Each partner agency should have its own supervision policy and procedure, which is tailored to meet the needs of its staff, service and the adults and carers with whom it works.
Supervision is an accountable process which supports, assures and develops the knowledge, skills and values of an individual, group or team. The purpose of supervision is to improve the quality of work to achieve agreed objectives and outcomes. Effective supervision is an integral part of adult safeguarding practice; it is also an essential element of the performance management framework. It should support staff in developing and maintaining effective working relationships with adults and their carers and with other professionals, whilst simultaneously exercising professional judgement, effective decision making and carrying out other duties associated with their individual role. It should also tie the overarching strategic objectives of the service with the individual personalised objectives of each member of staff.
It must be educative, supportive, empowering and a benefit to supervisor, supervisee and the organisation. Supervision must be sensitive to the individuals ethnic and cultural background, disability, gender and sexual orientation.
In the reflective environment of supervision, and in conjunction with their manager, staff should be able to consider their developmental and learning needs, review identified actions necessary to address such needs and subsequently evidence practice improvement.
Good quality supervision can help to:
- avoid drift;
- keep focus on the adult with care and support needs;
- maintain a degree of objectivity and challenge fixed views;
- test and assess the evidence base for assessment and decisions;
- address the emotional impact of work.
The supervision process should incorporate four main functions:
- management, including performance management;
- professional development;
- practice reflection.
At the outset of the supervisory relationship expectations of the supervisor and the supervisee should be established and recorded. This includes frequency of meetings, content of supervision sessions, recording of meetings and sign off, and action to be taken if either party becomes dissatisfied with the relationship, or outcomes of the sessions.
Supervision usually takes place on a one to one basis, although can also be part of a group session as well. It is a process rather than a series of single events or sessions and should complement and support the appraisal process by evidencing the continuous improvement and performance of the supervisee.
Issues discussed at each supervision session should be recorded and signed by the manager and counter signed by the staff member, who should also be provided with a copy. This may be done via email as an electronic documentation of the agreement.