What is professional supervision?

The concept of this type of supervision is well understood and developed in the Counselling or psychotherapeutic world.  Probably for many professions, this service may be better referred to as ‘consultancy’.  I will use the term supervision before but this can cover  the work of a ‘consultant’, or ‘mentor’.

Professional supervision involves regular meetings with someone who is outside your agency or organisation: a professionally trained, skilled and independent person with the training and knowledge to help you to reflect on your work practice to facilitate development and good practice.  Taking place outside the workplace, professional supervision is a confidential relationship with a clear contracted structure.

The purpose of supervision is to offer you a space to review your work in a safe confidential and independent setting.  The external nature of professional supervision is valuable because this relationship has no other roles attached.  It is not a management relationship or a competitive one: there is nothing that can reflect on you adversely in your role at work.  Your highly trained supervisor will help you to explore your feelings around work (such as excitement, frustration, anxiety, discouragement, or even boredom); receive objective feedback and guidance related to work issues/decisions; identify and plan for self-care if necessary; and/or develop professional skills (e.g., time management, problem-solving, managing relationships with others, avoiding procrastination) as well as obtain ideas and information related to competence, ethics, standards, etc.

How can you benefit from professional supervision?

Good professional supervision gives a service that is:

  • objective
  • non-judgmental
  • a qualified perspective
  • supportive (for your successes and your failures)
  • able to develop skills to improving your work performance.

Supervision is about taking care of yourself, about becoming more self-aware and skilled, being more effective in your work AS WELL AS caring for the needs of your client, patients and colleagues.

What happens where professional supervision is not available?

Without supervision, you may:

  • doubt your judgement
  • feel unappreciated
  • defensive
  • burned out.

Lack of professional supervision, may contribute to:

  • decreased effectiveness at work and in other areas of life
  • increased absences from work
  • physical and emotional difficulties
  • more conflict with colleagues
  • various other problems.

How does professional supervision benefit employers?

Professional supervision lowers staff turnover, lowers staff stress levels; produces a more effective staff, with less workplace conflict.  This facilitates better productivity and efficiency for your staff with better workplace relationships and greater job satisfaction.  Can you afford NOT to provide professional supervision for  your staff?