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Siobhain O'Riordan

At the time of writing there is just less than three months before my term of office as SGCP Chair comes to an end. As such this will be my last report in The Coaching Psychologist (TCP). It is, of course, never possible to fully reflect progress and developments within the context of a short report. However, I do hope that I have been able to provide you with a flavour of activities undertaken by SGCP throughout 2007. Whilst not quite over this has been another exciting year. It has presented both challenges and opportunities and meant that once again we have remained busy but committed to the promotion and development of coaching psychology.

One important change in 2007 has been the revision of the British Psychological Society’s office service charging system. You will find an update report to provide you with further information in relation to what this means for SGCP in this issue of TCP. As part of the ‘future-focus’ I have reported upon previously the SGCP committee held a strategy day in September for the purpose of identifying key future priorities and planned areas of work to ensure we continue to progress in line with our current strategic aims and that SGCP remains fit for purpose. If you have not yet had the opportunity to review the SGCP strategic aims I would encourage you to visit our website where they are available: www.sgcp.org.uk.

Following on from the re-structure of our sub-committees earlier in the year we have now welcomed three new co-opted committee members. SGCP recognises the importance of research into coaching psychology as a key element in the development of the profession and we are delighted to welcome Dr Kristina Gyllensten as SGCP Research Officer. The main objective of this role is to be responsible and lead on coaching psychology research-related matters relevant to the SGCP and the development of coaching psychology. We are also pleased to welcome Dr Lisa Matthewman who has joined the committee to undertake the role of SGCP Standards Officer. The main objective of this role is to provide support to the SGCP committee on matters that are relevant to the development and application of coaching psychology standards. I have previously reported that we are currently focusing on a number of initiatives to further establish our existing links and develop new opportunities to work with other psychological professional bodies in Europe and beyond. I am pleased to report that we now have welcomed Vicky Ellam- Dyson to the committee whose role will be to specifically focus on this area of SGCP activity.

The conference sub-committee has continued to work hard on the co-ordination and arrangements for the 3rd National Coaching Psychology Conference to be held on 17-18 December, 2007, at City University. I do hope that as many of you as possible will be able to attend this important event in the coaching psychology calendar. The full conference programme and online registration process is available at www.city.ac.uk/sgcp. Looking further forward, planning has now also begun for the 2008 conference. To continue our initiative to work with different psychological bodies and associations across Europe I am pleased to announce that we will be hosting the 1st European Coaching Psychology Conference in 2008.

In July we ran a successful regional event in Edinburgh on the topic of Health Coaching, facilitated by Prof. Stephen Palmer. This was the first event SGCP has held in Scotland and also our first regional event since 2005. In September we held a one-day event at the Society’s London office, which covered two separate topics - ‘Evaluating Personal Coaching Relationships’ facilitated by Dr Lisa Matthewman, and ‘Using Appreciative Enquiry in Coaching Psychology’ facilitated by Indrani Choudhury. As well as running three successful events this year the event team has also been busy focusing on arrangements for the 2008 event programme. Planned event topics for next year currently include ‘Boundaries and Professional Practice’, ‘Feedback in Coaching Psychology’ and ‘Business Coaching using a Family- Centred Approach’. We hope to announce further details soon on the ‘News Page’ of the SGCP website.

For those of you who have joined the SGCP e-mail discussion list you may have noticed that we have recently introduced a new theme of the ‘Topic of the Month’. This has been for the purpose of generating further interesting and useful discussion within our online community of coaching psychologists. The e-mail discussion list provides an interface between members and updates on current issues, events and workshops taking place in the area of coaching psychology. On this note, I would like to extend my thanks to the team of moderators who facilitate the smooth running of the discussion list to ensure that the e-mail forum is managed professionally and appropriately. Details on how to join the e-mail discussion list are available on the ‘Join’ page of our website.

An important update since my last report is that we are currently awaiting some detailed guidance from the Society on the work required to move us towards possible accreditation frameworks or options for coaching psychologists within the Society. At the time of writing we are expecting this information imminently. This piece of work will be a key priority for the Accreditation Working Party and the SGCP committee for the remainder of the year. We will also be running a session at the conference to provide members with an update on progress.

As part of our drive to create an accreditation route for coaching psychologists we are launching a new online list for SGCP members who have chartered psychologist status. Offering an opportunity for chartered members to list in more detail the coaching psychology services that they offer the list will be posted on the SGCP website and will be accessible by members of the public. This new facility is based and linked to the Society’s Directory of Chartered Psychologists so at the current time only members who currently appear in the Directory will be eligible to appear on this new SGCP online list.

The SGCP currently has two regular publications. TCP publishes articles on all aspects of research, theory, practice and case studies in coaching psychology. The International Coaching Psychology Review (ICPR) focuses on the theory, practice and research in the field of coaching psychology. I would like to encourage you to submit articles to these publications. Information on how to do this are available on the inside covers of each publication and more detailed notes for contributors are available on the publications pages of our website.

The Society expects members and employees to demonstrate standards of behaviour that recognise and respect the dignity of all individuals at work. As such SGCP fully supports the Society’s Dignity at Work Policy, which currently applies only to employees and members of the Society. As members we have a personal responsibility to ensure that our behaviour does not amount to either a breach of this policy or the Society’s Code of Ethics and Conduct. Therefore, we will be providing you with further information in relation to this important issue next year.

Finally, as I will move into the role of Past Chair at the end of the year, I would like to take this opportunity to wish Dr Alison Whybrow every success as she will become SGCP Chair at our AGM in December. I would also like to express my thanks to all of my hard working SGCP colleagues for the time and commitment they have given voluntarily to support the work of SGCP. The Society’s subsystems team has also provided ongoing support and help throughout the year, which has been much appreciated and valued.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the role of Chair has been the opportunity to communicate with members on a wide variety of different topics and I will miss this part of my role the most! So, my final thank you is to the SGCP membership for your support, feedback and contributions throughout 2007.

Siobhain O’Riordan
E-mail: sgcpchair@bps.org.uk


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