Supervision helps develop skills and knowledge throughout a registrant's career and supports continuing fitness to practise. For this reason, we commissioned Newcastle University to undertake a literature review to establish what makes clinical and peer supervision effective.
The research presents key findings on the characteristics of effective clinical and peer supervision in the workplace and how effective systems can be implemented, as well as any potential barriers. Hopefully this research might provide useful for anyone receiving or is responsible for providing supervision.
Summary of findings
Below are just some of the key findings of the research:
- Effective clinical and peer supervision has a range of benefits for the individual receiving supervision, the team and service-user care, such as job satisfaction, reduced stress and better care. There were also negative effects associated with no or poor supervision.
- Sometimes effective supervision is impacted by barriers, such as a lack of time or resources dedicated to supervision or a lack of understanding of the purpose of supervision (i.e. to support the person being supervised, rather than being a disciplinary tool).
- There are several key characteristics which could be considered to help make supervision as effective as possible, given in more detail below.
This review identified that effective clinical and peer supervision is based on ten different characteristics, they can all be found in the full report. Some examples are:
- Supervision is based on mutual trust and respect.
- Focus on providing staff support the sharing/enhancing of knowledge and skills to support professional development and improving service delivery.
- The employer creates protected time, supervisor training and private space to facilitate the supervisory session.
- Supervision is delivered using a flexible timetable, to ensure all staff have access to the sessions, regardless of working patterns.
We are hoping to develop guidance on supervision for our registrants in the future, based on its findings. You can find the full research report here.
We understand that many professional bodies produce additional guidance on supervision. We also issue further information on supervision which you can find below.