Effective supervision in a variety of settings

The foundations of effective supervision practice: Personal and professional development

The supervisory role will contain an element of teaching, which will vary according to the experience and capability of the supervisee. For a worker in training or newly-qualified, their supervision provides an essential element of their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and they will depend more on the skills, knowledge and expertise of their supervisor.

Personal and professional development underpins training needs arising from appraisal and will inform future planning. Some of the reflective skills and questioning methods used in supervision will improve and enhance front-line practice technique.

Even where the worker is capable and experienced, their supervision should contribute to the further development of their knowledge and skills.

There is an extensive literature on adult learning which can inform supervision practice and supervisors will need to integrate into their practice consideration of any differences in the way they learn from the way their supervisees have learned best in the past.

Questions that you may wish to ask are:

The opportunity to focus on the supervisee’s clinical or professional specialism provides a key personal development thread to the supervision process. It also enables practice challenges to be raised in a secure and, for many, ‘off line’ environment. For some professionals, this focused supervision will underpin their CPD for registration purposes.


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