Enhancing competence in supervision: Essential elements of effective practice, November

9:00 AM
1:00 PM

Zoom - two half days 15 & 16 November 2023, 9.00am - 1.00pm

Supervision enables us to critically examine and reflect on our work in order to expand our awareness of values, assumptions and emotions that may subtly affect our work.
NZPsS member: $150; NZPsS Student: $75: Non-Member: $200

Online Workshop: 2 half-days 15 & 16 November 2023, 9.00am – 1.00pm presented by Fiona Howard

This event will be recorded for those who are registered but can't make it on the day. However, this is an interactive workshop and you should aim to attend the live session.


Professional supervision is an important part of developing and maintaining professional competence. It involves several specific competencies that are distinct from other forms of psychological or therapeutic practice. These include specific skills, knowledge and awareness in administrative, educational, cultural, ethical and interpersonal domains. Supervision enables us to critically examine and reflect on our work in order to expand our awareness of values, assumptions and emotions that may subtly affect our work. Furthermore, we can deepen our understanding of the challenges we face in our work, develop our skills and reduce the impact of the emotional labour involved.

Competent practice of supervision, requires time, preparation, and practice and can be influenced by our work contexts with their focus on our efficiency and accountability. This workshop aims to introduce participants to the awareness, knowledge and skills required to practice supervision effectively. As many of us begin supervising prior to training, this course is targeted to both new, intending supervisors, as well as for those more experienced who wish to augment or refresh their skills. The principles and models taught are applicable across a range of professions and work contexts. The content is drawn from a wide range of local and international literature, best-practice guidelines, and relevant research evidence. Each course is anonymously evaluated and feedback routinely integrated.

The course will involve two half-day sessions delivered via the Zoom platform. It will include didactic, interactive, reflective, and active methods for learning including using breakout rooms for pairs or small group practice and case studies. Materials such as PowerPoint slides, handouts and references will be sent via email in the week prior to the course commencing. Participants are encouraged to supplement their learning with pre-and post-course reading.

Learning objectives for the programme are:

  • To understand the function of supervision and how it varies according to purpose and practice context.
  • To understand the implications of Te Tiriti o Waitangi for supervision practice.
  • To gain knowledge of some key models or approaches to supervision.
  • To understand the different supervisor roles and the impact of power in the supervision relationship.
  • To become familiar with the ethics of supervision practice.
  • To understand the process of negotiating supervision agreements or contracts.
  • To be able to provide appropriate structure in supervision sessions.
  • To be able to facilitate the supervisee's learning using a variety of methods including using reflection as a central process and the experiential learning model. 

Programme Content

The specific content includes:

  • Definitions and core concepts of supervision and its variants.
  • The essential competencies for setting up and maintaining the supervision relationship and addressing diversity within this relationship and beyond.
  • This main functions of supervision as it varies according to its purpose, participants and context.
  • Current thinking on the supervision relationship including attending to power and diversity.
  • The ethical guidelines for supervision practice and the process of negotiating the supervision agreement. This section will include ethical case study work.
  • Getting started – preparing for and structuring sessions.
  • Understanding different supervisory roles and how to select methods or interventions to fit the purpose.
  • How to optimise learning in supervision – using the reflective learning cycle effectively. This section will include practice sessions with participants real case examples. 

Fiona Howard 

Fiona Howard is a Clinical Psychologist who works privately, primarily offering supervision, training, and therapy, as well as workshop facilitation for Umbrella Wellbeing Ltd. Previously, she worked at the University of Auckland in the Doctoral Programme of Clinical Psychology. Her key areas of expertise and interest include professional supervision, adult mental health, addictions, positive psychology, self-care and wellbeing, resilience building and leadership for health professionals. She has provided supervision workshops to a variety of professionals in several organisations for over twenty years and taught on the post-graduate professional supervision programme at the University of Auckland. In addition, Fiona has presented at local and international conferences, written articles and chapters and conducted research in the field of supervision. Through her career Fiona has developed a strong interest in the wellbeing and resilience of the health professional and is a firm believer in the need for greater attention to the needs of practitioners by organisations and teams within which they work as well as by practitioners themselves. Fiona believes a central way to maintain wellbeing is through growth-fostering relationships such as supervision, where we can optimise our professional competence, work satisfaction and ongoing sustainability.