratively to support the coach’s professional and personal wellbeing and success. A supervisor can often provide elements of mentoring within the sessions. This learning and development is for the benefit of both the coach and, indirectly the coach’s clients.

  • Both should encourage ongoing development and learning and keep standards high in the profession.
  • Both rely on the experience and maturity of the mentor/supervisor to guide and support the coach.
  • Both aim to pick up on any subconscious behaviours or attitudes from the coach that are unhelpful to the coach and their clients
  • Both provide confidentiality and a safe space for coaches to explore concerns they might have while developing in their profession.


Mari has a wonderful combination of; in depth knowledge of her area of work, and a warm, gentle manner in dispensing that knowledge. She is able to quickly gain the trust of the person she is working with, I would not hesitate to recommend her to others to mentor their staff
— Liz Wright, Project Manager, The Red Hen Project
Mari was my coach mentor during 2016. She provided fantastic insight and guidance but was also very open and humble about her own achievements and skills (which are many!) and I felt I could discuss any aspect of my coaching with her. She signposted what to review and focus on and my coaching has definitely stepped up considerably since working with her.
— Ian White – Consultant in board evaluation, governance, professional team strategy