DCP: 2.3 Supervision

Who can Provide Supervision?

The BPS requires that supervisors should be able to provide students with appropriate support throughout the placement. This Programme works to ensure that trainees are supervised by a clinical psychologist. In cases where the day to day supervision is provided by a practitioner psychologist from a different area of practice (e.g., health psychologist, counselling psychologist, or clinical neuropsychologist), the Programme will take steps to ensure that the trainee receives monthly supervision from a clinical psychologist. In addition, to ensure that supervisors have appropriate experience and skills for supporting trainees, we require practitioner psychologists to be registered with the HCPC.

All supervisors who offer a placement to Southampton trainees are expected to attend the 3 day Introductory Supervisor Training, which is run annually before taking a trainee for the first time.  If a supervisor has evidence that they have attended similar training from an alternative Clinical Psychology training programme then they will only need to attend Day One of the University of Southampton training. The workshops have been approved by the BPS Register of Applied Psychology Practice Supervisors (RAPPS).  The Programme also aims to offer two CPD workshops each year. Suggestions for these events are invited from supervisors and topics are also generated by the Programme team in response to areas of development. These workshops are aimed to develop supervision skills and clinical expertise.

Newly qualified colleagues are also encouraged to complete the supervisor training with their manager’s support. We encourage a mentorship model of supervision for supervisors within the first two years post qualification. Such supervisors are encouraged to share supervision of their first trainee, or have their supervision supervised by a more experienced colleague. Supervisors will not be allocated sole responsibility for a trainee until they have been qualified for two years.

New supervisors will be visited by one of the clinical tutor team to audit the placement and discuss arrangements for the trainee, including whether there is a safe and appropriate working environment, an appropriate caseload, and access to supervision.

Placement Expectations

Use the supervisory contracting process to discuss and make expectations of supervision explicit

Be clear about their expectations of the trainee whilst on placement

Use the trainee’s portfolio to discuss learning needs at the start of placement and try to select a suitable range of cases to meet these needs

Offer opportunities for the trainee to see and discuss the supervisor’s work

Provide teaching about theories and techniques to foster the development of links between theory and practice

Provide regular feedback about trainee performance with an appropriate balance of positive and negative feedback

Consider where the trainee is in training and the other pressures on them whilst on placement

Offer opportunities to reflect on placement experience and learning by observing the trainee at least 3 times during the placement and completing the relevant forms

Be prepared to address areas of underperformance with the trainee in a timely manner and where necessary raise any concerns with the Programme team and the trainee as soon as possible in order to allow for remediation

Expectations of Trainees

Trainees are adult learners and share responsibility for ensuring a successful placement. They are expected to:

  • Have a cleared Enhanced Child and Adult Workforce DBS as part of their employment contract with the Employing Trust
  • Take responsibility for monitoring their own fitness to practice and to notify their placement if they are not able to attend
  • Identify their own learning needs and take an active role as adult learners in achieving these
  • Prepare for supervision and respond to guidance from their supervisor and adhere to the policies and procedures of their host Trust
  • Follow General Data Protection Regulation
  • Attend to health and safety policies and practices
  • Respect the rights and needs of colleagues and service users and work in a non- discriminatory manner
  • Raise any concerns about the placement with their supervisor following the Issue of Concern procedure

BPS Core Competencies

Please refer to the trainee’s Log of Clinical Competencies or see pages 15-21 of the BPS Standards for the Accreditation of Doctoral Programmes in Clinical Psychology (2019)  for full details of the competencies.

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