Frequently Asked Questions


Can supervision be done via Skype?

Ideally you will have face to face supervision, however, you may wish to see a supervisor from outside of your area and Skype supervision is both possible and effective. If possible you will have some face to face sessions in addition to Skype supervision.

Do I need to train to become a Professional Supervisor?

Experienced practitioners will have a wealth of knowledge and experience, however, the role of a professional supervisor is complex and multi-faceted and requires its own core skills, knowledge and attributes in order to work effectively and ethically. Supervision is not just about what supervisors do it is how they do it and in-depth training is vital to develop the necessary skills, self-awareness and careful judgment required of the role.

When and where will I have supervision?

When you first meet your supervisor you will discuss and agree how you will work together and where you will meet. You can expect to see your supervisor for approximately an hour once a month.  Your supervisor will ensure that supervision is conducted in a comfortable room that is private, free from distractions, and lends itself to confidential discussion

What can I talk about in supervision?

You decide what you want to discuss in supervision and can bring anything that relates to your practice. Practitioners often bring issues they may have with co-workers, clients, agencies and other professionals. This may include maintaining professional boundaries, managing conflict, the emotional impact of certain jobs and maintaining working conditions. There may be times when personal issues surface that outside of the remit of  supervision, and you supervisor is trained to recognise this and signpost you if necessary.

What is the difference between NRCPD Supervision and Professional Supervision?

Although both refer to supervision they are two distinct roles, which we have outlined below:

NRCPD Supervision

NRCPD supervision is a requirement for all TSLIs.

NRCPD supervisors work on behalf of the NRCPD and their role is to monitor the progress of the TSLI throughout their training. As such they are expected to inform NRCPD if they believe the trainee is not meeting the Trainee Sign Language Interpreter Standards and they are also a point of contact if NRCPD wish to discuss the TSLI’s performance.

NRCPD supervisors provide the NRCPD with a record of their quarterly meetings with their trainee, including the content of the sessions, and they are also responsible for signing the trainee’s development plan.

The NRCPD supervisors are responsible for verifying that the trainee’s endorser is suitably qualified and they may take on the dual role of the trainee’s NRCPD supervisor and assessor. They are expected to be a RSLI and have a qualification in teaching, verifying, assessing mentoring or supervising in order to carry out the role.

Professional Supervision

Professional Supervision is an opportunity for supervisees to explore, discuss and reflect upon the issues, emotions and dilemmas that can originate from their work and is equally relevant at all stages of an Interpreter’s career – from new TSLIs through to experienced RSLIs.

Supervisees choose their Professional Supervisor and sessions are supervisee lead, as such supervisees decide what they wish to discuss in their supervision sessions.

Supervisees meet with their Professional Supervisor on a regular basis, often monthly. On- going exploration of their practice with a Professional Supervisor encourages the development of skills, fosters a deeper understanding of the supervisee’s work and increases their self-awareness. This reflection enables interpreters to maintain professional boundaries whilst being flexible as the role requires.

Professional Supervision is a highly effective way for interpreters to look after their mental and emotional health and well-being in an effort to avoid stress, vicarious trauma and burnout, all of which can lead to interpreters leaving the profession.

A Professional Supervisor will have completed a recognised training course and will receive ongoing supervision of their supervision practice to ensure they are working ethically and effectively.




I’ve been an interpreter for years and never had supervision, how will it help me?

Professional supervision helps maintain resilience and continued good practice by addressing and identifying potential burn out, vicarious trauma and difficult interpersonal dynamics with clients, colleagues and agencies.

For freelance practitioners supervision offers a safe and confidential forum in which to discuss their work, to address ‘blind spots’, and to identify and address areas of development to maintain best practice by using appreciative enquiry and supportive challenge.

I have peer supervision with some of my friends who are interpreters, what is different about having a professional supervisor?

Professional supervision is a contracted professional relationship that is objective and non-judgemental. A supervisor is trained to  offer support and supportive challenge to supervisees. Peer support can be unwittingly ‘collusive’ as challenging close colleagues, who may also be friends, can be difficult.


Can I have supervision just when I have a dilemma?

Whilst supervision is used to effectively address dilemmas and concerns it is also used to address ongoing learning and development. The relationship between the Supervisor and Supervisee is paramount and developed over time by meeting for regular appointments – usually monthly.

I have had therapy in the past, isn’t this the same as supervision?

Supervision is a professionally contracted relationship which is different to therapy, as it is primarily a forum in which to address professional practice, not personal issues and concerns. A professional Supervisor however will be equipped to address interpersonal dynamics and self-care within the restorative aspect of the relationship and will use therapeutic interventions to best facilitate any personal impact or relevance to the Supervisees professional maintenance and development.

How much does Supervision cost?

Supervision costs can vary. A professionally qualified supervisor will have undertaken considerable additional training and will be accessing their own regular supervision. Expect to pay £40 – 60 an hour.

What do I look for when choosing a Supervisor?

It is important that you choose a supervisor who you feel comfortable talking to enable you to openly reflect on your practice. You may wish to choose a supervisor within or outside of your profession and we suggest contacting a few before you decide who is the best fit for you. A good supervisor will have the relevant qualifications and be in receipt of supervision for their supervision practice.

There is some variation in courses offered and we suggest you look for Supervisors who have completed either a Diploma in Supervision or a PGCert in Supervision. Both courses include approximately 120 – 150 hours teaching and provide practitioners with the depth and breadth of supervision theory and practice to enable them to become effective Professional Supervisors. This is particularly important for supervisors working outside of counselling and therapy as their practitioner training does not include intra and interpersonal dynamics and awareness necessary when supervising.

This comparison chart will give you an idea of different courses: