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The post-qualifying standards supervisors pathway supports employers and practice supervisors to demonstrate their capability and develop their professional confidence. 

This recommended pathway for social work supervisors in adult social care is an employer-led programme of support and assessment against the post-qualification standards. The aim is to develop national consistency in supervision practice and knowledge. The post-qualifying standards for social work supervisors in adult social care were published at the end of 2018.

It’s a key area of service development which is part of the Chief Social Worker's vision for the future of the social work profession, as set out below: 

Good quality supervision and support is one of the key reasons that social workers remain with their employer. Having access to professional supervision which allows time for deep refection to consider the impact that a social worker’s practice has in improving people’s lives and to reflect on the impact the work has on the social worker themselves is vital in developing social workers skills, knowledge, and resilience. Newly qualified social workers’ practice is grounded in their early career experience and the knowledge they gain through supervision. Experienced social workers value the time to step back and consider their practice and areas for further development especially in the context of emerging challenges in providing people with the right support at the right time. This is especially so in responding to the longer-term consequence of the pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis and the ongoing need to ensure our practice is anti-racist and anti-discriminatory and promotes human rights and social justice. To be effective, practice supervisors not only need to have the right knowledge and skills, but also the capabilities to ensure safe and effective social work practice with people with whom we work. Good supervision, like good social work, is relationship based and supporting and coaching social workers is what skilled supervisors do. That’s why I have prioritised ensuring that we provide support to make visible and embed the post-qualifying standards for supervisors across the sector.

Lyn Romeo
Chief Social Worker for Adults


We've developed guidance and templates for completing a portfolio of evidence, which links to our infographic. These supporting documents are in the section below titled 'Portfolio contents/checklist'. 


Portfolio contents/checklist

There are three main components to the portfolio: the initial review, mid-point review and end-point review. The full version of the portfolio can be downloaded, with the individual templates broken down below. These documents form the basis of the guidance for the post-qualifying standards for social work supervisors. They were produced with the support of the six early implementation (EI) sites and the sub reference group. 

Portfolio introduction:

Part one: Initial review:

Part two: Mid-point review

Part three: End-point review


Research in Practice's developing reflective supervision programme

This programme aims to upskill practice supervisors in adult social care and support the implementation of the post-qualifying standards for adult social work. It's delivered by Research in Practice and supported by the Department for Health and Social Care.

The programme will support practice supervisors to:  

  • build confidence as leaders
  • consider their role in enabling high-quality practice as a supervisor
  • engage with up-to-date evidence regarding the importance of reflective, curious and relational supervision 
  • explore anti-racist practice
  • practice using tools and approaches to support supervision. 


Research in Practice has a number of tools to support observation, supervisor development, feedback, critical reflection, amongst others.