Finding a Professional Supervisor

“The nature of our role, dealing with people and their language is more faceted than ‘just’ interpreting appears on the surface. If my supervisor is not fully trained in being able to identify these inter- and intra-personal elements (as interpreters we are taught language skills, not psychology/counselling skills!) then they cannot be an effective mirror for me.”

The process of finding a supervisor may be confusing as, not only does the term ‘Supervisor’ have a variety of meanings, training in Professional/Clinical Supervision varies considerably. The following is a list of questions with guidance to help choose a supervisor.

When looking for a supervisor you are encouraged to consider the following questions:

What course did they undertake? 

There is some variation in courses offered and we suggest you look for supervisors who have completed either a Diploma in Supervision or a PGCert in Supervision. Both courses include approximately 120 – 150 hours teaching and provide practitioners with the depth and breadth of supervision theory and practice to enable them to become effective Professional Supervisors. This is particularly important for supervisors working outside of counselling and therapy as their practitioner training does not include intra and interpersonal dynamics and awareness necessary when supervising.

Did the training course include the supervision of allied professionals, or just counsellors/therapists ?

If the course was directed solely at supervising counsellors/psychotherapists then understanding the theory, practice and experience of supervising interpreters may be limited.

Is the supervisor registered?

e.g. NRCPD, BACP, UKCP, BPS

This ensures the Supervisor belongs to, and adheres to, professional, ethical and professional policy.

Does the supervisor hold professional liability insurance?

Their fee scale for both individual and group supervision

Expect to pay between £40 and £60 an hour for individual (1:1) private supervision, and to meet for 1, 1.5 or 2 hours monthly depending on your needs.

Group supervision is usually two hours a month minimum, ideally with a maximum of four members in the group. The cost is usually shared equally amongst group members.

The supervisor should be happy to answer any questions you may have and listen to what you are looking for as a sign language interpreter.

If during your initial contact you believe the supervisor meets your needs, arrange to meet them in person. Many supervisors offer a no fee/reduced fee initial consultation where you would negotiate a contract.

Click here to find a Supervisor from the sign language interpreting profession

You can also access a supervisor from the field of counselling or psychotherapy:

“Supervisors should be adequately trained, experienced and supported to perform their role.” CQC 2013