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Reflecting on supervision

In this blog, regional engagement lead Kate discusses how you can reflect on your supervision for CPD.

Reflecting on supervision

8/26/2021 9:53:02 AM

In this ‘reflecting on’ blog, designed to help you reflect and think about issues that affect social workers today, we consider how supervision can help to guide your practice. You can use this blog to help you record CPD and meet standard 4.2.

Standard 4.2 says that, “as a social worker, I will use supervision and feedback to critically reflect on, and identify my learning needs, including how I use research and evidence to inform my practice. 

Supervision is a key part of reflecting on your social work practice. When done well, it offers a safe space for support, guidance, and challenge, allowing you to think about your work and how you can improve. In supervision, you might discuss ongoing cases and issues arising from them, talk through the impact your work has on you, and review your decision-making.

Supervision can look different depending on workplaces and settings, but is a joint responsibility between you and the person supervising you. If you don’t have a manager, or would prefer not to have supervision with your manager, remember that supervision does not have to be ‘top down.’ Consider peer supervision with a colleague, or supervision with another professional such as an Occupational Therapist, nurse, or psychologist.

Effective supervision helps you to develop personally and professionally, and should be grounded in trust, accountability, and empathy. The person supervising you should be supportive, but also willing to challenge you appropriately and constructively to ensure you are working safely, in line with legal guidance and professional standards. Supervision can help you identify what you did well, but also look for areas of improvement and development. It should be a chance to acknowledge the hard work you do as a social worker, and a space to stop and check-in on your own wellbeing.


Reflecting on your supervision is a key element of recording CPD. Think about what you have learned from your supervision, why it was valuable to you, and how you have, or will, apply this learning to your practice.

You can use these prompts to help you reflect on your supervision and record meaningful CPD.

  • How has supervision helped you reflect on feedback you have received? This could be feedback from colleagues, other professionals, or people with lived experience of your practice. Consider how sharing and analysing feedback with a supervisor has helped improve your practice. (standard 4.1 and 4.2)
  • What learning needs did you identify during your supervision? What research, theories or models have you used to address the gaps in your knowledge? (standard 4.2 and 4.3)
  • What current issues in society, and social policies impacting on social work, have you discussed with your supervisor? How has addressing current affairs in your supervision helped you to improve your subject knowledge or feel more confident at work? (standard 4.2 and 4.4)
  • How have you shared your learning from supervision? Think about how you have used it to contribute to an open learning culture – for example, discussing your learning at team meetings or with other colleagues. (standard 4.2 and 4.5)
  • Has supervision helped you to reflect on your ethics and values? How has your supervisor helped you to explore ethical dilemmas, cultural issues and decision-making in your practice? (standard 4.2 and 4.8)

Don’t forget, you meet standards 4.6 and 4.7 automatically by recording reflective CPD.

For guidance on using your online account to record CPD, watch our video guide. You can also find resources, such as further information on what counts as CPD, on the CPD section of our website.

We are also running free online sessions regularly from August to November, led by our Regional Engagement Leads. These sessions will provide more information on CPD and registration renewal, and offer an opportunity to ask questions.

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