Interdisciplinary supervisor development in a community health service


  • Ellice Rains Social Work Professional Leader and Supervision Development Leader, Home and Older Adults Service, Waitemata District Health Board.


supervision, health practice, clinical supervision,


The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 defines Supervision as the ‘means of monitoring of, and reporting on, the performance of a health practitioner by a professional peer’.

This changing climate within which health practitioners now work has brought about a renewed interest in the role that clinical supervision plays in developing practitioners who are competent and fit to practice in their chosen profession. This article presents an account of the ongoing learning and development of the skills of supervision by way of combined nursing and allied health supervisor groups in a community health service. The background to the creation of these groups will be described along with their development over a two year period. Some of the difficulties encountered in implementing this initiative will also be discussed. Results of an evaluation of their effectiveness will be presented, and suggestions for future initiatives will be provided.


Beddoe, L. (2001). Learning for supervision in contemporary social work practice in Aotearoa. In Supervision: from rhetoric to reality: Conference proceedings, Auckland: Auckland College of Education.

Davys, A. (2001). Reflective learning in supervision – a model. In Supervision: from rhetoric to reality: Conference Proceedings. Auckland: Auckland University.

Davys, A. M., & Beddoe, L. (2007). Interprofessional learning for supervision: ‘Taking the blinkers off’. (Unpublished, under review).

Hawkins, P., & Shohet, R. (2000). Supervision in the helping professions (2nd ed). Milton Keynes: Open University Press.

Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. Wellington: New Zealand Government.

Hyrkas, K., Appleqvist-Schmidlechnes, K., & Paumonen-Ilmonen, M. (2002). Expert supervisors’ views of clinical supervision: a study of factors promoting and inhibiting the achievements of multi-professional team supervision. JPL Advanced Nursing, 38(4), 387-397.

O’Donoghue, K. (2004). Social workers and cross-disciplinary supervision. Social Work Review, 16(3), 2-7.

Pullon, S. & Fry, B. (2005). Interprofessional postgraduate education in primary health care: is it making a difference? Journal of Interprofessional Care, 19(6), 569-578.

Waitemata District Health Board. Home and Older Adults Service. (2004). Client centred care in HOAS: A framework for 2004-05 and beyond, by Helen Frances. (Unpublished report).

Zorga, S. (2002). Supervision: the process of life-long learning in social and educational professions. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 16(3), 265-275.




How to Cite

Rains, E. (2022). Interdisciplinary supervisor development in a community health service. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 19(3), 58–65. Retrieved from