Supervision, critical reflection and analysis KSS 8

Last updated: 15 February 2021

alphabet letters spelling out supervision

Photo: Florian/fotolia

This page sets out the knowledge and skills listed under point 8 (supervision, critical reflection and analysis) in the Department for Health and Social Care’s knowledge and skills statement. Against this, we have mapped Community Care Inform Adults’ guides, research, learning tools and other resources to help social workers meet and evidence this part of the statement. The links to the resources are in blue; click to follow them to the page you’re interested in.

What the statement says Resources to help you
• Social workers must have access to regular, good quality supervision and understand its importance in providing advice and support.

• They should know how and when to seek advice from a range of sources including named supervisors, senior social workers and other professionals.

• They should be able to make effective use of opportunities to discuss, reflect upon and test multiple hypotheses, the role of intuition and logic in decision making, the difference between opinion and fact, the role of evidence, how to address common bias in situations of uncertainty and the reasoning of any conclusions reached and recommendations made, particularly in relation to mental capacity, mental health and safeguarding situations.

• Social workers should have a critical understanding of the difference between theory, research, evidence and expertise and the role of professional judgement.

• They should use practice evidence and research to inform the complex judgments and decisions needed to support, empower and protect their service users.

• They should apply imagination, creativity and curiosity to working in partnership with individuals and their carers, acknowledging the centrality of people’s own expertise about their experience and needs.

Guide to effective supervision outlines what effective supervision should look like and how it can support professional development.

Supervision: skills assessment, observation and feedback gives advice on looking at horizontal and vertical development to assess whether supervisees are meeting practice standards and how to provide constructive feedback.

Supervision: building high quality relationships looks at ways to create a safe space within the supervisory relationship, and how to use supervision to offer emotional support to supervisees.

Remote supervision: podcast discusses how remote supervision can be effective, the importance of talking about emotions during supervision, and different ideas for holding group supervision sessions online.

Critical reflection: how to develop it in your practice explores what it means to be a critically reflective social worker, the different methods and models you can use to reflect on your practice, and tips for writing a piece of critical reflection.

Creating online reflective spaces when working from home has a wealth of practice tips for facilitating an online session.

Guide to analysis and decision making covers how to build analysis into all aspects of practice, suggestions for mitigating some of the common biases in thinking that can affect analysis and decision making, and how to identify risks and strengths, hypothesise and explore multiple options.

Case study: a practical analysis of a mental capacity assessment contains an example of a good mental capacity assessment and how to reflect on your practice.

Using professional judgment and decision making in safeguarding covers what it means to be professional in the context of adult safeguarding, what to consider when managing risk in safeguarding situations, and different approaches to and influences on decision making and how these impact on practice.

Group learning activities directory contains a list of resources and activities on Community Care Inform Adults that can be used with a group of practitioners.

Links to resource maps for other parts of the KSS: