Supervising Complex Practice – 3 day programme

This three day programme is specifically designed for staff supervising front line practice and needing to develop ideas and techniques to assist their staff in developing and using their professional judgement. It is usually delivered as a two day programme, plus an additional one day approximately one month later. It does not cover material on working with poor performance. There will be an expectation that participants put learning into practice through completing tasks in the intervening period.


This course aims to provide participants with the skills required to deliver effective supervision with a focus on methods and tools for exploring the complex relationships, judgements and decisions involved when working in front line practice.

This course may be supplemented by an observation of supervision practice after days two and day three.

Link to PCF domain 7 & 9

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will be offered the opportunity to:

  • Understand what constitutes effective supervision and its relationship to safe practice and positive outcomes for service users.
  • Consider the 4x4x4 (integrated) model of supervision and how it can assist in understanding the functions of supervision and its impact of supervision on others within the system.
  • Consider how past experience of supervision can impact on the supervisory relationship.
  • Understand the importance of developing and reviewing the supervisory relationship and the role of the agreement in promoting anti oppressive practice within supervision.
  • Consider the role of supervision throughout the stages of professional development from newly qualified to experienced practitioner.
  • Understand the importance of recording supervision.
  • Understand the importance of the authoritative supervisory style in promoting good outcomes through supervision.
  • Use the supervision cycle, and understand how it can be used as a model to facilitate effective supervision.
  • Consider the impact of anxiety and how emotions may impact on staff, critical thinking and decision making.
  • Understand  the role of supervision in promoting critical thinking when working with complex issues.
  • Consider the role of supervision in working effectively with the dynamics of professional networks.
  • Use the six stage model in relation to supervision of social work practice.
  • Use tools to help staff evaluate and analyse information to inform decision making and risk management.