Understanding Coaches’ Pro-bono and work, its value and impact on practice and the profession

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Understanding Coaches’ Pro-bono and work, its value and impact on practice and the profession

As a values driven, maturing profession delivering impact at the individual, organisational and societal levels, coaching is uniquely positioned to deal with some of the intractable, ‘wicked’ problems and social injustices facing the human race.

This study aims to explore coaches’ involvement in pro bono work and develop an understanding of the causes coaches engage with, and how this work informs and impacts their professional development, their organisational practice and the evolution of the coaching profession itself. Typically, pro bono refers to the services of professionals provided voluntarily and without payment, to not-for-profit or third sector organisations (McColl-Kennedy et al., 2015).

The investigation is designed initially as a qualitative investigation, which aims to understand what pro bono work coaches do and the value they attach to this work in terms of how it informs their personal and professional practice and development. We aim to move beyond an individual focus to also gain an understanding of how pro bono coaching impacts upon the development of the coaching profession and the profession’s engagement with wider societal challenges.

Through in-depth interviews with coaches and key informants (educators, trainers, supervisors, representatives of professional organisations and commissioners from third sector organisations) we hope to arrive at results which inform the field of coaching, theoretically and practically. Beneficiaries of this study include coaches, professional associations, coach trainers and educators, and third sector organisations seeking to engage with coaching as a way of tackling social injustices and other real world problems.

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