Managers and supervisors

Managers, supervisors and the NQSW supported year

NQSWs work in many different types of organisation in Scotland. We will keep you updated here about the work of the national project and provide clear information for employers, managers and supervisors across different types of organisation.

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. The national work will also set out the responsibilities and support for employers to develop and\/or sustain good practice, cultures of learning and support for NQSWs and wider staff teams. 

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Developing effective supervision for social workers

We have developed 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, these 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 on this website.

Introducing the suite of supervision resources

We have worked with a range of stakeholders to develop this suite of 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 that is consistent for NQSWs as part of the national approach in Scotland.

You can use this suite of information and resources in different ways. Even 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 would 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. We hope that you find these relevant for your role and practice.

We also provide some training materials that can be used or adapted by organisations to support local implementation. These have been tested out with managers, supervisors and NQSWs in Scotland. We used feedback from those involved to refine the materials.

We are interested in your feedback too and your ideas about other supervision approaches and resources you would like to recommend to others. Please get in touch with us by emailing

What do the resources include?

These web resources give an overview and then some further discussion including links to external resources to explore the following topics.

  • What is supervision?
  • How people using services benefit from supervision.
  • Learning from the NQSW supported year pilots.
  • Professional values and identity in supervision.
  • Learning from serious case reviews; Professional knowledge in supervision.
  • Wellbeing and resilience needs of NQSW.
  • Support needs of supervisors.
  • Managing boundaries.
  • Diversity, power and professional development.
  • Good supervision (including virtual) practices.
  • Supervision models.
  • Seven-eyed model.
  • Implementation issues.

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 with experiential components. These separate sessions were developed following consultation with the sector and benefit from initial testing out.

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 now 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.

You can also search our other information and learning resources about social work and NQSWs on this website which cover a broad range of different issues.

More about the national project.

We are currently developing this website and welcome your feedback and suggestions for information to include for managers and supervisors.

You can contact us at