Effective supervision in a variety of settings

Putting effective supervision into practice: Frequency of supervision in social care

National minimum standards are linked to the Care Standards Act 2000 and apply in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. These standards say that the frequency of supervision should be six times per year for residential care (older people) and four times per year for domiciliary settings. It says that supervision should cover all aspects of practice, philosophy of care and career development needs. In the service user seminar, domiciliary care workers who attended reported that they received supervision once a month and they were satisfied with this.

In England, the Health and Social Care Act 2008 applies and this is the legislation that the service regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), inspects under. Frequency of supervision is not referred to, however, Outcome 14 (supporting workers), which is required under Regulation 23, refers to appropriate training, professional development, supervision and appraisal. The detail of individual inspections will vary, however service providers could be asked for their records of supervision, or staff could be asked about what support they feel is in place.

In relation to frequency of supervision in social work, sector guidance indicates that this will depend on a number of different factors. However, it is suggested that supervision take place at between two- and six-weekly intervals for all front-line workers and at weekly intervals for newly-qualified workers.

Strategic leaders and/or employers should consider that the frequency and quality of supervision may be important in relation to the outcomes they wish to bring about in their given setting.


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