Managers and supervisors

Managers, supervisors and the NQSW Supported Year

In response to policy and research findings, the Scottish Government commissioned the SSSC to provide recommendations on the design, implementation and delivery of a sustainable and accessible Newly Qualified Social Worker (NQSW) Supported Year. This work is now complete.

The Scottish Government is committed to the national implementation of a supported first year in practice for newly qualified social workers (NQSWs) by October 2024. Supporting NQSWs using the Definitions of employer support will become mandatory for employers and is part of the ambition to create a strategic framework from qualifying education through to advanced practice for all social workers and social work employers in Scotland. 

The aim of our national project is to ensure that NQSWs in Scotland have consistent support, professional supervision and access to relevant learning opportunities.

Having a Scotland-wide supported year for NQSWs will provide clarity for NQSWs on how to evidence the continuous professional learning requirements of their registration and support a successful transition from student to social worker. 

Managers and supervisors have a central role in supporting NQSWs as part of their commitment to promoting professional social work practice.

Managers and supervisors must become familiar with the following core documents before implementation:

All templates and resources will be available on the refreshed NQSW website soon.

Graphic style head and portrait of different people

Developing effective supervision for social workers

This NQSW website a suite of information and resources about professional social work supervision for NQSWs in Scotland. These resources have been developed to encourage supervisors to refresh their knowledge about supporting and supervising NQSWs.

For new supervisors, the resources provide a good foundation for learning about supervision and helpful ways to implement this in your service. There is also a range of material designed for supporting learning and development activity in organisations.

You will also find a suite of information for NQSWs about professional development and supervision.

Introducing the suite of supervision resources

We have worked with a range of stakeholders to develop the information and resources. We are aware that there is great diversity across Scotland in the ways that social work organisations develop and provide effective professional supervision for NQSWs.

The intention of providing these resources is not to conflict with existing organisational processes, but to support and enhance provision in a way that is consistent for NQSWs and as part of the national approach in Scotland.

If you are an established or experienced supervisor, you can find out about the specific needs of NQSWs. You can also refresh your knowledge and explore the resources that contextualise current practice.

If you are new to supervision, you can use the materials as structured self-directed learning resources. This will provide an introduction to the theory and practice of supervision. We also signpost to further reading and resources.

The information and resources can also be used for your continuing professional learning as a social services worker.

Some of the training materials are designed to be used or adapted by organisations for local implementation. We used feedback from managers, supervisors and NQSWs in Scotland to refine these materials.

What do the resources include?

The supervision resources give a comprehensive overview, further detail and links to relevant external resources. They include information about what supervision is and how it is directly linked to people who use social services. The following other topics are included:

  • Professional values and identity in NQSW supervision
  • Professional knowledge in supervision
  • Wellbeing and resilience needs of NQSW
  • Support needs of supervisors and managing boundaries
  • Diversity, power and professional development
  • Supervision models, the seven-eyed model of supervision and expectations of NQSWs
  • Good supervision (including virtual) practices and implementing effective supervision for NQSWs

Adaptable materials for local implementation

We offer some off-the-shelf and adaptable training materials which you and your organisation can use online or face-to-face to provide complementary half-day sessions. The sessions either support supervisors’ knowledge and one-to-one practice or introduce individual and peer group supervision to NQSWs. Teams usually have a wide mix of learning styles and though some will enjoy self-directed online learning, live training along with experiential work is important to consolidate and meet diverse needs.

The training materials include separate packs of suggested slides, trainer notes and pre-reading overviews for supervisors and NQSW for you to use and adapt to local needs as required. There is also a suggested case vignette for use in the supervisor session and an example evaluation form to use.

We offer some suggested form templates to support supervision. We recognise that many organisations will have robust policies with associated agreements and recording processes for supervision. However, there can be a need for complementary negotiation specific to NQSWs learning needs and recognition of joint responsibilities, particularly during the supported year.

In the web resources and training materials, we introduce the seven-eyed model of supervision combined with NQSW standards and ethics, so we offer a suggested form to use this in 1:1 sessions.

Overview and information for supervisors

These web resources give an overview and then some further discussion including links to external resources on key topics.

Learning and development materials

Adaptable training materials for your organisation linked to the overview and information for supervisors

Tools and templates for supervision

Some practical tools and templates for negotiating and contracting supervision arrangements.

Other websites by the SSSC

The SSSC has created several websites that provide specific services for learning and statistic reporting.