30 Mar 2021

Supervisor resource 14 - Implementation of good supervision

Supervisor resource 14 - Implementation of good supervision

Organisational learning cultures

Most social service organisations face many pressures however, an organisational learning culture and good implementation skills can go a long way to support effective supervision.

Training or policy changes alone do not impact sufficiently. Approaches that are teachable, learnable, doable and readily assessable are needed. The use of data and collaboration with local and national stakeholders can help to develop capacity to guide, sustain and scale up. Structured improvement cycles can support local teams to identify barriers and generate potential solutions.

The application of standards and ethics to support the early career development of NQSW’s practice is well set out here against the background of supervision and professional development practice. These resources will not be of full value to people who use services through either improved practice or benefits for the workforce without local implementation activities. This must include supervisors and be situated in a wider commitment toward learning cultures.

Ongoing development and reflective practice for supervisors may perhaps feel exposing at first but also may become energising for both supervisors and NQSWs.

Innovation and change

The Active Implementation Research Network (AIRN), points out that innovation does not need to be a new practice but one that you are using for the first time. They define active implementation as being about “socially significant outcomes where populations benefit from high fidelity use of an innovation”.

persevering in using interventions carefully (fidelity) when new is effortful and may feel clunky or awkward. This is where new practices may fall down without organisational support. Impact for service users can be seen when new practices are operationalised so they are;

  • Teachable
  • Learnable
  • Doable
  • Assessable
  • Scalable in practice

Reflective questions for you as the supervisor

  • Can you think of a culture change exercise that worked well in a social work setting you experienced? List some aspects that made it effective.
  • How could these be applied to supervision and learning cultures in your organisation?
  • What could you commit to working on over the next 6 months to improve your practice as a supervisor supporting NQSWs?
  • Try expressing these as SMART goals.
  • Specific – What particular new supervision practices will you adopt.
  • Measurable – How will you know if you’ve made changes e.g. feedback.
  • Achievable – What’s a reasonable period to evidence above innovation.
  • Relevant – Aligned to development goals individually and locally.
  • Timeframe – Try a 3-6 month period to report on goals.
  • Have a discussion with a colleague who is also using these materials or even your own manager so you have a sense of accountability. You could work these into your own annual appraisal cycle and professional learning record.

Information and links

This is the final resource in the series for supervisors. You can also explore the resources for NQSWs, the learning development materials that can be adapted for your organisation and the templates for supervision.

You may want to remind yourself about the overall approach to the NQSW supported year in Scotland.

Contact information

More categories