Effective supervision in a variety of settings

Putting effective supervision into practice: Supervisees

Recommendation 3 states that ‘codes of practice within health and social care highlight the importance of workers taking responsibility for their own learning and professional development, supported by their employer’. Now consider the following definition of supervision: ‘Supervision is a process by which one worker is given responsibility by the organisation to work with another worker in order to meet certain organisational, professional and personal objectives which together promote the best outcomes for people who use services’. In order for this to work you will need to consider your part in the process.

The underlying principle of supervision is that it is seen as a process in which you, the individual worker, have an active part and of which you can take ownership. The purpose of supervision is for you to get to grips with your practice in relation to your role, making sure you are working towards the best outcomes for the people who are at the heart of your service.

Ask yourself the following questions:

Care workers should prepare for their supervision session by reading the notes from their last supervision session and reminding themselves of the actions required. They should choose examples of their practice they wish to discuss. This may be in relation to specific incidents or more general issues with the people they support, their relatives or other professionals. They may have questions they need to ask regarding a person’s care. As practice is always evolving they may wish to consider where they would like to be in terms of their development and their role. As part of their active input into the supervision process they could consider supervision records as evidence of achievement in, for example, common induction. See SCIE's Understanding Common Induction resource.

Support workers may wish to consider any or all of the above, or practice issues related to positive behaviour support and management, for example the British Institute of Learning Difficulties (BiLD) has a number of resources in relation to this.

Social workers should prepare for their supervision session by reading through the notes from the last session and reminding themselves of any actions required. They may identify patterns of practice from these notes. They may have practice questions or wish to discuss outcomes from their interventions. They may also wish to review their practice more generally in relation to the professional capabilities framework.

For PAs all of the above in relation to care and support may apply. However, it is acknowledged that the issue of whether a PA is receiving supervision at all or who is providing it may be more pertinent and this will need to be discussed and agreed with the employer.


All SCIE resources are free to download, however to access the following downloads you will need a free MySCIE account:

Available downloads:

  • Effective supervision in a variety of settings
  • Service user and carer involvement in the supervision of health and social care workers: seminar report
  • Practice enquiry into supervision in a variety of adult care settings where there are health and social care practitioners working together
  • Narrative summary of the evidence review on supervision of social workers and social care workers in a range of settings including integrated settings