Record of Supervision Template

Record of Supervision Template

Department of Children’s Services

Supervision Policy, Templates and Guidance 2017


1 Introduction: the recognised importance of Staff Supervison

2 Supervision Policy: statement of purpose

3 Definition of supervision

4 Negotiating an effective supervision agreement

5 Formal, informal and group supervision

6 Minimum frequencies

7 Roles and responsibilities of the employee/supervisee

8 Roles and responsibilities of the line manager/supervisor

9 The key functions of effective supervision

10 Recording - what and where

11 Confidentiality and access to supervision records

12 Quality Assurance

13 Disputes

14 Provision of training and guidance to supervisees and supervisors


Appendix 1

Minimum Frequency of Supervision for staff working in Children’s Services

Appendix 2

Supervision Agreement (suggested template)

Appendix 3

Group supervision template

Appendix 4

Supervision template (with guidance to support SoS framework and PCF/KSS)

1 Introduction: The recognised importance of staff supervision

1.1 Critically reflective supervision is fundamental to the delivery of effective social care services with children and their families.The 2013 statutory guidance ‘Working Together to safeguard Children’ emphasises that:

Effective professional supervision can play a critical role in ensuring a clear focus on a child's welfare. Supervision should support professionals to reflect critically on the impact of their decisions on the child and their family. The (practitioner) and their manager should review the plan for the child. Together they should ask whether the help given is leading to a significant positive change for the child and whether the pace of that change is appropriate for the child. Any professional working with vulnerable children should always have access to a manager to talk through their concerns and judgements affecting the welfare of the child.

1.2 Working with children and families can be demanding and sometimes distressing and stressful. All those involved should have access to advice, support, training and guidance from supervisors who are trained in supervision skills, and who are up to date in the legislation, policy and research relevant to child and family practice. The quality of the supervision relationship is critical and needs to be both supportive and outcome focused.

2 Supervision Policy: Statement of Purpose

2.1 This policy is for staff employed by Bradford MD Council in the Department of Children’s Services, which includes all staff whether on a temporary (including agency staff), permanent, full time or part time basis.

This policy compliments but does not replace the overarching Bradford Council wide policy on Supervision ‘Principles of providing effective supervision’. This policy describes how staff can expect to be supervised and provides managers with the key elements needed to supervise staff effectively within the Signs of Safety framework.

3 Definition of supervision

3.1 Supervision is a regular meeting between the designated supervisor (e.g. line manager) and supervisee in order to meet organisational, professional and personal objectives. Supervision forms a key part of individual performance management and critical reflection of practice. The Standards for Employers of Social Workers in England (LGA, May 2014) continue to reiterate the central importance of supervision practice for Social Workers.

Supervision provides a safe environment for critical reflection, challenge and professional support that operates alongside the appraisal process. It includes time for reflection on practice issues and helps the worker and their managers do their jobs more effectively.

Supervision underpins the Induction programme (for newly appointed workers) and is the foundation on which Performance Appraisal is built.

Supervision enables workers to develop their capacity to use their experience to review practice, receive feedback on their performance, build emotional resilience and think reflectively about the relationships they have formed with children, adults and families.

Research has demonstrated that good supervision is associated with job satisfaction, commitment to the organisation, and retention. ( SCIE, 2015).

4 Negotiating an effective supervision agreement

4.1 At the start of a new supervision relationship the supervisor will encourage the establishment of clear understanding and agreement about the roles and purposes of supervision.

There are three areas that need understanding and agreement between the supervisee and the supervisor

  • Administrative: eg frequency, location, recording
  • Professional : eg purpose, focus, principles, accountabilities
  • Psychological: eg motivation, trust, commitment, ownership, investment.

Arrangements for supervision with the line manager will be confirmed in a written ‘Individual Supervision Agreement’ (Appendix 2).This should be established at first appointment, and reviewed annually. A copy will be kept with the worker’s supervision records

5 Formal, informal and group supervision

5.1 Formal

Supervision will be recognised by regular, planned, private, one to one meetings, on an on going basis between every member of staff and their regular supervisor. These meetings will have an agenda, and decisions will be recorded. When these discussions involve decisions about a service user, thismust be clearly recorded on the service user’s file.

Even when supervisees and supervisors work closely together, it does not eliminate the need for private one to one time together on a regular basis. The focus of these sessions is wholly on the individual, their performance, their development, and any issues arising from their work that do not arise on a day-to-day basis.

5.2 Informal or ‘ad hoc’ supervision

Practice inevitably includes informal or ad-hoc discussions and decisions about daily work issues, problems arising, or updates to policies and procedures. Again, when these discussions involve decisions about a service user, thismust be clearly recorded on the service user’s file with a copy to the line manager (see paragraph 10 for further details about recording supervision notes) Similarly, team meetings are a beneficial source of support for staff members and teams, enable opportunity for discussion and consistency of shared information, but should not be used as a substitution for one to one supervision sessions.

5.3 Group Supervision

There are many benefits to be gained from group supervision and strengthens the Signs of Safety practice framework. It supports thinking in relation to problem solving, peer group learning and giving and receiving strong feedback within a supportive setting. Where a group supervision process is used, this cannot be used as an alternative to one to one supervision and should only compliment the one to one time. A Signs of Safety approach must be followed and the following principles apply:-

  • The group should clarify and agree the boundaries of confidentiality;
  • The group should always aim to consist of the same individuals and identify a facilitator which would normally be the Team Manager;
  • Each group member's supervision agreement should reflect both individual and group supervision.
  • Allsupervision records should be completedfor case discussion and entered onto LCS.
  • The location should be suitable for all group members;
  • The group should give permission for feelings, doubts and opinions to be expressed;
  • The group should agree how feedback will be given;
  • Group supervision should not replace individual supervision
  • Group supervision can be used to support in a residential setting, with ASYE’s and across all teams.

6 Minimum frequencies

6.1 The frequency of formal supervision is detailed in Appendix 1 for each service area, and should be regarded as a minimum. It is expected that formal supervision will be provided at a greater frequency wherever necessary, and will also occur informally when needed. The actual frequency for individuals should be agreed between the supervisor and supervisee when negotiating the terms of the Individual Supervision Agreement (Appendix 2) and any permanent deviation from the recommended frequency should be agreed and recorded in the Individual Supervision Agreement.

Part time staff should receive supervision at the same frequency as full time staff (not pro-rata).

7 Roles and responsibility of the Employees/Supervisees

7.1 It is the worker’s responsibility is to make sure that they

  • Attend all supervision sessions as arranged
  • Use sessions positively and prepare for and contribute to the sessions.
  • Implement any agreed actions
  • Take responsibility for their own continuous professional development (CPD)
  • For Registered Social Workers, this means keeping a record of their CPD to meet the HCPC registration requirements
  • Identify how they have used training and development opportunities
  • Identify their learning needs and propose ideas about how these will be met
  • Collect and present evidence to demonstrate their professional capability at their level of practice ie if they are aiming to successfully achieve a qualification for example the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment or, are wishing to start the route for further progression.

8 Roles and responsibilities of the Line Managers/Supervisors

8.1 It is the supervisor’s responsibility to make sure that formal supervision takes place for all staff for whom they have managerial responsibility.

Supervisors should ensure that workers have access to regular, high quality supervision from a person with expertise in the same area of practice.

Supervisors must ensure that the Professional Capabilities Framework at the appropriate level, is used as the basis for evaluating capacity and identifying learning needs (Standards for Employers of Social Workers, 2014).

For practicing registered social workers, if their line manager is not a registered social worker it is expected that alternative professional arrangements willbe put into place.

9 Effective supervision (that has an impact on outcomes for children) has a number of key functions:

The supervisor and supervisee will ensure that reflective discussions and decisions in supervisionare evidenced withinthe Signs of Safety approach (See additional guidance and an aide Memoire with the supervision template Appendix 4). Supervision will also focus on the following areas:

9.1 Promoting quality decision making and interventions

Supervision will provide the opportunity to focus on the challenges faced by the worker in carrying out their work. It will include reflection on what work has been done, plans for future interventions and actions, and discussions on improvements in practice. There will be a focus on safeguarding children and delivering effective services, with time spent reflecting on the relationships that have been formed with children, adults and families, and the mental and physical health of the worker. Barriers to effective working on particular cases, including levels of stress experienced by the worker, should be identified and addressed. The supervisor should be an experienced and (if supervising a social worker) a registered social worker, usually with expertise in the same area of practice, and should encourage shared professional decision making.

9.2 Demonstrating line management and organisational accountability

This element of supervision will provide mutual organisational accountability between the employer and the employee on behalf of the public. It is a tool for monitoring the quantity and the quality of the work being done. It involves the evaluation of the job and the organisational effectiveness of the employee, and includes appraisal. All staff will have their performance individually and formally appraised at least annually. This aspect of supervision is essential for all staff in the organisation, and is carried out by the line manager.

9.3 Caseload and workload management

Supervision should include an analysis of caseload and workload management, and address any issues relating to the extent to the time available to work directly with children, adults and families as well as meeting other demands. There should be a focus on safeguarding children, delivering effective services and identifying barriers to effective practice.

9.4 Identification of further personal learning, career and development opportunities

Supervision in this context is about monitoring and promoting continuing professional development (including maintaining social work registration).This could include career development advice and time to explore professional development opportunities such as further qualifications. Social workers have an agreed 3.5 hours protected time a month (pro rata) for their CPD and this time must be encouraged. Any time taken, the supervisor should discuss their learning within the individual supervision sessions. It is the responsibility of the supervisee to maintain a record of all their CPD activity.

10 Recording

10.1 Supervisors should ensure that a record of each supervision session is agreed, countersigned by worker and supervisor, and kept in a secure arrangement and for the length of time specified by Bradford MD Council information governance guidelines.

The recording of supervision sessions is the responsibility of the supervisor.

The records should be signed and dated by both parties and a copy given to staff. If there is disagreement as to the content of the record this should be recorded by the supervisor.

The content is a matter of judgement but in general the record should be detailed enough so that the issue can be revisited, if necessary, at a later date and still be understood. A short summary of the discussion and the decisions or action points arising from it should be sufficient in most cases.

10.2 Specific requirements - the manager must ensure that discussions and decisions relating to service users are recorded on the service-users file.

Recording within service user case files must include

  • The date of the supervision
  • A reflection of the practice as it applies to the case using the Signs of Safety framework.
  • Comments on impact of the work and worker on the case
  • Commentary should be centred on the child; but consider wider carers, environmental and familial factors.
  • Reflect practice within Signs of Safety ‘What are we worried about’ ‘what is working well’ and ‘what needs to happen’. It is important that scaling on a 0-10 basis is used to assess the safety of the child/ren (0 being unsafe – 10 being safe). Demonstrate a plan for any actions required by whom and by when, including stating the next time you expect to view this file).
  • It should be possible for any person reading supervision notes to know when the file should next be presented for supervision. Reasons for any variance should be recorded.
  • The subsequent supervision should include all of the above and a review of all previous actions and scaling.

10.3 In Children’s Residential Care, the registered person should ensure that a written or electronic record is kept by the home detailing the time and date and length of each supervision held for each member of staff, including the registered person. The record is signed by the supervisor and the member of staff at the end of the supervision (Children’s Homes – National Minimum Standards 2011, Standard 19)

10.4 In service areas such as Adoption and Fostering, it is acknowledged that the template for supervision may need adapting slightly for these teams. However, the overall approach to supervision must be consistent, i.e personal welfare, workload management, CPD and learning and evidenced within the managers summary.

11 Storage and retention

11.1 Supervision is a private but not a confidential process. This means that the records are the property of the organisation, not the individual. A specific supervision file for each worker should be maintained by the line manager so that the record can be reviewed at appropriate times (e.g. induction, appraisal, progression, significant case related issues). Access to supervision records should be controlled and all records should be locked away.

Records of supervision should be seen as transferable and should follow the member of staff in the event of transfer within the service.

11.2 From time to time supervisors will need to discuss the content of supervision sessions with others. These might include:

  • managers providing cover in the absence of line manager
  • Senior Managers (for quality assurance purposes)
  • Investigating officers

(e.g. for capability or disciplinary purposes)

  • Inspectors

(e.g. Inspections)

This should always be with the knowledge of the supervisee.

12 Quality Assurance and audits

There are a number of ways in which the quality of supervision and appraisal can be monitored including:

  1. Audits will be undertaken of supervision files periodically and this may include checking your file to ensure that supervision is taking place to the standard required.
  2. In some services observations of practice are undertaken which may include observation of supervision

13 Disputes

12.1 Disagreements should be initially dealt with by discussion between the supervisor and employee, or by reference to the supervisor’s line manager if necessary. Any further dispute not dealt with in this way should be addressed within the usual Capability or Disciplinary procedures, or through the Employee Mediation or Complaints processes.

14 Provision of training and guidance to support effective supervision practice

13.1 Bradford MD Council Workforce Development provide training courses on Supervision and a number of other related topics that support managers, supervisors and practice educators to develop effective supervision practice.

13.2 An e-learning resource is in development to provide supervisees with guidance to help them understand the supervision process and learn how to prepare for and gain the best out of their supervision time.

13.3 Bradford MD Council Human Resources provide a number of management guides and policies on recruitment, performance appraisal, sickness management, Health and Wellbeing, Occupational Safety, Capability, Disciplinary and staff grievance procedures.


Appendix 1 - Minimum Frequency of Supervision

Community Resource Workers: 2-4 weekly

Residential Staff (NMS 19 Staff support and supervision 19.4 & CHR Employment of staff 4( a)).

All staff and others working in the home (including temporary, contracted, seconded and ancillary staff) should receive at least one and a half hours of one to one supervision from a senior member of staff each month. New staff will receive one to one supervision at least fortnightly during the first 6 months of their employment. Agency staff and those employed infrequently to cover staff absences must receive one to one supervision no less frequently than after each 8 shifts worked in the home.