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Supervision is a process that involves a manager meeting regularly and interacting with worker(s) to review their work. It is carried out as required by legislation, regulation, guidance, standards, inspection requirements and requirements of the provision and the service. The purpose is to monitor tasks and workload, solve problems, support workers in dealing with complex situations and moral and ethical dilemmas and to promote staff development (National Occupational Standards).

Supervision aims to provide accountability for both the supervisor and supervisee exploring practice and performance. It also enhances and provides additional evidence for annual performance management and review. Supervision has a particular focus on developing the supervisee in a way that that is centred on achieving better outcomes for people who use services and their carers.

Here you can explore four models of supervision and find practical guidance to help you decide how the models can work in your own practice, highlighting the main benefits, key considerations and good practice. It is important to note that the guidance provided is flexible and should be adapted to the structure and needs of your organisation.


Supervision Resources

SSSC Supervision Learning Resource

The Scottish Social Services Council, with the University of Stirling, has produced a supervision learning resource which promotes good practice in supervision across social work and social services in Scotland. It provides opportunities to explore experiences and expectations of different types and approaches to supervision. It draws on examples of good practice and includes resources and templates to support the development of supervision.

Download the full Supervision Learning Resource or choose from the sections below.


  • Supervision presentationThis resource is a presentation which offers a framework to help you facilitate a discussion around effective supervision. An introduction to the presentation provides more information about the different ways in which the resource can support your practice.
  • What is Supervision? This document describes an approach to supervision and the benefits it offers. Introducing the four different models of supervision here you'll find details of what supervision should cover and a typical process common to all. We also discuss why supervision is important in social services and highlight responsibilities within the SSSC Codes of Practice for Social Service Workers and Employers and National Occupational Standards. You will also find links to other learning activities that can support and enhance the supervision experience.
  • One-to-one SupervisionOne-to-one supervision is widely used and the supervisor is usually the supervisee’s line manager.
  • Group Supervision Group supervision is not as widely used and can often turn into a team meeting. Group supervision is led by a facilitator in a prearranged process and should complement one-to-one supervision.
  • Shared Supervision Shared supervision is a form of one-to-one supervision that allows teams to share responsibility for supervising individuals.
  • Professional Supervision Professional supervision is for professionally qualified workers in social services.

Supervision Web Resources

Examples from Practice

What Others Say

Watch The Ted Talk on the power of vulnerability
Brené Brown - The Power of Vulnerability

"Regular, high quality, organised supervision is critical, as are routine opportunities for peer learning and discussion."

Morrison, T & Wonnacott, J (2010) Supervision: Now or Never.

"Supervision for staff involved in complex work can help them to reflect on their practice and to practice effectively in face of resource and time limitations."

Johnstone, J & Miller, M. (2010) Staff Support and Supervision For Outcomes Based Working. Jit Scotland.

Leadership Capability Indicators
Continuous Learning Framework (CLF)
learning log
360degree tool