Effective supervision for NQSWs

Effective supervision

Regular supervision is an essential component of accountable, safe and professional social work practice within a culture of learning and development. Supervision should be structured to include a focus on NQSW wellbeing and resilience; Professional development and learning; Reflective and reflexive case discussion; Systemic and management issues.

Effective professional supervision involves reflective dialogue and exploration that is clearly linked to practice and outcomes for people using services. The model of supervision in any service will be influenced by the organisational context and/or preferred style of the line manager. 

Overview of supervision for NQSWs

We have included a full range of information for NQSWs about supervision and making the best use of this. We have also included a full range of materials and resources for employers, managers and supervisors.

  • All the materials are linked to promote best practice in professional supervision.
  • You can explore any of the materials and resources however these NQSW ones are tailored to your role.
  • The information and resources can also be used for self-directed learning and reference.
  • Each section links to a page with more detail, resources and suggested learning activities.

NQSW pilots have shown that supervision is highly valued but there is a desire to see it regularised, diversified and to move away from a mostly case management focus.

NQSWs are encouraged to own and influence their supervision, along with continuing professional learning, organisational appraisal and practices they lead, such as peer reflection. Otherwise, there is a risk that supervision is a passively received management and case oversight rather than providing a space for dialogue and critical reflection.

At times I can be guilty of steering supervision towards a focus on case discussions. However, going forward I would like to think more creatively about how to cover different topics within supervision that we are perhaps all battling with due to Covid-19.

NQSW regarding one to one supervision

These resources aim to promote awareness and engagement in supervision that will support NQSWs in professional development, wellbeing, resilience and identity that transcends their first professional role.

1 What is supervision?

Find out about definitions of supervision, the development of supervision and learning theories that underpin this.

2 How people using services benefit from supervision

Information and a suggested learning activity on considering how supervision benefits the people we work with.

3 Learning from NQSW Supported Year Pilots

Find out about what we learned from NQSWs and supervisors in the supported year pilots in Scotland.

4 Professional values and identity in supervision

Information on professional values and identity in supervision and a suggested learning exercise

5 Learning from case reviews

Information on learning from case reviews and a suggested learning exercise

6 Professional knowledge and continuing professional learning

Information on professional knowledge in supervision and a suggested learning exercise

7 Wellbeing and resilience needs of NQSW

Information on the wellbeing and resilience needs of NQSW and a suggested learning exercise

8 Making best use of supervision

Explore your role in your supervision as an NQSW and how you can make the most of this

9 Virtual supervision

Information on effective supervision in virtual workspaces.

10 Supervision models

Information on supervision models and a suggested learning exercise

11 Seven-eyed model for 1:1 supervision

How the seven-eyed model can provide effective supervision for NQSWs.

12 Using peer group reflective practice

How peer-group reflective practice can support continuing professional learning.


Information and links

  • You will find references on each resource and page of this website.
  • We are keen to include recommendations from supervisors and NQSWs in Scotland, highlighting what you have found useful in your practice.
  • We also recommend the SSSC Supervision learning Resource which you can access on our Step Into Leadership website.