The importance of regular, high-quality supervision

What is supervision?

Supervision is when a counsellor uses the services of another counsellor or psychotherapist to review the way they work with their clients. It should be available to all people working directly with survivors.

Further information on the background to supervision and its value please see this guide from the BACP.

Why is it important?

Supervision is a requirement to ensure all counsellors in practice are keeping their skills up to date and that they work in a safe and ethical way.

Supervision is provided to enhance quality, advance learning, stimulate creativity, and support the sustainability and resilience of the work being undertaken. Supervision offers you a reflective space in which to develop practice and benefits client safety.

Who can provide supervision?

At a minimum, supervision should be completed by an accredited practitioner from one of the organisations listed AND who also has had additional recognised supervision training e.g. BACP supervision training, or British Psychological Society approved supervision training.

Ideally, they would hold a senior accreditation level or equivalent from one of these approved accredited bodies. The BACP suggest this competency framework for supervisors.

For more information on what counselling supervision training entails, have a look at this curriculum from BACP.

Supervision requirements for Counsellors

Counsellors  should take responsibility for arranging their own supervision and have supervision at a frequency and duration that allows them to discuss all aspects of their work and develop  constructive supervisory relationships.

It is important to note:

  • Accredited counsellors must have a minimum of 1.5 hours supervision each month.
  • The frequency of supervision should be increased during times when caseloads are more severe or higher risk
  • Supervision may be a combination of individual and peer sessions, as appropriate.

BACP good practice grid provides further guidance and resources.

Further recommendations

  1. Professional counselling supervision should sit alongside line management support and supervision.
  2. Regularly review and update your supervision policy to ensure that it is comprehensive and up to date. An example is included here for your reference.


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