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THSP638 Supervision: Peer and Group


THSP626 Ministry Supervision - Leadership and Reflective Practice

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 for the helping professions need to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in this discipline and demonstrate a capacity to evaluate the various ways in which their personal development impacts upon and contributes to their professional roles. In this unit, participants will examine the relationship of Supervision to questions concerning leadership and governance in contemporary organisations. This will include issues such as the personal and organisational accountabilities of supervisors, professional boundaries, legal frameworks for the exercise of supervisory roles, and duties of care exercised in relation to supervisees. The aim of this unit is to deepen participants’ understanding of the practice, purpose and implications of Supervision within the modern workplace.

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.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Explain issues emerging for supervisors in the context of leadership and governance (GA2, GA8)

LO2 - Apply contemporary understandings of leadership and governance to professional supervisory practice (GA2, GA8)

LO3 - Evaluate the professional accountabilities of supervisors in ways that include mature and insightful self-reflection (GA2, GA8)

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society.

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 


Topics will include:

  • Leadership and governance in contemporary organisations
  • Supervision in church-based organisations and issues relating to safeguarding children and other vulnerable people
  • Systems thinking of organisational structure, culture and governance
  • Establishing and maintaining cultures of safety in the workplace
  • Personal and professional accountabilities of supervisors, including maintenance of professional boundaries
  • Legal frameworks for the exercise of supervisory roles
  • Duties of care for supervisors
  • Ongoing supervision for supervisors
  • Maintaining critically reflective practice and mental hygiene

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 demonstrate a clear understanding of leadership and governance structures and accountabilities within their own or another organisation and to locate their supervisory practice within that context.

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 OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Workplace Analysis (1000 words or equivalent, expressed as a diagram): This task is designed to demonstrate students’ understanding of the leadership and governance structures of an organisation and the various points at which supervisors are personally and professionally accountable in their practice.


LO1, LO2

GA2, GA8

Case Study (2000 words): This task is designed to assist students in identifying and deepening their understanding of issues emerging for supervisors in the context of leadership and governance.


LO1, LO2

GA2, GA8

Essay (3000 words) This task is designed to enable students to apply contemporary understandings of leadership and governance to their own practice of supervision and to evaluate areas of strength and weakness in that practice.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA2, GA8

Representative texts and references

Australian Institute of Company Directors. Not-for-profit Governance Principles. 2nd Ed. Sydney, NSW, 2019. Retrieved from

Barnes, Gill Gorell, David Campbell, and Barry Mason. Perspectives on Supervision. London: Routledge, 2018.

Burck, Charlotte. Mirrors and Reflections: Processes of Systemic Supervision. 1st ed. London: Routledge, 2018.

Catholic Religious Australia & Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Light from the Southern Cross: Promoting Co-Responsible Governance in the Catholic Church of Australia. 2020. Retrieved from

Davys, Allyson, and Liz Beddoe. Challenges in Professional Supervision: Current Themes and Models for Practice. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016.

Jirek, Sarah L. "Ineffective Organizational Responses to Workers’ Secondary Traumatic Stress: A Case Study of the Effects of an Unhealthy Organizational Culture." Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance 44, no. 3 (2020): 210–228.

Morgan, Julie. Mission, Governance and Executive Leadership.” In Danielle Achikian, Peter Gates, Lana Turvey, and Stephen B. Bevans. The Francis Effect: Living the Joy of the Gospel. North Sydney, NSW: Catholic Mission, Catholic Religious Australia, 2013.

Oliver, Christine. Reflexive Inquiry: A Framework for Consultancy Practice. London: Taylor and Francis, 2018.

Rubio, Julie Hanlon, and Paul J Schutz. Beyond 'Bad Apples': Understanding Clergy Perpetrated Sexual Abuse as a Structural Problem and Cultivating Strategies for Change. (New York: Fordham University Press, 2022).

Schein, Edgar H., and Peter Schein. Organizational Culture and Leadership. 5th ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2017.

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