FAQs about supervision

   

When will I start receiving supervision?
How is supervision different from (a) line management, (b) coaching, (c) spiritual direction, (d) counselling?
What does the training involve? 
Who will supervise me and who decides?

How will I fit supervision in with everything else?
What is the relationship between supervision and safeguarding?
Is supervision confidential?
Can we use group supervision?
Can I be part of the training team? 
Can I train as a professional supervisor? 
What happens if I refuse to sign my supervision record? 
How can Circuit Stewards and others feed into the Supervision Process? 
How does supervision relate to the re-invitation process? 
Can I be exempt from any part of the Supervision training? 
How do I train to supervise a probationer in 2019-20? 
If I am already trained to supervise probationers what further training do I need?
What is the relationship between supervision and Ministerial Development Review?
If I work part-time, do I need to be in supervision?  
I am going on sabbatical - should I still attend supervision?
I am going on sabbatical - should I still provide supervision?
I am on parental leave - what should I do?
What should I do if I am off sick?
I have been suspended - what should happen?
I am an Independent Schools Chaplain - should I be in supervision?
I am a minister with permission to reside overseas - should I be in supervision?
I am a minister with permission to serve in an appointment outside the control of the Church - should I be in supervision?
I am a minister with permission to be without appointment - should I be in supervision?
I am a Chaplain to the armed forces - what should I do?
Ordained ministers who are Recognised and Regarded, Authorised to Serve or Associates.
I am a Pioneer Minister - should I be in supervision?
I am a Mission Partner - should I be in supervision?
Who should be on a Supervision Implementation Plan (SIP)?
My role is split - who should offer supervision?



                          

When will I start receiving supervision?

Each District Chair completes a Supervision Implementation Plan (SIP) that lists the names of all ministers in the district. Those nominated as Supervisor will be invited to train in supervision. If the Chair nominates you, you will be invited to register for an available initial training (this is a three-day event) and a call back day for assessment (this is one day, six months after the initial training). As a trainee Supervisor you should enter supervision immediately following the initial training or you may have entered supervision before training even begins.

Back to top

                          

How is supervision different from (a) line management, (b) coaching, (c) spiritual direction, (d) counselling?

It should be noted that although technical distinctions can be made, in practice, there is often considerable overlap.  The most important thing is that both parties are clear what is expected.  Definitions of supervision for Methodist Church purposes are provided in the Interim Policy.

(a) Supervision and line management: supervision is primarily exploratory and reflective; it is governed by an agreement (Covenant) between the supervisor and the supervisee and is recorded on an Agreed Record Form. Unlike line management it does not involve task management and the responsibility for the work remains with the supervisee.  If it becomes clear in supervision that action needs to be taken regarding a minister in by their minister in oversight (who may or may not be the supervisor) this needs to be recorded on the Agreed Record Form (link) so that action can be taken outside the supervision session.  If supervision is being offered to a lay employee with significant pastoral responsibilities this could be offered either by the line manager or by a separate supervisor. Line managers will need to refrain from over directing employees during supervision and there may be benefit to supervision happening 'offline' where the supervisee may be freer to explore more widely before bringing options for action to a line manager.

(b) Supervision and coaching: coaching is usually governed by an agreement between the coach and the practitioner. It can govern any aspect of life or work by mutual agreement and is primarily focused on the development of the practitioner in some area. The accountability is usually purely between the two people concerned. Supervision involves attention to practitioner development (the formative dimension) but also to the ethics of practice within the organisation (the normative dimension) for the sake of those ministered amongst, and to the wellbeing of the practitioner (the formative dimension). The accountability within supervision is not only mutual, it is to the wider Church. For this reason the records are accessible to other processes and ministers in oversight may request that particular issues are taken to supervision.

(c) Supervision and spiritual direction: spiritual direction focuses on the living of life in the light of God's call to discipleship. For those in ministry this will include the living out of a vocation to ordination or lay work but will also include other relationships and commitments. Whilst supervision includes spiritual and theological perspectives, it focuses upon the wellbeing and spiritual health of the person as this concerns their practice. Practice is always the focus of supervision, even if the questions raised are theological or spiritual. 

(d) Supervision and counselling: counselling is focused upon the mental health of the client.  Supervision may identify areas of work which are having an impact on the supervisee's mental health or areas of mental health that are having an impact on the supervisee's work.  It is the role of supervision to explore these impacts but not to work specifically on any mental health concerns raised.  Referral to counselling may sometimes be an outcome of supervision.

Back to top

                                    

What does the training involve?

The training takes place over four days. Three days training and one day six months later for assessment. The training involves an intensive introduction to the skills of supervision and to enough supervision theory to support those skills. Much of the training time is spent in triads in which you will practise being a supervisee, supervising and identifying the features of supervision practice. Supervision relies on transferable skills, many of which are generic to ministry. These will be refined and developed during the programme. Six months after the initial three-day training, a Call Back Day for assessment will take place to refresh skills and make a final assessment of the readiness of the trainee to supervise under the Interim Policy. The training will depend on the trainee having completed three supervisions with an approved supervisor and having offered at least three practice sessions during the six months between the initial training and Call Back Day for assessment.

Back to top

                  

Who will supervise me and who decides?

District officers (usually the District Chair in consultation with others) will decide the basic pattern that your district will use. The options are:

Option A: The Chair supervises their Superintendents, where possible Superintendents supervise their own colleagues.

Option B: The Chair (or their alternate) supervises the Superintendents, where possible the Superintendent (or their alternates) where possible, supervise their colleagues.

Option C: That a selection of District ministers and lay people with the right skills and experience will be asked to supervise a number of people from outside of their own circuit. 

If there are good reasons why it would not be appropriate for you to be supervised by a particular individual (e.g. family relationship; personality clash) you should request that be taken into account with the keeper of the SIP. If this is difficult to raise with your own minister in oversight, please speak to the District Chair or to the Connexional Director of Supervision.

Back to top

                  

How will I fit supervision in with everything else?

Ministry is the kind of life in which there is always more that could be done than time allows.  It is recognised that supervision involves a major commitment both as a supervisee and as a supervisor.  The pilot project has identified benefits from both perspectives however as ministers have found supervision an effective way to reflect, to communicate with colleagues and to become more intentional about their priorities and use of time.  Prioritisation should be a regular topic within supervision.  Good time management involves reflective conversation about what to choose to neglect.  Sharing this decision with a supervisor can help to reduce guilt about those things left undone.

Back to top

                  

What is the relationship between supervision and safeguarding?

Supervision is being introduced into the Methodist Church as a way to support a change of culture from isolated practice to more accountable, transparent and supported practice. It is expected that issues of safeguarding and other risks will be explicitly discussed in supervision as a regular part of the work and it is hoped that supervision will help ministers spot patterns of behaviour in others that are a cause for concern so that early interventions can be made. Supervision will not on its own prevent any individuals in ministry intent on harming others from doing so. However, it is hoped that supervision will help everyone to reflect on the impacts of their own patterns of working and take steps to work more safely, e.g. in taking appropriate time off, in observing the code of conduct, in sharing difficult decisions.

Supervisors should always remember that any supervisee may themselves be a survivor of abuse.  For those ministers it is particularly important that basic protocols and appropriate boundaries are observed e.g. allowing the supervisee to help shape the supervision space; being clear about the limits and obligations of confidentiality; supporting the emotional welfare of the supervisee if a particular incident or situation is having a significant impact upon them; making referrals for further support if a need is identified.

Back to top

                  

Is supervision confidential?

Supervision is not completely confidential because it is not only for the support of the practitioner, but for the wellbeing of those amongst whom the practitioner works.  The Agreed Record asks for certain things to be recorded: a list of topics so that any minister in oversight/designated third party can tell whether ministry is being discussed in the round during the course of a year; specific actions relating to safeguarding, competence, discipline or other formal actions need to be recorded in order to be legitimately acted upon outside the supervision space.  Anything not recorded on the form is confidential to the supervisor and the supervisee.

Guidance is offered about note keeping.

Back to top

                  

Can we use group supervision?

Group supervision has not been recommended for use during 2017-20.  During the pilot group supervision was tried but was not found to be an effective means of supervision at this stage.  The skill set for effective group supervision is considered a higher skill set than that for individual supervision and so any group supervisions that take place will be considered informal and not part of the accountability required by the Conference.  Ministers are encouraged to use skills of supervision across their work, including for encouraging reflection and colleagueship in staff meetings.  The future uses of group supervision will be reviewed for report to the 2020 Conference.

Back to top

                  

Can I be part of the training team? 

Anyone with professional supervision training/supervisory experience or with cognate skills and experience is welcome to apply to be part of the training team.  Please contact the Connexional Director of Supervision.

Back to top

                  

Can I train as a professional supervisor?

A small budget has been set aside for each of the next three years to build the Methodist Church's capacity to deliver supervision and supervision training at a professional standard.  If you are interested to engage in such training please contact the Connexional Director of Supervision.

Back to top

 

What happens if I refuse to sign my supervision record?

The record of each supervision session should be signed by supervisor and supervisee and forwarded to either the minister in oversight or a nominated third party if the supervisor is the minister in oversight. On the record should be a list of topics, any risks identified and any matters that require referral beyond the supervision process. Ideally supervisor and supervisee should agree and sign the record together. If there is disagreement about the record, the supervisee should add their comments in the appropriate box and sign these. If the supervisee refuses to sign the record, the supervisor should record this fact; the date on which the supervisee was offered and declined the opportunity to sign; and forward the record as normal. Any referrals noted on the record can then happen without the consent of the supervisee in order to safeguard the interests of others.

Back to top

  

How can Circuit Stewards and others feed into the Supervision Process?

There is no formal route by which local church and circuit officers are invited to feed into the supervision process. However, it is always possible for them to speak to the minister themselves and suggest issues that might be profitably considered in supervision; it is also possible to raise issues with the relevant minister in oversight who might also suggest to the minister concerned that they reflect on the comments made. It is hoped that ministers will be alert to the views of lay people and other colleagues about their ministry and bring such comments to supervision to reflect on them as part of responsible practice.

Back to top

  

How does supervision relate to the re-invitation process?

There is no direct relationship between supervision and re-invitation. It is hoped that supervision will provide an ongoing and realistic context for the evaluation of the minister’s relationships and effectiveness in their appointment and that this will lead to fewer surprises in the re-invitation process. Ministers are encouraged to share the feedback they get from colleagues and lay officers of the church with their supervisors in a routine way.

Back to top

  

Can I be exempt from any part of the Supervision training?

The Supervision Reference Group has decided that there will be no exemptions from the full training for those who want to/are nominated to supervise under the Interim Policy. If you trained to supervise probationers before 2017-18 you will need to complete the full training in order to supervise under the Interim Policy or, from 1 September 2020, to continue supervising probationer ministers. This is because the expectations of supervisors have moved on considerably in the last couple of years and supervision is now designed to meet specific outcomes, not only for the probationer, but for the practitioner and for the wider church and community we serve. It is also because assessment and approval is part of the training and it is important that participants receive appropriate training and support before being assessed. In a few cases there may be some overlap with other training completed, however, we hope that colleagues can approach this training in the spirit of continuing development and to support the learning of others in their training group.

Back to top

  

How do I train to supervise a probationer in 2019-20?

If you are supervising probationers you need to have been trained on a Connexional Supervision Training Course, Responsible Grace. Those who have attended training prior to September 2017 will need to retrain under the current policy.

Back to top

  

If I am already trained to supervise probationers what further training do I need?

If you are supervising probationers you need to have been trained on a Connexional Supervision Training Course, Responsible Grace. Those who have attended training prior to September 2017 will need to retrain under the current policy.

In addition in order to supervise a probationer you need only complete one briefing day at the Queen’s Foundation. Part of the day looks at specifics of Supervising a Probation (which may be different to supervising a peer) the rest of the day includes spending time with your probationer.

From 1 September 2020 you will already need to have been approved as a Supervisor under the Interim Policy in order to be nominated to supervise a probationer. Please notify your District Chair if you need to complete that training they will insure you are included in a District Supervision Implementation Plan and therefore invited to training.

Specific preparation for supervising a probationer will continue to be held annually at Queen's in the form of a one-day briefing. From 1 September 2020 this will only be offered to those who have already completed the Initial Training to Supervise under the Interim Policy.

Back to top 

  

What is the relationship between supervision and Ministerial Development Review?

See How do MDR and Supervision relate to each other? (Word)

Back to top 

 

If I work part-time, do I need to be in supervision?

The supervision offered to those in part time roles should be regularly spaced through the working year.

Those working half time or less within the British Methodist Church receive not less than one hour of supervision per quarter. Those working between half and full time should receive between one and two hours of supervision per quarter.

Engagement in supervision should be proportionate and appropriate to the role being exercised but that no-one should be supervised for less than one hour each quarter.

Back to top

 

I'm going on sabbatical - should I still attend supervision?

Any minister on sabbatical is entitled to receive their full quota of supervision but may, by negotiation with their supervisor, miss one supervision during that three-month period.

Back to top

 

I'm going on sabbatical - should I still provide supervision?

Any minister on sabbatical who supervises should not undertake all the supervisions for their supervisees during the sabbatical year but should make appropriate and proportionate arrangements for the supervision of their colleagues. This should be by negotiation and should take into account each supervision relationship. In some cases it may be important to prioritise the continuity of the relationship and for the supervisor to conduct all the supervisions in an adjusted timetable; in other cases it may be appropriate for two or three supervisions to be offered by an alternative supervisor in order to balance the workload of the minister having a sabbatical year. Overall the supervisor should aim to reduce their supervision load in a sabbatical year by a quarter.

Back to top

 

I'm on parental leave - what should I do? 

Any minister on parental leave (SO 807a-c) should normally continue to be supervised on their ‘keeping in touch’ days. Any minister who takes parental leave for more than two months should notify the keeper of the relevant Supervision Implementation Plan so that alternative arrangements can be made for their supervisees.

Back to top

 

What should I do if I am off sick?

Ministers who are signed off sick may not engage in supervision. Any minister who supervises and is signed off sick may not supervise. Where this persists for more than two months, alternative arrangements should be made for the affected supervisees by the keeper of the Supervision Implementation Plan.

Back to top

 

I have been suspended - what should happen?

Where a minister who supervises is suspended, alternative arrangements should be made by the keeper of the Supervision Implementation Plan in consultation with their minister in oversight.

Back to top

 

I am an Independent Schools Chaplain - should I be in supervision? 

By September 2020 Schools’ Chaplains working in Independent Methodist Schools should be supervised either by a trained Methodist supervisor within the District or by a professional supervisor recognised by the Methodist Church and paid for by the school.

In either case the Agreed Records of Supervision should go to the District Chair and to the Schools’ Pastoral Visitor who shall act as a Nominated Third Party and keep the MIST Supervision Implementation Plan.

This should include lay chaplains and ministers of other churches as conditions of appointment.

The Chair of District is responsible for recording the supervision arrangements of any MIST school chaplain on their Supervision Implementation Plan.

Back to top

 

I am a minister with permission to reside overseas - should I be in supervision?

The Stationing Advisory Committee should stipulate individual supervision arrangements on the basis of the principles articulated in the Supervision Policy.

Back to top

 

I am a minister with permission to serve in an appointment outside the control of the Church – should I be in supervision?

The Stationing Advisory Committee should stipulate individual supervision arrangements on the basis of the principles articulated in the Supervision Policy, ensuring that the hours of supervision are proportionate to the hours of work undertaken but not less than one hour each quarter.

Back to top

 

I am a minister with permission to be without appointment – should I be in supervision?

The Stationing Advisory Committee should stipulate individual supervision arrangements on the basis of the principles articulated Supervision Policy, ensuring that the hours of supervision are proportionate to the hours of work undertaken but not less than one hour each quarter.

Back to top

 

I am a Chaplain to the armed forces – what should I do?

All chaplains shall be in receipt of a minimum of four supervisions of 90 minutes each year from a supervisor approved under the Methodist Church’s Policy; agreed records shall be sent to the Secretary of the Forces Board. The reduced hours of supervision have been negotiated with reference to the other structures for support and accountability that are in place within the Armed Forces.

Back to top

 

Ordained ministers who are Recognised and Regarded, Authorised to Serve or Associates.

All such ministers should be included on the District Supervision Implementation Plan.

Those who are recognised and regarded by the Methodist Conference as being in Full Connexion are subject to the same discipline as those in Full Connexion. Therefore they should be in Supervision under the policy.

Those who are authorised to serve should be in supervision and included on the District Supervision Implementation Plan. In each case, there should be clarity as to supervision offered within the MCB, through the minister’s own Church, or both.

Those who are recognised in circuits as Associate Presbyters and Associate Deacons operate only in relation to specific functions that should be overseen by the Superintendent. The Superintendent should ensure that they are in receipt of supervision from their own Church and/or that the ministry they offer in the name of the MCB is appropriately supervised according to the principles outline in this report. The (continued) authorisation of Authorised and Associate Presbyters and Deacons should be dependent upon the demonstration that appropriate supervision arrangements are in place either through the Methodist Church or via another body.

Back to top

 

I am a Pioneer Minister – should I be in supervision?

By September 2020 lay and ordained pioneers should be supervised under the District Supervision Implementation Plan.

Supervisors should be briefed on the particular nature of this work.

Back to top

 

I am a Mission Partner – should I be in supervision?

The Director of Global Relationships shall provide annually to the Connexional Director of Supervision a Supervision Implementation Plan that covers presbyters and deacons and lay people identified above who are serving as mission partners.

Those in supervision should receive six 90 minute sessions a year either from a trained supervisor in their context or (more likely) from a designated supervisor in Britain by Skype.

The agreed records of supervision should be sent to the Director of Global Relationships Office.

Those mission partners serving in Churches where there are supervision arrangements in place may (with the consent of the Connexional Director of Supervision) be supervised under the policy of the Church in which they serve but with agreed reports on the supervision sent to the Head of the World Church Relationships Office.

Back to top

 

Who should be on a Supervision Implementation Plan (SIP)?

It is the responsibility of the District Chair to ensure that supervision is provided for:

  • Ordained ministers, those Recognised and Regarded as being in Full Connexion with the Conference and probationers
  • Authorised Presbyters and Deacons
  • Lay office holders and employees who are identified as needing supervision
  • Any MIST chaplains residing in the District as agreed with the Schools’ Pastoral Visitor
  • Any pioneer ministers whether lay or ordained
  • Any ministers without appointment
  • Any ministers with permission to reside overseas who are linked with the District for this purpose

It is also their responsibility to ensure that Associate Presbyters and Deacons are ministering under appropriate supervision.

It is also their responsibility to record on which Supervision Implementation Plan the detailed information about the supervision of all other ordained ministers residing in the district is held including:

  • Ordained members of the Connexional Team
  • Ordained ministers serving in appointments outside the control of the Church
  • Connexional Tutors

Those supervising mission partners should have particular preparation in understanding the context in which the partner works.

Back to top

 

My role is split – who should offer supervision?

Where an ordained minister or lay officer/employee identified is in a split role an agreement should be made with the person concerned about the prime location in which supervision is best offered.

Back to top

 


Share this