What is professional supervision?

What's Important To Us

It is important that our staff feel supported in the work that they do. Our work is complex and we need to ensure that there are opportunities to reflect on practice, learn new or different ways of doing things, and maximise the sharing of collegial skills and experience so that we see our individual and collective practice strengthen over time.

Quality social work practice is supported by professional supervision. This key information covers what supervision is, the functions of supervision, roles and responsibilites and discussing the concept of cultural supervision.

What is professional supervision?

Professional supervision is a process to enable and guide a practitioner towards competent and accountable practice. It also provides ongoing professional development and support.

What are the functions of supervision?

  • Management and accountability to ensure that policies, procedures, guidelines and standards are understood and followed.
  • Professional development linking practice to our knowledge base.  This supports adherence to ethics and provides opportunities to reflect critically on current practice.
  • Support to enable affirmation and validation of supervisees in their work environment.

What is my role as a supervisor?

  • Management and accountability to ensure that policies, procedures, guidelines and standards are understood and followed.
  • Professional development linking practice to our knowledge base.  This supports adherence to ethics and provides opportunities to reflect critically on current practice.
  • Support to enable affirmation and validation of supervisees in their work environment.

What is my role as a supervisee?

  • To prepare for and attend supervision regularly and on time.
  • To action the agreed tasks within the set timeframes.
  • To engage in the process of critical reflection and professional development.

What is cultural supervision?

Cultural supervision is about both cultural accountability and cultural development.  It is essential to ensure that the aspirations of all cultures are respected and explored within the supervisory relationship and that services are delivered through culturally responsive, effective and acceptable practices.

Cultural supervision is a formal relationship between the cultural supervisor and the supervisee for ensuring that practice is culturally responsive to the values, protocols and practices of that particular culture. Cultural supervision does not replace professional supervision.

How is cultural consultation different from supervision?

Cultural consultation is bringing cultural expertise to supervision sessions or may be consultation in respect of specific case situations.

Resolution of concerns

At times, a supervisee and their supervisor may disagree about a particular issue.  It is important to discuss the concern together and work to resolve any ongoing issues in a timely and direct way. If a compromise cannot be reached, it is encouraged to discuss the matter with an agreed third party in order to reach a mutually acceptable outcome.