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Fieldwork supervisors

Fieldwork Supervisors will be able to find information that is useful to them in supporting their Exeter DEdPsych trainees on this page:

If you cannot find the information you need, please email our office with your query. 

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Our following podcasts discuss supervising a trainee educational psychologist from the DEdPsych professional training course at the University of Exeter.

This is podcast number 1 of a total of six which discuss supervising a trainee educational psychologist from the DEdPsych professional training course at the University of Exeter.
'Hello, I am Andrew Richards, I would like to introduce Exeter DEdPsych podcasts on being a field work supervisor for the practicum of one of our students.
Let me start by saying thank you for agreeing to supervise one of our students.
There are a further five podcasts which will support you in your supervision of an Exeter student to make sure that it is an enjoyable and rewarding experience for you and for your trainee.
The other five parts are:
2. What is involved?
3. How much, and what sort of work?
4. Paperwork supporting the placement
5. If things go wrong?
6. Expectations
Some of my colleagues from the Exeter team will be leading the subsequent podcasts.
All of the pod casts are available in printed format also and the podcasts should be read in conjunction with the Practicum pages of the course hand book.
Please contact us if you are unclear about any aspect of the practicum and your part in it. A good place to begin if you have queries would be through the link tutor who has introduced you to these podcasts and the associated documents.
We look forward to working alongside you.
Thank you for listening.'.

This is podcast number two of a total of six which discuss supervising a trainee educational psychologist from the DEdPsych professional training course at the University of Exeter.
'Hello, my name is Will Shield and I am one of the Academic and Professional Tutors at the University of Exeter. 
In this podcast, I will be discussing the role of the field work supervisor.
We are very grateful to all educational psychologists who offer to supervise trainees during their placement. We expect all field work supervisors to be qualified educational psychologists with current HCPC registration. Lead supervisors must have a minimum of two years’ experience post-qualification and must also have access to their own professional supervision.
Trainee educational psychologists are required to have 30 minutes of supervision for each day that they spend on placement. This can be divided into 60 minutes of formal supervision, and 30 minutes of less formal supervision to prepare for or reflect upon visits.
We would envisage that trainees have a balance of managerial, supportive and educative supervision to ensure they feel supported and confident while on placement. All field work supervisors should be familiar with the Professional Supervision Guidelines published by the BPS in 2010 and we are happy to provide copies of this on request.
At all times, trainees are expected to follow the HCPC Guidance on Student Conduct, Performance and Ethics, the BPS Code of Ethics and Conduct, and the BPS DECP Professional Practice Guidelines. Any concerns about a trainee’s conduct should be firstly addressed through supervision and followed up following university procedures. There is more information on this in a later podcast.
Thank you for listening.'

This podcast is number 3 of 6, which discusses supervising a trainee educational psychologist from the DEdPsych professional training course at the University of Exeter.

Hello, my name is Liz Hampton and I am an academic and professional tutor on the doctorate of educational, child and community psychology. In this podcast I would like to talk about the type and amount of work that trainees complete on their practical placements in psychology services over the 3 years.

Type of work

We are sometimes asked ‘what sort of work should a trainee be doing?’ We try not to be too prescriptive in our requests for certain types as work as we feel it is better for the trainee to work alongside you (to begin with) and cover a range of work organically. There are key types of work that need to be covered over the 3 years and these are detailed in the handbook. There is also a document which shows how and when we expect the trainee to be co-working and independently working over years 2 and 3 (this too is in the handbook) and this gradually develops from shadowing and familiarisation with the service at the start of the placement, and then gradually building up to completely independent work in their own schools by the first term of year 3. The other important criteria that needs to be covered over the 3 years are the standards of proficiency (please see the handbook for details). These are the documents that show you what types of work need to be covered at some point but otherwise the most important factor is that the work matches the student’s developmental level.


We suggest that for every hour spent in face to face casework they are allowed the same amount of time for admin. Administrative tasks can take time for trainees as they are learning the skills of casework, reflection and recording. Please also remember than for 2 days a week the trainees should be working on university based work (including research) and so these days are not available for completing service administrative work.


We ask that the trainee is observed in their work at least monthly. This does not have to be through a formal observation and can include joint work or work alongside another EP in your service. There is an observation form which can be used to record the trainee’s developing skills. You can find this in the handbook. (Podcast 5 will provide you with information on what to do if you have concerns about the trainee’s work).

University tutor

Each trainee will have a named link tutor (Academic and professional tutor) at the university. This tutor will visit the trainee and meet with you once in year 1, twice in year 2 and once in year 3. If you have any questions or concerns at any point please contact the tutor. We find it very helpful if you can be as honest as possible in your discussions with the tutor.


This is the end of podcast 3. Thank you for working with us to support the trainees.

This is podcast number 4 of a total of six which discuss supervising a trainee educational psychologist from the DEdPsych professional training course at the University of Exeter.

Hello again, Andrew Richards here. In this podcast I would like to talk about the various pieces of paperwork that we would like you to use to support your trainee’s practicum. There are 11 documents I would like to discuss and you will find them all in the appendices to the handbook. They have also been send to you electronically in WORD format.

  1. Form F1. As a training provider the HCPC and the BPS require us to ensure that those EPs supervising our students are qualified to do so. We use form F1 to gather the basic information that we need. We also use this form to provide you with useful contact details. We will complete this form in association with you at the start of the placement. If you continue to supervise for more than one year we would check that the details are still current at the start of the second year.
  2. The Placement Practice Partnership Form, known hereafter as the PPPF, is a document compiled jointly by Principal Educational Psychologists, The Association of Educational Psychologists, The division of educational and child psychology from the British Psychological Society and the Department for Education. All English professional training courses adhere to its minimum standards for ensuring a good placement for trainees.
  3. Supervisory Agreement Forms comprise the third set of forms we would ask you and your trainee to complete together. There are two models for in the appendices to the handbook. If your service has its own format which you prefer, by all means use this as long as it contains all of the information in the models we have supplied. The supervisory agreement ensures that the basic ground rules for the supervision are discussed and agreed, along with matters such as frequency of supervision and agenda setting.
  4. The fourth form is one to record the supervision meetings, we would ask that the trainee keeps this form as a record of all supervisory contact. Please countersign this on a regular basis.
  5. You are required by the PPPF to observe the TEP at least monthly. This can take a variety of forms for example working alongside on a joint assessment or training. However it may also include a rather more formal observation in which case you might want to ask the trainee to fill in part 1 of the observation form where they give some contextual information, their aims for the interaction, what they hope to achieve and how they hope to achieve the aims. You complete part 2 while observing or after the observation as appropriate. There are some headings to help you structure your feedback. The trainee then later completed part 3 as part of a reflection on the activity and the observation and the feedback.
  6. On three occasions the link tutor will visit the trainee, they will observe the trainee on a piece of work – we ask that this is not administration of a test. The link tutor will then debrief the trainee, before holding a three way meeting with you. We use the three way meeting form to support this process. We find it works best if you and the trainee complete this in advance of the three way meeting and the form can then be the basis for discussion. The link tutor will note any additions or amendments.
  7. At the end of each academic year we ask that you complete an end of year placement review form. This is for you to complete, however it is good practice for you to share the form on completion with your trainee. You submit this to the DEdPsych Administrator within the time scale specified on the form.
  8. We ask the trainees to complete a placement audit, they may talk to you about this and so we mention it and add it to the appendices for completeness.
  9. We have a professionalism record for those occasions when you observe the trainee, we call this a scheduled completion. Tick only those parts that are most relevant. However there may well be occasions when the trainee’s work has been so good that you wold like to formally record this work. Please use the professionalism record for these occasions. This counts as an on-the-spot completion. A further example of an on-the-spot completion might be if the trainee does something which concerns you. You could use this form as the foundation for discussion of the concerning behaviour. Please do not contact the University link tutor about any concerns unless you have discussed the matter with the trainee first.
  10. We expect the trainees to keep a log of the casework they do against the standards of proficiency. The trainees should bring these logs to supervision at a minimum, quarterly. There may be gaps and it would be very helpful if you could support the trainees to address any gaps. At the end of each year we would expect you to countersign the SoPs record to show that you endorse the completion of the log by the trainee.
  11. Lastly all judgements you make about the work of the trainee need to be set against the SoPs and also the codes of conduct and ethics of the BPS and the HCPC.

Supporting information will be found in the Practicum pages and also in the PPPF.

This is podcast number five of six which is about supervising a trainee educational psychologist from the DEdPsych professional training course at the University of Exeter.

Hello, my name is Margie Tunbridge and I am an academic and professional tutor on the doctorate of educational, child and community psychology. In this podcast I’ll be talking about what to do if you have concerns about a trainee. These concerns might be about the well being of the trainee, or about their proficiency in an aspect of their practice.

We recommend that you talk to the trainee about the concerns. In our experience supervisors are sometimes reluctant to talk to trainees about aspects of their placement practice with which they have concerns, not wishing to jeopardise or potentially damage the relationship; that has led to some situations which have been difficult to resolve. When it happens it’s often the part of the visit when the formal three way meeting with the supervisor and trainee is finished and the supervisor is alone with the visiting tutor and they say something which contradicts the tone and content of the previous meeting.

There is an on the spot form you can use – it is in the handbook appendices and is called the professionalism assessment – it can be used for feedback at any time with a trainee to record outstandingly good activity by the trainee or something which has caused concern. It can go into their portfolio and/or be sent to the visiting tutor for follow-up if that is needed.

You can ask for an additional face to face three-way conversation with the visiting tutor, or phone to talk about the concern. We will ask how much the trainee knows about the concern.

In some situations we have met with a supervisor and trainee and agreed a course of action which was that the trainee interrupted the course for a period of time – that type of concern is most likely when a supervisor is worried about the trainee’s mental health and well being.

In summary – talk to us, talk to the trainee, let us know!

This is podcast number six of six which discusses supervising a trainee educational psychologist from the DEdPsych professional training course at the University of Exeter.

Hello, my name is Lata Ramoutar and I am an academic and professional tutor on the Doctorate of education, child and community psychology. In this podcast I would like to talk about the expectations the profession has of supervisors and also what you can expect from the University to help you and to thank you for providing supervision.

Each trainee is visited by a link tutor once or twice per year. The link tutor will send you an email at the beginning of the academic year with their contact details so that you can contact them about the course or placement requirements directly should you need to.

By providing supervision to a trainee you are given the opportunity to take part in training the next generations of EPs as well as maintaining an important link to ongoing research and relevant psychological information.

As well as the continuous professional development experience supervision offers day-to-day you are invited to the shared learning symposia which happen one day per term. These days are presented by a renowned speaker in their field. All three trainee year groups attend and supervisors are warmly welcome too. If you can’t attend then up to two educational psychologists are able to come per Educational Psychology Service. The dates of these days are in the current handbook and should you want to attend then please contact Katie Dalzell (the course administrator) to book your place.

The annual South West EP conference is also an opportunity to meet other supervisors and trainees and to share ideas and practice. Next year we will be running a workshop about trainee supervision which will cover frequently asked questions and the requirements of the course in greater depth.

Learning how to be the best EP you can be is an exciting opportunity and one which all of our trainees embrace wholeheartedly. However, there will be challenges and it is important that as a supervisor you have an understanding of the demands of being a trainee and that you are able to provide warmth and support underpinned by an honest relationship. Key to this are the skills required to manage the tensions between critique and support of practice and we consider that these can only be managed by you receiving quality supervision yourselves and ensuring that you feel able to discuss your experiences of being a supervisor with your supervisor.

Over the course of three years the trainees obviously develop their ability to work independently. Part of the role of the supervisor is to ensure that the trainees are able to regulate the work flow commensurate with their skill and developmental levels. It is important that you can help them do this.

Thank you for offering your time and energy to our trainees

This is a podcast about supervision of trainee educational psychologists at the University of Exeter DEdPsych course.

My name is Margie Tunbridge and I am an academic and professional tutor on the doctorate of educational, child and community psychology

To explain arrangements for trainees we use at university,

  1. what supervision happens for trainees in each of the three years,
  2. some suggestions about practicalities,
  3. a short section about history, different models and aims, and
  4. research about supervision,
  5. then what we ask to see when we come to visit a trainee.

And finally, some suggestions for further reading or listening

Trainees at the university have individual supervision with a tutor about every four weeks, for between 30 minutes and an hour, or longer if that seems necessary. They have some input at the start of the course about supervision; many of them have had what has been described as supervision, but is not always what we would recognise as supervision. In years two and three they have supervision from their fieldwork supervisors at the BPS recommended duration of 30 minutes per day on placement. They also have research supervision from two or three supervisors jointly when they return to the university. They also have a visiting tutor who is the person with whom they remain in contact on a weekly basis and who comes out to visit them, twice in year two and once in year three. We can do extra visits if a FWS would like that.

2) Practicalities of supervision

What do practitioners think makes supervision better?

A contract - which gives

Expectations about when, where, how often

Expectations about content

Agreement about recording process

Agreement about confidentiality

Agreement about when/if extra supervision is needed

3) Supervision started in the 1920s with the rise of charitable organisations, and the need for the work to be kept track of and overseen.

Dawson in 1926 writes about three types of supervision, using language which will be familiar, I think, to EPs working now – the three types are educational, administrative and managerial. The ways in which those are described are slightly different from what we’d recognise now. I think we’d talk about educative, managerial and supportive. Later writers add in mediation – I’ll talk about that later.

The model based on Dawson, which is the one we use is by

Kadushin,– 1992 Kadushin and Harkness 2002.

Educative, managerial, supportive (note administrative has become managerial)

Also referred to as formative, normative, and restorative though in the literature it is argued that these are different from educative, managerial and supportive.

Morrison (2006) adds another element - mediation – the relationship of the worker to the organisation and the worker understanding the organisation.

In administrative later managerial, supervision, the task is thinking about making sure that the supervisee is following the right procedures in the organisation; the main gaol is about adhering to policy and procedure. It’s the supervisor’s role to ensure that the supervisee implements the service’s policies. Oversees the output of the supervisee, maintains quality control within their professional practice. Some criticisms of the model have been about this being a deficit view of the worker.

In educative supervision the supervisor is working with the supervisee to ensure that the supervisee has the appropriate skills to carry their job out. This might involve understanding their client better, being aware of their own responses to elements of the work, and how to develop their skills and understanding. This includes reflection on the work done.

In supportive supervision the considerations are about the supervisee’s morale and satisfaction with the role, as the name suggests. The worker is seem as facing stresses linked to the job, and need help to deal with them, thus preventing their work and well-being from being affected by those pressures

Overall too, the supervisor is monitoring the supervisee to monitor the demands upon them and to talk further about the service’s delivery.

In managerial supervision the supervisor is ensuring the effectiveness and output of the supervisee, maintaining quality control within professional practice.

Some criticisms of the model have been about a deficit view of the worker.

Kadushin 1992 says the supervisor seeks to prevent the development of potentially stressful situations, removes the worker from stress, reduces stress impinging on the worker, and helps her adjust to stress. The supervisor is available and approachable, communicates confidence in the worker, provides perspective, excuses failure when appropriate, sanctions and shares responsibility for different decisions, provides opportunities for independent functioning and for probable success in task achievement. (Kadushin 1992: 292)

Morrison adds mediation to the model – the notion of engaging the individual with the organisation – this is perhaps an important function for a trainee EP joining a new organisation and indeed for many of them it will be the first time that they have worked within an EP service.

Proctor (1987) uses slightly different terms – formative (education), normative (administration) and restorative (support). The benefit of this is that the administrative category is no longer linked to line management.

Hawkins and Shohet (most recent 2012)

Whatever the approach or method used, in the end it is the quality of the relationship between the supervisor and supervisee that determines whether supervision is effective or not.

(Aside - Hawkins and Shohet have a good little clip on YouTube about supervision.)

There is quite a lot written about some of the risks to supervision – and Reamer has written extensively about the ethics of supervision and how that might vary according to culture and context.

Leading on from that – the research base for supervision’s effectiveness as a process is written about in a paper by Carpenter, Webb and Bostock 2013 which is called – the surprisingly weak evidence base for supervision: the paper reports on findings from a systematic review of research in child welfare practice. This looked at literature from 2000 – 2012 in child welfare finding initially 690 studies -> which they narrowed down to 35 and then to 21 tightening their criteria as they went. They used the Weight of Evidence approach developed and described by Gough, 2007 at the EPPI Centre, Institute of Education, University of London (Gough, 2007).

They found some interesting findings within the literature they reviewed -

Job satisfaction coheres around the following three themes: structure, focus and frequency of supervision; task assistance (supervisor’s tangible, work-related advice and instruction to a supervisee); and support to access resources for consumers.

Supervisors are socially and emotionally supportive to supervisees, workers’ self efficacy is related to intention to stay.

The degree to which employees felt supported by their supervisor affected their emotional satisfaction with the job,

Three studies looked at the association between supervision and intention to leave

Some authors considered that supervision has become increasingly focused on performance management.

This suggested that stayers feel a sense of security in their relationships with their supervisors and that this relationship is highly significant to them.

Five studies considered the relationship between supervision and perceived organizational support, the idea that employees form a global belief concerning the extent to which the organization values their contributions and cares about their wellbeing.

They suggest that there is some support for the following: supervision works best when it pays attention to task assistance, social and emotional support and a positive interpersonal relationship between supervisors and supervisees. In particular, task assistance and the importance of supervision in the acquisition of new skills and problem-solving are valued by workers. This is true for both relatively experienced and inexperienced practitioners. Given the evidence that supervision is associated with job satisfaction and protects against stress, practitioners should insist that good supervision be provided by their employers.

What we ask to see when we come to visit

When we come to visit a trainee we usually go with them to a school or other setting and observe a piece of work. We would then meet with the trainee’s fieldwork supervisors for a three-way meeting. In the course of that meeting we ask about the supervision arrangements for the trainee and we ask to see as a minimum the supervision record for the trainee – dates of when you have met with the trainee.

Suggestions for further reading and listening.

There are some good podcasts and YouTube videos around – and some not so good ones, I think. I’ve mentioned Robin Shohet, also some with Joan Wilmot.

There’s also a lengthier one on the pages of Centre for Education and Social Care at the University of Essex.

If you’re liking podcasts, then Podsocs from the Griffith University is good – they’re for and by social workers but much of what they talk about is relevant.  They’re arranged by topic – I’ve referred earlier to the one with Frederic Reamer on ethics and boundaries. He writes about boundary violations and boundary crossings, bright line violations as well as topics such as social media and cyber technology.