Supervisor training

At Lancaster the DClinPsy programme's vision for trainees is that they become competent, confident, reflective and reflexive practitioners. Clinical practice placements and supervision play an essential role in this process. Placement supervisors are asked to support trainees in the development of their competencies and skills to a level which will enable trainees, upon completion of the programme, to meet the Standards of Proficiency (SOPs) as outlined by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC, 2017). Supervisors are also asked to contribute to an evaluation of the trainees' competencies thus playing an integral part in the programme's overall assessment process.

There are various means by which the programme ensures that supervisors have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to both support and evaluate trainees on placement. Firstly, the Senior Clinical Tutor (Placement and Quality Assurance) for the programme confirms that all supervisors have appropriate professional registration. The vast majority of supervisors are clinical psychologists and are registered with the HCPC. However, in accordance with guidance from the British Psychological Society (BPS, 2017) supervisors can come from other professional backgrounds as long as they are appropriately qualified and registered. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis through the quality assurance visit process which is carried out by a clinical tutor when a new placement is offered to the programme.

The programme also provides a comprehensive supervisor training programme for both new and experienced supervisors. Details of upcoming workshops can be found in our supervisor training invitation letters in the appendix. Please contact with any queries.

Routes into supervisor training

New Supervisors:

All new supervisors must complete the first two days of the three day Introductory Supervisor training prior to offering a placement. The third day is then completed at a later date to allow for practical application of the training. Supervisors can complete the training offered by Lancaster or the equivalent training offered by one of the other Clinical Psychology Doctorate programmes in the North West. The Introductory Supervisor Workshops at Lancaster run on an annual basis. The training is aimed at supervisors intending to start supervising within 6 months of completion of the training. This programme is approved by the British Psychology Society, such that completion confers eligibility to join the Register of Applied Psychology Practice Supervisors (RAPPS).

Experienced Supervisors:

In order to fulfil the programme's commitment to excellence as the standard, experienced supervisors can attend Advanced Supervisor Workshops to review their learning in relation to their supervisory practice and to enhance their current skills. Some experienced supervisors who have had a break from supervision or who are new to the area may also choose to attend the Introductory Supervisor Workshops as a refresher. In line with the HCPC conditions all experienced supervisors are expected to attend supervisor training at least every five years. Setting up placements and mid placement visits provide the opportunity for programme staff to discuss supervisors' interests and needs in relation to supervisor training. Invitations to attend specific training can also be made. Advanced workshops are offered at least once a year and are advertised by means of an email flyer to all supervisors used in the North West. A supervisor workbook has also been produced to facilitate access to ongoing CPD.

Supervisor Training Programme

In accordance with the BPS accreditation standards for learning outcomes (BPS, 2017) the supervisor training is designed to increase knowledge, understanding and the development of key skills and attitudes. The Lancaster programme is a BPS-approved provider of Introductory Supervisor Training.

Introductory Supervisor Training
Content Format Learning Outcomes
  • Update on national and local developments in clinical training (e.g. HPC SOPs).
  • What is supervision?
  • Setting up placements and starting supervision.
  • Models of supervision
  • Supervisory techniques
  • Facilitating formulations
  • Giving feedback
  • Gate keeping and evaluation
  • Power
  • Diversity
  • Challenges in supervision
  • The use of self in supervision
Workshops over three days: two consecutive days and a follow up approximately 6 months later.
  • Power point presentations
  • Role-plays
  • Small and large group discussions
  • Case studies
  • Reflective exercises
  • Video clips
Delivered by staff from the Lancaster programme
By the end of the training the attendees have:
  • information about new developments around clinical training
  • the 'basic knowledge' to offer a placement
  • had an opportunity to reflect upon, share and develop supervision skills
  • started to develop collaborative links with the programme in relation to being a supervisor
Advanced Supervisor Training
Content Format Learning Outcomes
The specific content of the sessions varies and is developed in response to perceived need and requests from supervisors. Examples include:
  • Managing strong feelings
  • Boundaries in supervision
  • Service user perspectives in supervision
  • Attachment and the supervisory relationship
  • Power point presentations
  • Reflective exercises
  • Group discussions
  • Skill-based exercises
Delivered by Lancaster programme staff on their own or in conjunction with the other North West programmes.
Specific learning outcomes are generated for each session. General learning outcomes include the attendees having:
  • Reflected on their current supervisory practice
  • Discussed and shared experiences
  • Been updated with current literature and information
  • Practised skills

Evaluation and Development of the Supervisor Training Programme

All training is evaluated by means of questionnaires. Both quantitative and qualitative feedback is requested regarding the content, format and whether the learning outcomes of the session were met. A report is compiled based on this feedback and is used to develop future sessions. Currently the Advanced Supervisor programme relies on attendees' self-report to check that learning outcomes have been achieved. The Introductory Supervisor programme uses both self-report and feedback from supervisees. There is ongoing work to further develop a robust framework to assess the achievement of these outcomes and the development of associated supervisor and trainee competencies.


The Lancaster DClinPsy programme is committed to inclusivity and as such is open to the development of individual training programmes to enable access by as broad an audience as possible.


We aim to make our resources freely available to supervisors to support development of their practice. Our Supervisor Workbook can be found in the appendix below.

Introductory Supervisor Training flyer and dates 2018/19
Advanced Supervisor Workshop letter and dates 2018

Supervisor Workbook
BPS Introductory supervisor training
The HCPC Standards of Proficiency for practitioner psychologists
HCPC Standards of education and training