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Salford Children's Services Procedures Manual Salford City Council website

1.7.1 Supervision Policy


The aim of this chapter is to provide a policy framework for one to one supervision of social workers in the specialist Division of the Children’s Services Directorate. The policy has been designed to meet the needs of the service, the staff, and reflect the Social Work Reform Board 2012 recommendations and The Standards for Employers and Supervision Framework. The policies reflected in this chapter will be reviewed within 3 years.

Please note there are also supporting documents –available on Salford Intranet:

Corporate Personal Development Review Policy
Attendance management
Induction Policy
Health and Safety policy
Dignity at work
Flexible working
Appraisal policy
Capability policy


This chapter was added to the manual in November 2018 and replaced a similar policy, but which had been comprehensively amended.


  1. Introduction
  2. Policy Statement
  3. Definition of Supervision
  4. The Supervision Process
  5. Personal Development Review
  6. The Supervision Contract
  7. Frequency, Location and Length of Sessions
  8. Recording and Confidentiality
  9. Quality Assurance Process - Audit of Supervision Files
  10. Newly Qualified Social Workers – Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) Workers
  11. Post Registration Training and Learning (PRTL)
  12. Supervisors
  13. Additional Arrangements for Providing Clinical / Professional Supervision
  14. Contents of the Supervision File
  15. Complaints

    Appendix A: KSS Evidence Tracker – Social Workers

    Appendix B: KSS Evidence Tracker – Supervisors

    Appendix C: Supervision Contract

    Appendix D: Record of Supervision Template – Social Workers

    Appendix E: Record of Supervision Template – Supervisors

    Appendix F: Record of Reflective Supervision – Journal Template 1

    Appendix G: Critical Analysis Record of Reflective Supervision – Template 2

    Appendix H: Record of Direct Observation of Practice

    Appendix I: Service User Feedback Template – Child

    Appendix J: Service User Feedback – Adult and Young Person

    Appendix K: Supervision File Audit Template

    Appendix L: Development and Training Log

1. Introduction

The aim of this policy is to provide a framework for one to one supervision of staff in the specialist Division of the Children’s Services Directorate. The policy has been designed to meet the needs of the service, the workforce and to comply with recommendations of the Social Work Reform Board 2012, Local Government Standards for Employers of Social Workers in England and the North West Protocol for Standards in Supervision of Children and Families Social Workers (ADCS). It has also sought to incorporate best practice recommendations from Ofsted inspections and serious case reviews, relevant to Salford Children’s Services.

2. Policy Statement

Supervision is seen as a priority to ensure quality of service to service users within relevant legislation, practice governance, codes of standards and ethics. Salford City Council is committed to ensuring that social workers in the division receive effective supervision on a regular basis. Underpinning this process there are key expectations which the supervision process is expected to meet:

  • Development/Education – the supervisory process is a key element in the continuing professional development of staff. The role of the supervisor is to help the worker reflect on their current performance, identify areas for development and education needs and plan on how these can best be met. Supervision should meet the career needs of social workers and assist them in maintaining their professional registration;
  • Support – the nature of the work carried out in children and Young People’s Services can mean that staff members are faced with difficult situations, uncertainty and distress. The supportive function of supervision is extremely important to help staff cope with these difficulties by valuing staff as people and not just as professionals. This element encourages supervisees to discuss their feelings as well as thoughts and actions and aims to help supervisees to explore emotional blocks to their work and how the work impacts upon them. This function also assists in monitoring the overall health and wellbeing of the worker with regards to stress;
  • Mediation/Advocacy – concerned with building the relationship between the individual and the service as an organization. This may include the supervisor representing the supervisor’s needs and views to higher management and briefing higher management about resource shortfalls and their impact on supervisees;
  • Performance and Accountability – informed by knowledge of good social work practice and the expertise of service users, carers and practitioners;
  • Safe Working Practice – assess risks and take action to minimise and prevent them, including clear guidance about lone working practices;
  • Accountability – ensure that processes are in place to seek and collate the views of service users, carers and practitioners and act upon these views so that continuous feedback informs and supports the delivery of quality services;
  • Performance Management – that it will identify performance management issues and the measures required to support progress, such as targets, action plans and timescales;
  • Reflection - that reflective supervision will act as a tool, supporting the individual’s ability to analyse situations, develop hypotheses and challenge the worker’s own and others’ assumptions, leading to evidence based practice. This will support reasoned and timely decision making.
There is an expectation that staff at all levels in the Directorate will be offered one to one supervision meetings at a frequency negotiated between supervisor and supervisee, reflecting individual need. It is expected, however, that this occurs at a minimum of monthly intervals, except for newly qualified staff who will have supervision every fortnight. This will be provided from their operational manager and their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) designated mentor. Reflective supervision should take place at a minimum of bi-monthly intervals and will be recorded separately.

3. Definition of Supervision

Supervision is an ongoing process in which social care staff receive guidance, support and challenge, in a formal setting, in order to meet organisational, professional and personal objectives and requirements.

4. The Supervision Process

The supervision process includes three main functions:

4.1 Professional Supervision (case supervision)

The line manager’s responsibility for direct work is exercised mainly through the professional case supervision of their supervisees. Effective case supervision will ensure that practitioners are supported to make choices which are in the child’s best interests, that are case managed within the Authority’s policies and procedures and makes best use of resources.

 Professional supervision provides an opportunity for supervisors and supervisees to fully examine and reflect on the quality of practice. A major role for the supervisor is to effectively explore with staff their views, observations and assessments, and evidence this, within the case record of supervision. Part of this process is to ensure that workers can:

  • Differentiate between fact and opinion;
  • Demonstrate how they have sought corroboration and/or validation of their assessment;
  • Support their assessment, despite robust challenge and scrutiny;
  • Recognise and reflect on why, in some situations, the worker’s view may be different to that of other professionals working with the family and to give some rationale for this.

Learning lessons from past Serious Case Reviews or Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews; it is important that supervision is also used to ensure that the rule of “over optimism” does not impact on overall risk assessment and decision making.

Supervision should reflect on all aspects of the service provided by the social worker. Ensuring that it takes place regularly promotes empathy, self-evaluation, intellectual enquiry, consideration of the worker’s feelings and builds on competence. Workers also need opportunities to explore their feelings given that the nature of the social care task may generate strong emotional and moral responses. These need to be acknowledged and processed to ensure they are appropriate to the situation and not generated by personal or organisational dynamics. Supervision can then identify any further required resources to address responses to stressful situations.

4.2 Line Management

Effective line management gives direction, guidance and constructive feedback to the worker, providing opportunity to link individual practice to service wide management objectives. Discussion during supervision should include the overall quality of the supervisee’s performance; the policies and procedures relating to their work (and that these are understood and followed) and the role and responsibilities of the supervisee and that these are clearly understood, thus determining how practice can be improved. Line management affords the opportunity to develop and monitor action plans and targets, along with timescale for achievement. It ensures workloads are effectively allocated, managed and reviewed.

Supervision should help workers to identify and overcome blocks to performance such as work conflicts or other pressures. It must always address capability, disciplinary and grievance issues, with a view to resolving these at the earliest possible stage.

Supervisors have an overall responsibility to the welfare of the staff they manage, having regard to promoting a sense of ‘wellness’ and the use of a preventative approach to dealing with illness. They must recognise diversity and promote anti-discriminatory practice, including addressing the causes and consequences of discrimination and inequality.

4.3 Continuing Professional Development

The supervisor is responsible for encouraging and assisting staff in reflecting on their own performance, identifying their learning and development needs and developing plans / supporting opportunities to address those needs. Constructive feedback and observation of practice should be part of this learning process and must be formally recorded.

The process will be supported by identifying the worker’s preferred learning style and barriers to learning, which will then be incorporated into the worker’s personal development plan.

New members of staff will be offered an induction programme, relevant to their experience and needs, using the Induction planner, with review dates being recorded on the supervision file. Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSW) will complete the ASYE (Assessed and Supported Year in Employment programme). The record will be signed off by both parties when the induction has been completed.

In line with the Divisional Induction policy it is expected that within the first month of the worker commencing employment that the supervisor will complete a supervision history with them. This process is designed to explore the worker’s past experience of supervision and, in particular, aspects which were helpful in promoting good practice, as well as those aspects which were not. In so doing, it is believed that potential blocks to effective outcomes can be avoided, particularly in relation to past poor experiences of the process, ‘a telling off,’ interruptions or supervision simply not happening.

At the completion of the probationary period, all staff will be offered a Probation interview at which achievements and learning needs will be discussed. A review report will be completed by the supervisor recommending whether the worker has successfully completed the probation period or not or whether an extension is required. This report and the outcome agreed by Service Manager will be kept on the supervision file.

5. Personal Development Review

Personal Development Reviews must take place annually and should be reviewed regularly in one to one supervision sessions.

Guidance and templates are available on Salford’s Intranet.

At the start of a worker’s employment their Personal Development Review (PDR) should take place at the same time as their probationary interview. This then sets the date for the annual review of the PDR.

For existing staff PDRs should take place in the same month as that employee’s leave year starts thus ensuring that PDRs across teams are spread at intervals throughout the year.

The template for recording supervision sessions includes a section for reviewing actions agreed at the PDR meeting. It is not necessary to review these actions at every supervision session but they should be considered at a minimum of three monthly intervals. Consideration should be given as to whether the employee has been provided opportunities in line with agreements reached at the PDR about their continuing development.

There is an expectation that social workers provide evidence that they continue to meet the Knowledge and Skills (KSS) standards appropriate to their level of responsibility. KSS evidence should be considered at intervals of no less than three monthly using the evidence tracker template provided at Appendix A: KSS Evidence Tracker – Social Workers for social workers and at Appendix B: KSS Evidence Tracker – Supervisors for managers.

For managers and supervisors who must demonstrate evidence of meeting the KSS standards for supervisors a different supervision template will be used for recording each supervision session. (See Appendix E: Record of Supervision Template – Supervisors)

Heads of Service will monitor whether or not PDRs are taking place regularly and are regularly reviewed by means of discussion in one to one supervision with Service Managers. A section on the template for recording managers’ supervision facilitates this discussion.

By monitoring PDRs Heads of Service will also be able to identify trends in training and development needs.

Supervision file audits (see Section 8, Recording and Confidentiality) will also highlight where PDRs have not taken place or been regularly reviewed and remedial actions will be recorded.

6. The Supervision Contract

Central to the policy is the emphasis on the supervision contract. Use of the contract applies to all staff and is designed to reflect general core principles whilst facilitating the capacity within defined areas to support individual need. It is expected that the contract will be completed in a supervision session, either alongside the supervision history or at the subsequent session. It is believed that undertaking this process, early in the developing relationship between supervisor and supervisee will support a shared understanding of, and commitment to, the supervision process. Furthermore, by having discussion on all areas of the contract it is believed this will ensure an understanding of:

  • The supervisor’s commitment to offering regular, predictable, protected time and the commitment by both to prepare, attend and share responsibility for making supervision work;
  • An environment in which it is acceptable to learn from mistakes or be unsure; to receive feedback which is constructive and focused, to promote practice which is anti-discriminatory and where openness and honesty are valued;
  • The respective roles and responsibilities of each to the process, particularly when discussing Directorate requirements, accountability, and the need to work towards agreed targets and plans, which will promote the best interests of the service users;
  • The recording of supervision, including where records will be kept, to safeguard confidentiality; and the limits of confidentiality. As a general rule, to help staff feel comfortable in discussing all aspects of their work, there needs to be clarity as to what will happen with information discussed. In most situations, information shared will be confidential within the team (or workplace) and shared externally, with sensitivity and on a ‘need to know’ basis. It is, however, important to record the uses a supervision file may be put to: as an audit of the effectiveness of the supervisor’s practice; as a means of conveying the worker’s history if they move posts between teams/parts of the Directorate and potentially in grievance or disciplinary matters. Discussion will identify how quickly records will be given to the supervisee for signature. Note: there is no expectation that electronic records for the child’s file will be recorded during the session; however there is an expectation that recordings are made on the child’s file as soon as possible following the supervision session. There is also an expectation that both parties will sign the agreed recording of the supervision;
  • The arrangements for agenda setting (both parties to prepare for supervision) and the commitment to ensure records are read and acted on, as agreed;
  • The arrangements for ad hoc or unplanned supervision;
  • The complaints and review process;
  • The supervision process reflects the belief that staff have the right to receive effective and sensitive supervision, to have their experience and contributions acknowledged and to reflect on their practice and contribution to problem solving;
  • Each supervision contract will be different and should be regarded as a ’living’ document, evolving in line with the worker’s level of experience, confidence and needs, as well as any changes to this policy. As a minimum, it should be reviewed annually and a new contract should be drawn up whenever there is a change of role or a change of supervisor.

A proforma for the supervision contract is attached: see Appendix C: Supervision Contract.

7. Frequency, Location and Length of Sessions

It is expected that supervision meetings will occur at a minimum frequency of monthly and more frequently for less experienced workers (see Section 2, Policy Statement and Section 8, Recording and Confidentiality). The exception to this being where staff work part-time when the frequency is bi-monthly. A further exception is for social work staff within the Bridge Team who do not hold case responsibility. Formal supervision will again occur bi-monthly with an expectation that they attend group supervision every six weeks. Supervisors should also make themselves available to offer advice and guidance outside of the formal arrangements, though this ad hoc arrangement will not replace formal supervision. It is expected that supervision will take place in private. The length of time required will depend on the agenda but a maximum of two hours should suffice if there is preparation by both and sessions are effectively managed.

Reflective supervision must take place at a minimum frequency of bi-monthly. Reflective supervision sessions may take place as a group activity but where this is the norm social workers must also have individual reflective supervision sessions at least twice a year.

8. Recording and Confidentiality

8.1 Format

It is expected that all formal supervision sessions will be recorded by the supervisor using the supervision proforma (see Appendix D: Record of Supervision Template – Social Workers for social workers, Appendix E: Record of Supervision Template – Supervisors for supervisors). This will be a record of the discussion, the decisions made with timescales and reporting back arrangements. The record needs to be signed, with clear arrangements for recording disagreement. It is also a requirement that issues relating to individual cases are recorded separately and placed on the service user’s file, using the Integrated Children’s System assessment document.

Supervisors and managers have a separate template for their supervision sessions to be recorded on. This template includes information about when PDRs have taken place and been reviewed.

8.2 Recording Knowledge and Skills Evidence

There is a requirement that social workers provide evidence that they are meeting the requirements of the Knowledge and Skills Statements standards. At regular intervals (every 2 - 3months) workers should bring evidence of how they believe they are meeting the KSS requirements recorded on the evidence tracker at Appendix A: KSS Evidence Tracker – Social Workers. The supervisor should discuss with the worker and sign off their agreement and/or set tasks to assist the worker in meeting any outstanding requirements.

Managers and supervisors who are qualified social workers must also provide evidence that they are meeting the KSS standards appropriate to their level of responsibility and decision-making. They should record evidence on the KSS evidence tracker for supervisors (Appendix B: KSS Evidence Tracker – Supervisors) and produce this at regular intervals in their one to one supervision sessions with their supervisor.

The evidence tracker should be referred to during PDR meetings.

Discussions about progress in respect of demonstrating evidence of KSS requirements should include consideration of whether the worker wishes to be endorsed in respect of the National Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS). This is a voluntary action but it is important that all workers are given the opportunity to discuss their expectations/aspirations in this respect.

8.3 Recording Management Decisions

It is essential that management decisions are recorded on the child’s file, with timescales, risk analysis and outcomes clearly identified. This is to support the ability to demonstrate how, when and where decisions were made. It does not, however, preclude decisions being made outside of the formal supervision arena. There are other means in which decisions may be recorded: when managers authorise assessments, such as CAFAS; Child in Need Plans; Care Plans and Statutory Visits. It is also important that informal discussions, which result in decisions being taken are recorded, by the social worker, within Care First observations. The frequency with which an individual child’s case is discussed will vary, depending on issues such as vulnerability, risk, and timescales for plans and reviews, updated CAFAS: visiting schedules; legal status; and also the social worker’s experiences of specific cases. The frequency should be a management decision influenced by all the above but no less than bi-monthly, other than with the exception of Children with Disability cases, specifically where the only involvement is ‘Short Break’ services and the review is six monthly in line with National guidance and best practice. Supervision on these cases follows the review. It is an expectation, however, that decisions made in respect of every child will demonstrate management oversight within the child’s records.

In consideration of actions set and agreed at previous supervision sessions supervisors will be mindful of the need to monitor adherence to timescales. There is an expectation that, should assessments be out of timescale there will be an action plan addressing any delay and outlining what will be done to rectify the situation. The agreed action plan will also identify frequency of contacts needed to achieve goals, actions required and responsibilities of the worker in delivering the plan.

It is essential that within the record the voice and experience of children and young people and their perspective is recorded.

8.4 Recording Reflective Supervision

Reflective supervision sessions must be recorded separately to casework supervision sessions. The record should indicate the process taking place in decision-making in respect of a case and the worker’s feelings and thoughts about how different relationships may have evoked different emotional responses which may have impacted on the effectiveness of social work practice. There is a need for practitioners to be creative in their approach to help identify bias, shift thinking and the approach to case work in order to generate better outcomes for children and their families.

Reflective supervision sessions should be recorded on one of the two templates (Appendix F: Record of Reflective Supervision – Journal Template 1 and Appendix G: Critical Analysis Record of Reflective Supervision – Template 2).

Where group reflective supervision has taken place the individual social worker receiving such supervision should record this on one of the above templates and have it signed off as an agreed record by the person facilitating the session.

8.5 Direct Observation of Practice

All social workers should have their practice observed at least once a year. This activity should involve social workers interacting with service users and not simply be in meetings of professionals only.

Where a case file audit has been undertaken by the Quality Assurance Audit Pool this will have involved the social worker’s practice being observed. Provided that this has taken place and has been recorded this will suffice as the annual observation.

Direct observations of social work practice must be recorded on the template provided (Appendix H: Record of Direct Observation of Practice).

8.6 Service User Feedback

Social workers must seek feedback from service users at least once a year with 2 or 3 examples being sought. (See templates at Appendix I: Service User Feedback Template – Child for feedback from children and Appendix J: Service User Feedback – Adult and Young Person for feedback from adults and young people). Discussions between the worker and their supervisor should take place to determine who the feedback should be requested from. The completed feedback should contribute to the evidence provided at the worker’s Personal Development Review.

8.7 Content of One to One Supervision Sessions

All matters discussed in supervision may be recorded and exceptions cannot be made for particular issues to remain confidential. The supervision contract reiterates that other people may see the supervision file. Matters arising with regard to the following must always be shared and recorded:

  • Wellbeing and staff care;
  • Issues concerning staff performance and conduct;
  • Performance management (including standards of work);
  • Case issues which need to be shared with colleagues involved;
  • Issues concerning safety of service users and staff;
  • Recordings of observation of practice by manager or other staff;
  • Discussions of reflective supervision sessions;
  • Matters involving legal issues affecting the service or the supervisee;
  • Staffing / Team matters;
  • Discussion of tasks identified in annual PDR and review;
  • Development and training undertaken;
  • Evidence that Post Qualifying KSS standards are being met;
  • Consideration of endorsement for NAAS accreditation;
  • Attendance, including absence.

The supervisee must have access to the file on request, as well as having signed copies by both parties of all supervision notes.

8.8 Storage of Supervision Records

Supervision files may be kept as paper files or as electronic versions. In either case the records must be stored securely to ensure that they remain confidential. The supervision file should remain with the supervisor, who should take steps to ensure it is well organised, complete and, if electronic, has a means of recording the agreement of both supervisor and supervisee.

When an employee leaves the Directorate the supervision records held by the Supervisor should be kept for twenty five years. This applies to all staff including agency/contract staff. When the supervisee transfers to another post within the Directorate, the supervision records need to be retained and follow the staff member. Supervision records should always be passed on when the supervisee remains in post but there is a change of supervisor. In exceptional circumstances, for example a major restructure, or both the supervisee and supervisor leaving the organisation, it will be necessary to ensure that the files remains in the shared (R)) drive.

9. Quality Assurance Process - Audit of Supervision Files

In order to be effective the supervision process requires monitoring and quality assurance arrangements. The quality assurance process ensures that:

  • The standards of supervision as outlined in this policy are being followed;
  • Staff are being supervised professionally and effectively;
  • Supervision sessions are being recorded;
  • Individual Supervision Contracts are being developed, reviewed and used;
  • That the supervision process promotes equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory practice;
  • That consideration is given to the worker being supported to provide evidence that they are meeting the Post Qualifying standards Knowledge and Skills requirements.

All supervision files will be audited annually as a peer exercise using the template at Appendix K: Supervision File Audit Template. Arrangements will be made for each manager/supervisor to audit the supervision files of one of their direct peers. Reciprocal arrangements will be in place. Managers and supervisors will be advised whose files they will audit following a random selection being made to ensure fairness and equality.

Completed audits will be recorded and will be shared with the supervisor who is responsible for the file. It is the responsibility of the auditor to monitor whether any remedial actions identified are completed within three months. Where a concern arises that remedial actions have not been acted upon the auditor should speak to the supervisor in question in the first instance but should then raise the matter with a senior manager if remedial actions remain incomplete. A copy of the completed audit will be stored on the worker’s file i.e. the worker whose file has been audited and a copy will be stored in the shared drive (‘R Drive”) where it will be accessible to senior managers who will take responsibility for monitoring that regular and effective supervision is taking place for all staff.

Once a supervision file audit has been completed the Quality Assurance Team should be notified.

A selection of supervision file audits will be re-audited by the Quality Assurance Team to ensure that the process is fair.

Supervision files are also available to inspectors who may wish to review them as part of the inspection process.

10. Newly Qualified Social Workers – Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) Workers

The Department for Education stipulates the following in relation to supervision for Newly Qualified Social Workers (ASYE):

  • Supervisors should be experienced, have had training on supervising staff and meet their organisation’s requirements to supervise staff;
  • Supervision should be held, at a minimum for up to two hours on a weekly basis for the first six weeks of appointment and then on a two-weekly basis up to the end of the first six months of work as a newly qualified worker or on joining the AYSE programme;
  • Supervision can reduce to monthly meetings following this period;
  • Supervision needs to allow time and opportunities to consider progress against the Post Qualifying Standards Knowledge and Skills requirements for ASYE staff. Recording evidence of KSS requirements met as work is explored in supervision provides a clear pathway to meet each Outcome Statement;
  • The supervisor and the NQSW must agree the agency’s Supervision Contract and a development and training record. Supervision records must detail: case discussion, organisational matters and personal training and development and must address these issues on each occasion. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to complete supervision records and review records.
Social work teams may also identify an Advanced Practitioner to share supervision, offering support and mentoring during the first year of post qualification. This is in addition to the guidance offered by the ASYE support coordinator.

11. Post Registration Training and Learning (PRTL)

In order to meet the criteria for continued registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), expect that every qualified social worker follow the Standards of Proficiency (SOPs). They set out clear expectations of social worker’s knowledge and abilities when they start practicing. The work to set the standards of proficiency for social workers in England developed alongside the work of the Social Work Reform Board. One outcome of the Reform Board, the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF), is now managed by the British Association of Social Work (BASW). The PCF describes the capabilities required of social workers at all stages of their career, whilst the SOP’s set out what a social worker must know, understand and be able to do when they start practicing for the first time.

Every social worker registered with the HCPC must keep a record of Post Registration Training and Learning undertaken. Employers have a responsibility to support social workers to meet these requirements and it is expected that supervisors will provide support by enabling the social worker to access study and training opportunities and will monitor progress in supervision.

Every social worker must also provide evidence that they are meeting the Knowledge and Skills standards commensurate with their role.

Social workers should complete their Development and Training Log (Appendix L: Development and Training Log) and bring it to each supervision session where it should be discussed and signed off by the supervisor.

12. Supervisors

Supervisors of Social Care staff should as soon as possible after appointment undertake appropriate training to enable them to carry out their supervisory role. Appropriate training includes:

  • Practice Educator training;
  • Corporate training and learning;
  • Relevant MeLearning courses;
  • SSCP ‘Risky Business’ training.

Supervisors should also make use of the articles and guidance on the Research in Practice website.

Supervisors should also undertake supervision for safeguarding training, and supervision refresher training as available and appropriate.

Supervisors must ensure that their supervision covers all the functions of supervision as set out in Section 4 of this policy with a focus on ensuring a high quality service for children and families who use Children’s Social Care Services.

13. Additional Arrangements for providing Clinical / Professional Supervision

There are groups of staff within the Directorate who have either been employed by a partnership agency or have operational managers from a different professional background. Whilst line management supervision will always address issues of operational accountability, the Directorate has been keen to ensure systems are in place to support continued professional development and high standards of clinical practice. This would also be in accordance with national guidance from the individual’s own professional body. There are various means by which this support will be provided.

Clinical supervision can be offered via one to one sessions, where guidance on interventions can be given and an opportunity to reflect on effectiveness of the plan. The frequency of such sessions will vary, dependent on need. Such is the case with the programme manager of specialist Fostering Services who offers clinical supervision to staff on a weekly basis.

Professional supervision can be provided, again in a one to one meeting with a manager from the individual’s service, to ensure support within their discipline and that their professional training needs are identified and met. It is expected that such supervision would take place, at a minimum of four times per year and would be have, as a main agenda item, the steps via training or practice the individual needs to make to retain registration with their appropriate professional body.

14. Contents of the Supervision File

All supervision files should contain the following documents:

  • Signed Supervision Records: From each supervision session;
  • Development and Training Record: Training record sheet which should have been updated at every supervision session;
  • Performance Feedback: Memos, reports and notes of comments on the supervisee’s performance. Complaints and compliments;
  • Annual Leave: For some this may be where the annual leave card is stored; for others it may be where requests made for leave are stored with notes about action taken;
  • Sickness Absence Management: Return to work interviews, attendance reviews, workforce performance information. OHU referrals/reports. Correspondence in relation to attendance management. Fit notes;
  • Job Description: Copy of the job description and person specification for the post;
  • Supervision Contract: Copy of the signed supervision contract. This should be reviewed annually or when there has been a change of supervisor;
  • Signed Confidentiality Code of Conduct;
  • Employee personal contact details and details of car – this information may be stored centrally rather than on the main file to protect confidentiality;
  • Performance – action plans, capability procedures;
  • Reflective Supervision Record – recorded evidence that reflective supervision is taking place at least bi-monthly;
  • KSS – record of practice evidence. This should be recorded and signed off by the supervisor at regular intervals;
  • Observation of practice – this may have taken place as a discreet activity or as part of a wider case file audit;
  • Service user feedback – copies of feedback received from service users which will contribute to annual PDR;
  • Suitability to continue working with children – updated annually;
  • Supervision History – completed at the start of the supervisory relationship;
  • Personal Development Review – with clearly identified goals and targets set.

13. Complaints

Supervisees should be clear about whom they should contact if they feel the terms of their supervision contract are not being met. How supervisees make a complaint and who to (named manager) should be included in the Individual Supervision Contract.

Supervisees should always discuss any complaints or dissatisfaction in the first instance with their supervisor and should endeavour to reach an agreement within the normal supervision process.

If the complaint cannot be resolved by discussion with the supervisor the supervisee should raise the issue with their supervisor’s manager.


Click here to view Appendix A: KSS Evidence Tracker – Social Workers

Click here to view Appendix B: KSS Evidence Tracker – Supervisors

Click here to view Appendix C: Supervision Contract

Click here to view Appendix D: Record of Supervision Template – Social Workers

Click here to view Appendix E: Record of Supervision Template – Supervisors

Click here to view Appendix F: Record of Reflective Supervision – Journal Template 1

Click here to view Appendix G: Critical Analysis Record of Reflective Supervision – Template 2

Click here to view Appendix H: Record of Direct Observation of Practice

Click here to view Appendix I: Service User Feedback Template – Child

Click here to view Appendix J: Service User Feedback – Adult and Young Person

Click here to view Appendix K: Supervision File Audit Template

Click here to view Appendix L: Development and Training Log