10th Global

Coaching, Mentoring, & Supervision Research Conference

2-3 July 2020 - University of East London, UK

10th Global

Coaching, Mentoring, & Supervision Research Conference

2-3 July 2020 - University of East London, UK


Professor Jonathan Passmore, Tom Hennessey, & Dr David O’Sullivan

The development of coaching in Ireland: a European comparative study

Theme: Approach/school/theory

Area: Coaching

Keywords: coaching, research, British Coaches, Irish Coaches, professionalism of coaching, performance, leadership, public sector, private sector, development of coaching, coaching as a career, coaching and brexit, artificial intelligence and coaching

Session on 2 July 2020 16:25 cest - View on timetable


Our research attempts to determine the commonalities in coaching practice between British and Irish coaches, and where practice differs. We do this in the context of the growth of professionalism in coaching, and with a backdrop of more people choosing coaching as a profession. In doing so we seek to determine their training and qualifications, their prior careers, the reasons for entering the profession, the client engagements they undertake, and whether it is a sustainable career. Further, we attempt to delineate future trends – the effect Brexit could have on coaching practice.

Using an online questionnaire, 832 coaches took part in the research, of which 738 were from Great Britain and 94 from Ireland. Most of the coaches provided corporate work. The most common form of contracting was verbal, with Irish coaches more likely to regard the coachee as the primary client, rather than organisational stakeholders, which was more common among British coaches. Across both islands, the top three areas of practice were performance and leadership, general workplace coaching, and career coaching.


Professor Jonathan Passmore is the director of Henley Centre for Coaching (UK). He is a chartered psychologist and holds five degrees, including an MBA and a doctorate in occupational psychology. He has written widely including over 100 scientific papers and 30 books, and is the editor of the International Coaching Psychology Review, the premier peer review journal in coaching. He is ranked as one of the top 8 coaches in the world.

Tom Hennessy is CEO of Alive Coaching. He holds a Masters of Business from University College Cork (Ireland). A previous lecturer with the School of Applied Psychology in UCC. He set up Alive coaching in 2013. The practice is supported by 20 associates and specialises in coaching and leadership.

Dr David O’Sullivan is the Co-Director of the Masters in Applied Psychology (Positive & Coaching Psychology) in University College Cork (Ireland). He is also the chair of the School Ethics Committee. He is a chartered member of the British Psychological Society as well as being on the Register of Coaching Psychologists. He is a Certified Facilitator in Lego Serious Play for Positive Psychology. He is has an interest in embodied metaphors, an Action for Happiness Leader, and a founder member of the Cork branch.