Practitioner Supervision

practitioner cpd uk

Practitioner Supervision & Advanced Training for Practitioners

Practitioner Supervision is a professional service providing support to life coaches, executive coaches, counsellors from various orientations, body therapists, holistic practitioners, group-work facilitators, and trainers.

This website is intended as a resource to motivate practitioners to engage in a self-elected professional supervision relationship. The term 'practitioner' is used to used to encompass the plethora of professionals working with 'talking modalities' available to clients.

On the whole, supervision for practitioners is not a new concept. The process of engaging a supervisor has been practiced for many decades in the work of counsellors, psychotherapists, psychoanalysts, clinical psychologists, and social workers. Supervision for coaching is, however, essentially a new field. Although the coach aims to function differently to the professionals mentioned, the one thing they all have in common is that they work with clients who have concerns and complex life challenges.

Currently it is popular for coaching organistations to offer training to therapetic practitioners. One of the key functions of the resources and services of this site is to offer training and supervision from a clinically rigorous position while respecting that the core functions of coaching are different to therapeutic discourse.

The supervisor-practitioner relationship operates as an anchoring system for practitioners in maintaining best-practice standards, promoting their continued professional development, as well as offering a professional and confidential forum for enhancing skills, technique, and self-evaluation.

Our supervision work is mostly conducted over telephone and SkypeTM, as well as in advanced training workshops offered in the UK, South Africa, and in mainland Europe. We have a network of experienced independent supervisors who are specialists in different areas of coaching, therapy, group-work facilitators, business (working with executives, marketing, branding, project management, human resources, etc.), and personal development. Enquires can be made by emailing

In many countries is it essential for practitioners to engage in regular supervision, and there are many reasons why practitioners should consult a supervisor, including:

Practitioner Professional Development
The professional practitioner is in an ever-evolving state of development and becoming. The supervisor-practitioner relationship can potentially be the crucible wherein the practitioner discovers and explores elements of their work.

Practical Practitioner Guidance
The supervisor-practitioner relationship is an appropriate and confidential forum where different aspects of practice can be thought through. Examples are: perspectives on assessment, client beginnings, process note recording, breaks (holiday, sabbatical, illness, or bereavement etc.), multi-disciplinary considerations with challenging clients, appropriate communication with other professionals where referral is necessary, and client-work endings.

Professional Accountability
As with any profession, it is important that practitioners are accountable. Because many practitioners work independently and the nature of their work is confidential, many find it beneficial to appoint an external supervisor and thereby create a forum for reporting on their work. The supervisor offers a vital value system for the functioning of the practitioner-client alliance.

Competency Evaluation
Competence has many definitions and meanings depending on approach. Our approach is that competence develops through experience and the extent of an individual to learn, assimilate, adapt and function effectively. A practitioner in a supervisory relationship can explore their own ability, knowledge, and skill to negotiate their way through on-going evaluation. This reflective process protects the practitioner from taking on work beyond their current competence.

Legal Liability
This is a complex area and needs to be carefully considered, and the supervision forum is an appropriate space for this. In addition to subscribing to a good professional civil liability insurance, it is advisable that the practitioner be appropriately supervised in order for them to demonstrate that they adhere to good practice.

Ethical Duty
Practitioners seeking supervision create a dual ethical duty. Firstly, the practitioner consults another professional to evaluate and comment on the practitioner's evolving proficiency and this supports the on-going development of the practitioner. Secondly, the supervisor becomes an external mediator in encouraging the practitioner to think about complex situations which may occur in the practitioner-client alliance, and thereby protect the client from having poor practice lived out on them.

Duty of Care
The supervisor's duty of care is to the practitioner, whereas the practitioner's is to the the client. The supervisor also has an ethical duty of care to the client. The supervisor's respected and competent opinion is important for the interpersonal development of the relationship alliance between practitioner and client. A functioning duty of care from supervisor and practitioner also helps support the client's own intrapersonal communication.

Practitioner Well-Being
The supervisory relationship is a safe forum where concerns, challenges, and worries can be confidentially shared and stored. Where the practitioner has a heavy case load, the supervisor is able to get the practitioner to think about their own well-being and to pace themselves accordingly. Working with limiting belief systems can also begin to affect the practitioner adversely.

Supervision Models
There are a number of ways to engage a supervisor. The most common are: engaged privately by a practitioner; engaged externally to an organisation; or, operating within an organisation.

Private Practice Supervisor - figure 1
This is the classic supervisor-practitioner construct, where the practitioner agrees a formal or informal contract with the supervisor and pays for the supervision. In this model the supervisor owes a professional duty of care to the practitioner who, in turn, owes a duty of care to their client. The supervisor does not owe a direct duty of care to the client because the client is invariably not a part of the original supervisory contract. Secondly, the actual practitioner-client work is separate and remote from the supervisor. Under the supervisor's professional code of ethics there is a supervisory ethical duty to the client.

Freelance Supervisor - figure 2
In this construct an organisation contracts and pays the supervisor to provide a supervisory service to their practitioner/s. The supervisor has an immediate ethical duty to the client, and a duty of care to organisation and practitioner (who both, in turn, provide a duty of care to the client).

Employed Supervisor - figure 3
While the supervisor continues to owe an ethical duty to the client in working with the practitioner, it is the organisation that effectively owes a direct duty of care to the client.

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