Developing reflective supervision and practice leadership programmes

In-depth courses providing dedicated learning and development, incorporating theory, practice and culture for practice supervisors, middle and senior leaders.

Research in Practice can provide programmes for organisations seeking to develop and embed a culture of reflective, curious and relational supervision.

Reflective supervision can support critical thinking and analysis, enhance emotional wellbeing and is a core element in any learning organisation. 

What is on offer

Our modular Developing Reflective Supervision Programmes support practice supervisors, middle and senior leaders to:  

  • Develop their knowledge, skills and values, using a range of evidence-informed approaches to increase confidence in providing reflective supervision.  
  • Embed their capacity for critical self-reflective skills, enabling them to remain focused, analytical, authoritative, ethical and professional as well as use constructive challenge in supervisory conversations.  
  • Strengthen their ability to apply an equity, diversity and inclusion lens to supervision, with a particular focus on anti-racist supervision.  
  • Enhance their developing practice leadership role and professional identity. 

The programme draws on resources created for the Practice Supervisor Development Programme, Mental Health Supervisor Development Programme, Supervisor Development Programme and bespoke programmes in individual organisations.

In our short video Alison Domakin explains the importance of embedding a culture of reflective supervision in organisations. The clip is taken from a new podcast that shares tips, tools and techniques for how we embed truly reflective supervision.

How does it work

Organisations can choose a combination of modules that best meet their learning needs.

The programmes can consist of:  

  • up to five modules for practice supervisors 

  • up to three modules for middle leaders 

  • two modules for senior leaders.  

Each module is a full day workshop, with short self-directed learning activities between sessions. Additional study materials are provided for all participants, and these can be used by participants and workforce development colleagues to embed learning.

Learning days focus on dialogical and reflective learning with experienced facilitators, modelling reflective, relational and thoughtful supervision, focused on developing skills rather than imparting knowledge.

This can be delivered face-to-face, online or a combination over different days.

Who is it for

This programme is relevant for anyone working for an organisation that supports adults, carers, children, and/or families, who has responsibility for supervising practitioners or influence over the organisation's supervision culture.  

The course is relevant for a wide range of practice supervisors, middle and senior leaders with much of the programme materials drawn from a social work evidence base.

Our skilled team will work closely with you to ensure that this support meets the learning outcomes your organisation is looking to achieve, in a format that meets your organisational needs.

How do I commission the programme

Contact us to find out more about commissioning a programme for your organisation.

Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions can be found below.

‘Opportunity for reflection about organisational culture and related practice - what we should be proud of and what can be developed.’ 

Feedback from a middle leader

The programme draws on extensive experience Research in Practice has in delivering similar programmes.

This includes the Practice Supervisor Development Programme, commissioned by the Department for Education, the Supervisor Development Programme, commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care, the Mental Health Supervisor Development Programme, as well as bespoke programmes in individual organisations.

Yes, additional elements can include:

  • Self-assessment surveys – completed by the participant before the programme begins to establish strengths and areas for learning focus and at the end to assess the usefulness of the learning.

  • Mentor/coaching conversations – at the start of the programme to discuss how the learning might be of benefit and how to utilise the strengths and learning areas highlighted in the self-assessment; and at the end to discuss how learning might be put into practice.  

  • Small group reflective sessions – two or three times during the programme to allow for a deeper dive into specific supervision models or topics.  

  • Action learning sets – for focused sessions on certain elements of the programme or for specific professional groups. 

The programme aims to provide consistent and coherent delivery that is a positive experience for participants, facilitators and commissioners, with the best outcomes for all concerned.  

We aim to: 

  • Be sector facing, giving due respect to practice wisdom, engaging with commissioners and participants, and responding to regularly gathered feedback.  

  • Be open, constructive, collegiate and inclusive.  

  • Be values driven, offering mutual respect and appropriate challenge where necessary.  

  • Be informed by evidence.  

  • Be professional, reflective and responsive.  

The programme is ‘model agnostic’. Different models are discussed and practiced allowing organisations and practitioners to use the ones that fits their organisation the best. Facilitators are briefed on the organisations’ practice framework.  

The modules are facilitated by two experienced facilitators, with a strong understanding of practice who are aware of the core values and principles of the programme.  

Our team will work closely with you to prepare facilitators to deliver to your local context.  

There is no formal accreditation. A ‘Certificate of Participation’ can be issued on request.  

We welcome enquiries from organisations working together to commission a reflective supervision programme. We have experience of this type of commissioning. Please contact us to find out more.