DEC: 2.1 Quick Guide for Placement Supervisors and Trainees

The aim of this section is to provide a point of reference and some useful strategies in relation to providing a clinical placement.


The BPS requires that no placement goes ahead unless the supervisor has indicated their willingness to take responsibility for the trainee and provide full supervision. In accepting a trainee the supervisor accepts clinical responsibility for the trainee’s work. The DCP have produced a helpful document providing Guidelines for Supervision for you to refer to.

Clinical responsibility 

The Placement Supervisor holds clinical responsibility for the work of the trainee whilst on placement. It is important that the supervisor is fully aware of the activities of the trainee and ensure that they operate within their level of competence.

Preparing for a Placement

It is helpful to review the waiting list in advance to plan for a suitable caseload for the Trainee (remember that a 1st and 2nd year Trainee is expected to have a caseload of 6/8 cases at any one time with the aim of 12 completed pieces of clinical work by the end of the placement).

It is also important that the Trainee gains assessment skills so please ensure that you plan assessments into the Trainee’s workload.

Arrange for the Trainee to meet with members of the MDT including shadowing opportunities.

It is beneficial to have a clear period of induction for the Trainee and to put together some information regarding services, personnel, etc.

Consider the practicalities of your placement in relation to desk space, telephone access, computer access, tea/coffee provision, admin requirements, file and record keeping etc. (some Supervisors find it helpful to create a checklist to go through with the Trainee)

Pre-book the Trainee on any relevant induction/in-house training courses.

Trainees are encouraged to contact their Supervisors a month before the start of the placement (except for placement 1, which it is 2 weeks) to discuss any initial plans and also to make their Supervisor aware of their previous experience and learning needs.

It is helpful to block out times in your diary for the Initial Placement Contract setting session and regular supervision and arrange cover for supervision provision if you are away.

Familiarise yourself with this Placement Handbook

During the Placement

Conduct the initial placement contract meeting within 2 weeks of the placement starting (if this is the Trainee’s first placement or if you are a new Supervisor the trainee’s Personal Clinical Tutor will also attend this meeting).  The Personal/Clinical Tutor will also visit if it is the first time the supervisor has provided a placement.

Consider using a supervision contract.

Ensure the Trainee has the appropriate caseload using the Clinical Competencies Portfolio to monitor cases in supervision throughout the placement.

The work should be varied and defined within the ‘What Constitutes a Piece of Clinical Work’ information.

Ensure you conduct at least   of the trainee during the

placement (beginning, middle and end of placement).

It is helpful if the supervision times are booked into the diary in advance (60 – 90mins).  Please note there is an expectation of an additional three hours informal supervision each week.

The Personal Clinical Tutor will to liaise with you and your trainee early in the placement to arrange the Mid-Placement Review.

If you have any concerns about the Trainee or the placement – please do not hesitate to contact the Trainee’s Personal Clinical Tutor, the Clinical Director or Deputy Clinical Director. Discuss with the Trainees their leave dates and your leave dates. Please note that the Trainee needs to negotiate their leave dates with you.

The End of Placement

Ensure a suitable time/date for the End of Placement meeting with the Trainee has been arranged in advance. This is normally conducted with the Supervisor(s) and Trainee. If any concerns have arisen during the placement, then you can also request for the Trainee’s Personal Clinical Tutor to be present of the Clinical Director.   Please include your three observation forms.

You must also sign the relevant section of the Clinical Competencies Portfolio and the Record of Placement Days form.

Remind the Trainee of the importance of leaving enough time for completing clinical work and the paperwork.

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