Supervision is a value of the Ethical Framework and all registered members must agree to engage in supervision appropriate to their practice.
The Ethical Framework defines supervision as:
"A specialised form of mentoring provided for practitioners responsible for undertaking challenging work with people. Supervision is provided to ensure standards, 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 so benefits client safety. All aspects of your practice should be open to supervision.
Register requirements for supervision
As a registered member, you must:
- understand the role and value of supervision and ensure you have appropriate supervision in place
- keep an up to date record of your supervision
- be able to demonstrate the impact of supervision on your practice
- submit your supervision records for audit on request
- submit details of your supervisor, on request, and give authority for them to disclose audit information to the Registrar
When you join the Register, and when you renew your membership, we'll ask you to confirm that you have appropriate supervision and that you've discussed the Register requirements with your supervisor(s). The relevant terms and conditions are:
7. I confirm and agree that I will ensure that I have appropriate supervision in place and will abide by and fully cooperate with the Register’s supervision audit procedure, as may be varied from time to time.
8. I confirm and agree that I will notify my supervisor(s) that the Registrar of the BACP Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, (hereinafter referred to as the Registrar) may make contact to confirm that I have appropriate supervision in place. I hereby agree, if requested, to provide the Registrar with details of my supervisor(s), who may be contacted and I agree to give authority to that supervisor(s) to disclose such information that the Registrar may require and I further hereby give full and complete authority to the Registrar to contact that supervisor(s) to request such information as may be required in accordance with the supervision audit.’
How much supervision should I have?
We don't give a specific number of hours as different members will have different requirements. You must take responsibility for your own supervision needs. You should have supervision at a frequency and duration that allows you to discuss all aspects of your work in all work contexts, when necessary, and enables you to develop a constructive supervisory relationship. You should also review your supervisory arrangements regularly.
When making your decision, consider:
- the amount of counselling and psychotherapy work you undertake and the contexts or settings
- the complexity of your work
- your experience and training
- your development needs and aims
- any specific issues and difficulties
You can find more information in our Good practice in action resources.
If you are an accredited member, or wish to apply for accreditation, you must have a minimum of one and a half hours’ supervision each month.
Who can I have as a supervisor?
Your supervisor should be sufficiently experienced in counselling and psychotherapy, or a closely related field, and ideally have some training and qualifications in supervision.
You should have a contract with your supervisor to cover practical arrangements such as fees and the length and frequency of sessions. The supervisor's role and responsibility should be clearly discussed and included in the contract.
How should I record supervision?
You may record your supervision in any way you like. However, if you're selected for audit you must submit a list of your supervision sessions, so you may wish to keep a record using the supervision template below.
If you don't use this template, you'll need a system for recording that includes:
- date and duration of supervision session
- format of sessions (for example peer, one-to-one, group)
- mode of delivery (for example face-to-face, Skype)
- the work context to which the supervision relates
If you're selected for audit, you'll also have to give examples of the impact of supervision on your practice. The sample profile shows how you might complete the supervision template.
If you're selected for audit, we'll contact you and give you around six weeks to send in your supervision records. You'll also need to provide contact details for your supervisor(s) so we can confirm your supervision arrangements.
See Registered members' guide to audit for further information.
We'll contact you with the results of the audit, which may be:
- your supervision meets Register standards
- we need more information
- your supervision does not meet our standards
Our approach to supervision will be facilitative. If you fail to demonstrate that you meet the standards, we'll tell you why and ask you to clarify your arrangements.
However, if you don't meet any of the standards and have not engaged with supervision, you will be taken off the Register and removed from membership.
If you provide false or misleading information, you may be referred to Professional Conduct, which can also lead to your removal from the Register and membership.
If you have any questions about supervision or the audit process, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.