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Supervision and Appraisal

Scope of this chapter

Supervision is a process that involves a manager meeting regularly and interacting with staff to review their work.

This includes:

  1. Recognising what is working well;
  2. Problem-solving when there are issues/things that aren’t working well;
  3. Reflecting on how the supervisee’s contribution has impacted the service;
  4. Celebrating good practice and achievements;
  5. Identifying learning and development needs and opportunities, including progression and agreeing how these will be met.

Supervision is an important tool in developing good working relationships, developing staff confidence and skills and improving the overall quality of care.

The Care Quality Commission and any organisation commissioning our service will consider how well we are providing supervision and the impact it is having on the quality of the care provided.

Relevant Regulations

Related Chapters and Guidance

Most supervision is planned and takes place one-to-one and face-to-face. However, there are other methods of supervision that can be helpful:

Group supervision

Two or more staff are supervised at the same time. This type of supervision does not discuss matters relating to performance but allow supervisees to reflect together on wider practice or specific events. This includes what has worked, what can be learned and changes that may need to be made in the future.

Informal supervision

Informal supervision is not planned but is provided on an ad-hoc basis when the need arises. For example, if the supervisee has a particular practice issue and needs urgent support and guidance.

Virtual supervision

Virtual supervision is facilitated using technology and takes place when the supervisor and supervisee cannot be together in person.

It is good practice for each supervisee to have agree a supervision agreement with the supervisor before any supervision takes place.

The agreement should include the following:

Caption: Supervision agreements

Practical arrangements

Venue, frequency, duration and process for rearranging/cancelling - how will supervision be rearranged?

Arrangements for informal supervision

e.g., group supervision, how to request ad-hoc supervision

Supervision agenda

Standard items for discussion, how to add additional items

Responsibilities of the supervisee and supervisor

How will they prepare for supervision, what information will they need to bring?

Specific needs of the supervisee

Are there any considerations to be made around disability, culture etc.?

How difficulties will be resolved

The process for raising issues and the steps that will be taken to resolve disagreement

How supervision will be recorded

Who will record supervision and within what timeframe? How will supervision records be shared with the other party? What happens if there is disagreement about what is recorded?

Supervision agreements should be reviewed regularly.

A good supervisor cares about the people being supported by the service, values their supervisees and wants to continuously improve. They are role models for supervisees, make themselves available and provide an environment that is supportive and encouraging.


  • Avoid distractions during supervision;
  • Have good practice-based knowledge and skills;
  • Have good problem-solving skills;
  • Can explain organisational processes;
  • Can relate theory to practice;
  • Provide feedback on practice and praise good practice;
  • Can provide direction when needed;
  • Provide opportunities for growth and progression;
  • Communicate in a mutual and interactive style.

Supervisors should to mindful of the power balance in supervision and any specific needs of the supervisee. They must be mindful not to place the supervisee at any disadvantage because of their race, gender, disability and sexuality. The supervisee may need additional support and/or guidance outside of supervision, for example, through a mentor or an appropriate staff network.

Skills for Care provide good guidance about managing performance issues:

People performance management toolkit

Any ongoing issues with performance should be managed through the relevant Human Resource procedure and process.

Supervision should always be recorded. The recording should be made on a suitable Supervision Template.

If the service does not have a template, supervisors can use the one available from Skills for Care:

Supervision recording template

Supervisors should check that staff member agrees that the record is an accurate reflection of what was discussed and agreed during supervision.

Supervision records should be stored securely with full regard for confidentiality of the supervisee. General access to supervision records should be restricted to the supervisor, the supervisee and the registered person (if the registered person is not the supervisor). Specific access can be granted to others for the purpose of audit, inspection and investigation.

An appraisal happens less frequently than supervision, usually once every year.

Appraisals are an opportunity to review the overall performance of the appraisee and let them know how they are doing, particularly whether they are performing in line with their job description and contractual requirements. This also includes identifying any training, learning and development needs and agreeing a plan to meet those needs before the next appraisal.

Appraisals should be recorded and stored in the same way as a supervision record.

Last Updated: September 12, 2022