“The complexity of the work we do as interpreters can leave us with many questions, insecurities, and uncomfortable feelings so the opportunity to explore this in detail with a trusted supervisor has enabled me to become more aware, considered, and resilient as I work.”

The benefits of supervision

The majority of sign language interpreters work as freelance practitioners and often work in isolation with limited opportunities to talk about their work, as such interpreters often rely on close friends and colleagues for support.

Professional Supervision is an opportunity for supervisees to explore, discuss and reflect upon the issues, emotions and dilemmas which can originate from their work. Rather than something to be feared supervision is an opportunity for growth and development enabling the supervisee to become a more robust, resilient and ethical practitioner. Trust is central to the supervisory relationship to enable the supervisee to bring what they may perceive as ‘mistakes’ without fear of judgement.

Exploration of their work 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.

Through the process of supervision supervisees can take a step back and consider not only practice issues, but also their responses to the work. Interpreting assignments can be emotionally demanding and witnessing the distress of others can be distressing for interpreters. Understanding personal responses to people and situations can increase resilience and reduce work related stress.

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.

Some benefits of professional Supervision:

  • Designated time to reflect on your practice
  • Help you provide a better service to clients
  • Recognise your personal and professional strengths
  • Identify areas for development
  • Explore your personal responses to work


  • Increase your confidence in your skills and competence
  • Validate your practice
  • Gain feedback and guidance
  • Discuss work-related issues in confidence
  • Consider the impact the work has on you and develop resilience