Supervision Guidance for Social Prescribing Link Workers and Supervisors


This guidance concerns professional supervision requirements per our education standards and code of practice. It is in addition to workplace supervision, which employers provide as a standard to employees regardless of industry. This guidance aligns with statutory guidance.

Who Is This Guide For?

  • Social Prescribing Link Workers
  • Supervisors
  • Employers
  • Workforce and education planners
  • Training providers

Types Of Social Prescribing Link Worker Supervision

Workplace Supervision

a) Line management supervision: as standard as per employer’s guideline

b) Clinical supervision: supervision to support complexity, ensuring practising within the scope of practice, patient safety, guidelines, and pathway. This type of supervision is carried out by an appropriate clinician and is usually determined by the service type and their regulatory requirements e.g. if you are a GP practice or hospital social prescribing link worker, you may or may not require this type of supervision.

Professional supervision

Supervision to support professional development, competence and reflection is carried out by someone who understands the job of social prescribing link workers, professional ethics and education standards (ideally a competent social prescribing link worker or a competent educator). All social prescribing link workers must undertake professional supervision regardless of employer setting or sector. To become an accredited member of NALW, you must provide evidence that you are receiving regular professional supervision.


  • Individual or group

Frequency and record

  • Supervision is a formal activity and should be readily available; there should be a supervision record with a monthly minimum frequency.

Professional supervisor

Professional supervisors should receive monthly supervision, have appropriate professional indemnity insurance cover, have up-to-date CPD and meet our minimum supervisor
training standard. To become accredited, please see the requirements here.

Minimum training standards

The Role

Learning outcomes

  • Discuss the historical evolution of supervision in health and social care
  • Outline the role and responsibilities of a supervisor and their professional and ethical conduct
  • Compare the different supervision types and explain when and why they are used
  • Outline the critical components of a successful supervisor-supervisee relationship
  • Understand competencies for Effective Supervision
  • Reflect on your own skills, knowledge and experience and update your personal development plan

Adult Education Skills

Learning outcomes

  • Explain what adult education skills are and why they are important in the role of supervisor
  • Identify the difficulties SPLW engaged in adult learning and development may face
  • Discuss different adult learning theories and “teaching the skills that matter”
  • Apply adult learning to the NALW’s education standards
  • Reflect on your own skills and experience and update your personal development plan

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Learning outcomes

  • Explain the importance of inclusive supervision for SPLW
  • Describe what equality, diversity and inclusion mean and how they may affect you as a supervisor
  • Identifying any barriers your supervisees may experience and how that impacts your sessions
  • Understand how to consider equality, diversity and inclusion in your supervisor role
  • Reflect on your own skills and experience and update your personal development plan

Learning Needs Analysis and Professional Development Plans

Learning outcomes

  • Able to articulate learning and development needs (personal and organisational)
  • Ability to identify skills or behaviours needed to progress and  current skill levels and skills gaps.
  • Select appropriate learning and development opportunities.
  • Create a professional development plan considering the NALW code of practice, education standards, and relevant statutory and employer guidelines.

Constructive Challenge: Giving and Receiving Feedback

Learning outcomes

  • Explain the importance and benefit of effective feedback
  • Compare different feedback models
  • Describe how to receive feedback effectively
  • Describe how to give feedback effectively
  • Reflect on your own skills and experience and update your personal development plan

Managing Supervision Sessions

Learning outcomes

  • Explore the Legal aspects of supervision, including confidentiality, record keeping and accountability
  • Discuss managing group supervision and group dynamics
  • Demonstrate different questioning styles and techniques
  • Describe how to evaluate supervision
  • Reflect on your own skills and experience and update your personal development plan.
Recommended for all involved and interested in social prescribing!