What Is Professional Supervision?

“Supervision has provided time and space in a busy schedule to reflect on practice and develop strategies which might be useful in the future. It has been extremely helpful to have an experienced practitioner to help me to review and understand interpreting situations that have occurred: particularly to identify different factors that have influenced an interaction, the interpersonal dynamics of a situation and residual emotions and feelings attached to them. I have also benefited from gentle guidance, encouraging me to consider how to possibly manage different aspects of future assignments.”

Professional supervision, otherwise known as Clinical Supervision, is considered to be an essential part of good professional practice in professions such as nursing, counselling, psychotherapy, social work and other allied health care professions. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) recommends that all front line staff receive supervision:

“The purpose of clinical supervision is to provide a safe and confidential environment for staff to reflect on and discuss their work and their personal and professional responses to their work. The focus is on supporting staff in their personal and professional development and in reflecting on their practice.” CQC 2013

Supervision is an opportunity for practitioners to review and reflect on their work in a confidential setting in order to develop and improve their practice. A supervisor will guide and support their supervisee to explore decisions made within their practice, consider alternatives and reflect upon how they can best be supported in their role.

Trust is central to the supervisory relationship to enable the supervisee to bring what they may perceive as ‘mistakes’ without fear of judgement.

Rather than something to be feared supervision is an opportunity for growth and development enabling the supervisee to become a more robust, resilient and ethical practitioner.

Some of the benefits of professional supervision:

  • Designated time to reflect on your practice
  • Help you provide a better service to clients
  • Recognise your personal and professional strengths
  • Identify areas for development
  • Explore your personal responses to work
  • Increase your confidence in your skills and competence
  • Validate your practice
  • Gain feedback and guidance
  • Discuss work-related issues in confidence
  • Consider the impact the work has on you and develop resilience

Click here to find out more about what the difference is between Professional Supervision, Mentoring, NRCPD supervision and Line management supervision.

Click here to find out more about the different types of supervision.