A competency framework for coaches working in coaching development centres

Bernice Slabbert, Crystal Hoole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Orientation: Globalisation and the new world of work has changed the labour market, resulting in highly complex, volatile and dynamic environments. Organisations are dependent on highly skilled human capital to not only survive but also thrive. Selecting and developing talent is thus becoming a business necessity. Assessment centres (ACs) and development assessment centres (DACs) have become popular tools to manage talent because of the successful outcomes it provides. In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in the awareness of the benefits that coaching can offer in the AC environment as well as the development of coaching development centres (CDCs). However, research on CDCs is still limited. For CDCs to provide the same rigorous results as ACs and ADCs, a well-defined competency framework is needed for coaches working in a CDC. Research purpose: The aim of this study was to explore the required competencies and formulate a competency framework for coaches working in a CDC. Motivation for the study: Coaching, which is at the heart of coaching practices such as executive coaching, one-on-one coaching, team coaching and CDCs, requires a clear set of coaching competencies to ensure that it deliver its mandate to its clients: individuals, organisations and the profession. Coaches in a CDC environment work in a different context and require different competencies. A competency framework for CDC specifically is therefore needed. Research approach/design and method: Adopting a qualitative methodology, a self-completed questionnaire was administered to eight participants, followed by a semi-structured interview. Lastly, the competency framework was verified by an expert panel of five experts using the Delphi technique. Main findings: A final competency framework consisting of 25 competencies, of which 14 are considered as core competencies, was validated. Practical/managerial implications: The study contributes to the understanding of the unique behavioural demands associated with coaches operating in the context of a CDC. It provides a conceptual and practical framework of what competencies are needed to work successfully and effectively as a coach in a CDC, and ultimately enhance the effectiveness of a CDC. Contribution/value-add: Utilising this framework in practice will enable us to use candidates best suited to the role of a coach at a CDC, and will enhance the overall success of such centres.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera1841
JournalSA Journal of Industrial Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Assessment centres
  • Coaching
  • Coaching development centres
  • Competency frameworks
  • Development assessment centres

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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