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An effective strategy for developing the workforce and improving services

Supervision is an important component of professional practice development that helps to ensure ethical, quality service provision to service users and tangata whai ora who access health services. Supervision is key to enabling the mental health and addiction workforce to effectively translate new knowledge into practice.

In the mental health and addiction sector it is an expectation that those working in this setting receive some form of supervision. The knowledge and skills of the mental health and addiction workforce are underpinned by Let’s get real, which reiterates the need “to understand and engage in supervision”.

In particular, professional supervision is essential for nurses who support people experiencing mental health and addiction problems, along with their families and whānau.

Te Pou offers a range of resources to support sustainable, effective supervision processes:

Plus, a suite of professional guides for nurses:

Defining supervision

Supervision is a term which has a range of definitions, types, forms and models.

The different professions in a service or team are likely to have different supervision requirements and expectations. A number of competency and knowledge and skills frameworks may also specify the need for supervision.

There is no one size fits all definition that suits everyone working in the mental health and addictions. Supervision needs to be tailored to fit each organisation.

Activities like coaching, preceptorship, mentoring, performance appraisal and clinical case/load review are not supervision. However they are still very useful and important professional development and clinical activities.

Types of supervision

The benefits of supervision

  • Better outcomes for service users
  • Better professional relationships
  • Opportunities to reflect and link knowledge and practice
  • Increased confidence
  • Skill development
  • Greater awareness and understanding
  • Reduced stress

For practitioners, professional supervision is essential. It allows space and time to reflect on practice, professional identify, and to develop a wider view of the area they work in.

Professional supervision is a key enabler in Let’s get real.