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  • Term Mode
  • Semester 2Online Scheduled





Teaching organisation

Students should anticipate undertaking 150 hours of focused learning in this unit. This may include online activities, reading, webinars, preparation of assessment tasks and so on. Webinars may be offered either weekly over a twelve week semester, or in intensive blocks.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Graduates of programs in Supervision develop knowledge and skills in this discipline and should be able to reflect critically on the various ways in which professional development impacts upon professional roles so as to enhance practice. This unit introduces students to the principles and practice of individual supervision — that is, supervision conducted on a one-on-one basis between a supervisor and a supervisee. Through an exploration of the meaning of the term supervision, students will learn how to supervise practitioners engaged in a variety of professional roles, including: ministry, spiritual direction, pastoral care, coaching, counselling, education, health and the corporate sector. Students will learn about supervision as a process designed to ensure appropriate ethical standards of professionalism and cultural safety in organisational structures and management. The aim of the unit is to focus on the development of skills, attitudes, approaches and knowledge that inform a practice framework for supervision that fosters practitioner’s sustained growth in the competencies for individual supervision. Foundational to this unit is a narrative psychological approach which supports respectful and critical reflective and reflexive practice in supervisory practice.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Compare and contrast three (or more) models of professional supervision, including reflective practice in supervisionGC1
LO2Explain the key skills of Carroll and Hewson’s Reflective Practice in Supervision modelGC1, GC7
LO3Analyse and evaluate their own practice framework incorporating personal strengths, foundational values and areas for future growth in the provision of supervisionGC2


Topics include:

  • The nature of supervision – exploring dimensions of supervisory practice, roles and purpose;
  • The role of contracting in supervision;
  • Supervisory models – comparing and evaluating key facets of supervisory process and their application in differing supervisory contexts;
  • Carroll and Hewson’s Reflective Practice in Supervision model
  • The dynamics of supervision – critical factors in the supervisory relationship; professional resilience and self-supervision;
  • Reflective practice in supervision – addressing underlying assumptions and systemic issues that impact on supervision;
  • Ethical conduct in supervision – professional conduct, procedures, boundaries, reporting;
  • Spirituality and supervision – contemplative stances for supervisory practice;
  • Context and community in supervision – the significance and complexity of differing contexts and community within and surrounding supervisory practice.
  • The nature and importance of a practice framework to the supervisory process.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit involves 150 hours of focused learning, which reflects the standard volume of learning for a unit in a university qualification of this Australian Qualifications Framework type.

The unit is normally offered in scheduled online mode, a way that blends the use of online delivery of learning materials and activities that can be undertaken synchronously and asynchronously. This means that students can undertake some learning activities on their own at times that do not depend on the availability of others, and other learning activities that are undertaken interactively with other students and teaching staff at the same time. Using scheduled online delivery means that students do not have to be at the same place as each other, but can interact remotely.

In order to benefit from this mode of learning, students need to be independently motivated. Units offered in the course normally follow a cycle: students complete preparatory activities before meeting together; in webinars, students work collaboratively with each other and the lecturer to clarify, extend and apply what they have learned; and after each collaborative session, students reflect critically on their personal experience and observations in light of materials covered in the unit. As the cycle is repeated, students bring new understandings to bear on further issues and ideas, so that each cycle of learning deepens the one before. Students co-construct a supportive and encouraging learning community through their active participation in classes as well as through offline engagement, such as through discussion boards.

As this unit involves rehearsing helping skills that will be utilised professionally in one-on-one engagement with future clients, attendance at all webinars is mandated to ensure practice is supervised.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy of this unit has been designed to enable students to show understanding and application of, and critical reflection on Carroll and Hewson’s Reflective Practice in Supervision model, in the context of other models of supervision.

All assessment tasks are designed for students to show their achievement of each learning outcome and graduate attribute. They require students to demonstrate the nexus between their learning, dispositions, and spiritual practice, and the evidence on which this demonstration is based.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Hurdle Task - Attendance Students are required to attend all classes unless absence is appropriately justified. Students whose absence is unjustified may be required to repeat the unit.


LO1, LO2, LO3

Table (600 words) comparing and contrasting three models of supervision in dot points. This task is designed to enable students to show a critical understanding of three models of supervision, including Carroll and Hewson’s Reflective Practice in Supervision model.



Audio Recording 30 Minute recorded (Mp4 or Mp3) supervision session with an appropriate person volunteered as supervisee. This assessment task is designed to enable students to demonstrate their understanding and application of the key skills of Carroll and Hewson’s Reflective Practice in Supervision model.



Essay (2000 words) This task is designed to enable students to demonstrate how the key skills of Carroll and Hewson’s Reflective Practice in Supervision model intersect with their own professional practice framework.


LO1, LO2, LO3

Representative texts and references

Bumpus, Mary-Rose and Rebecca Bradburn-Langer. Supervision of Spiritual Directors: Engaging in Holy Mystery. London, UK: Morehouse Publishing, 2005.

Carroll, Michael. Effective Supervision for the Helping Professions. 2nd Ed. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications, 2014.

Conroy, Maureen. Looking into the Well: Supervision of Spiritual Directors. Chicago, IL: Loyola University Press, 1995.

Fook, Jan and Fiona Gardner. Practising Critical Reflection: A Resource Handbook. Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2007.

Gardner, Fiona. Critical Spirituality: A Holistic Approach to Contemporary Practice. London: Routledge, 2016.

Hawkins, Peter and Aisling McMahon. Supervision in the Helping Professions. 5th ed. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press, 2020.

Hewson, Daphne and Michael Carroll. Reflective Practice in Supervision. Hazelbrook, NSW: Moshpit Publishing, 2016.

Hewson, Daphne, and Michael Carroll. Reflective Supervision Toolkit. Hazelbrook, NSW: Moshpit Publishing, 2016

Leach, Jane and Michael Paterson. Pastoral Supervision – A Handbook. New Ed. London: SCM Press, 2015.

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