Citation Patterson F & Whincup H (2018) Making the transition from practitioner to supervisor: reflections on the contribution made by a post-qualifying supervisory course, European Journal of Social Work, 21 (3), pp. 415-427.
Abstract Within Scotland, as elsewhere, there has been a resurgence of interest in the critical role of supervision within social work practice. However, those in transition from practitioner to supervisor still commonly report feeling unprepared for their changing role and uncertain about what it entails. This paper will explore our experiences of delivering an accredited post-qualifying supervision course since 2008 to professionals from different sectors, diverse professional backgrounds, and with varying levels of supervisory experience. The course provides time and space to think about the different elements of supervision, and to consider how these translate into day-to-day practice. We will argue that the opportunity to explore the complexity of the supervisory task, while learning from and with peers, is an important part of making the transition in professional role and identity. Moreover, in organisational contexts where the reflective space which supervision can provide may feel under threat, and where the focus on people who use services can at times be lost, professional staff undertaking supervision training describe feeling more confident and competent in their role, with renewed commitment both to uphold the value of reflective supervision, and to sustain a clear emphasis on people who use services.