MSc Advanced Leadership for Professional Practice (Allied Health Profession)

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Supervising Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners in Primary Mental Health Care

Course unit fact file
Unit code NURS60186
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Variable teaching patterns
Offered by School of Health Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No


The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) was established in 2008 to improve the assessment and treatment of people with CMHPs in primary care.  IAPT implemented the stepped care model of service delivery where patients are treated at Step 3 (High Intensity) and Step 2 (Low intensity/Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWP’s)).

The provision of readily accessible, good quality clinical supervision and case management is a distinctive feature of IAPT services in order to secure effective clinical outcomes for people experiencing CMHP’s.  The requirement for supervision were specified in the IAPT supervision guidance (December 2008), updated in March 2011.  All trainees and qualified staff delivering high or low intensity interventions through IAPT services should be supervised.  Supervisors should be trained in IAPT supervision and have a working knowledge and experience of the interventions they are supervising.  Supervision is a key activity which will determine the success of the IAPT programme.  Although there is no specific IAPT curriculum for supervision, the content of the course should be based around Roth and Pilling supervision competencies (  

Supervision of PWP’s takes two main forms; clinical case management and clinical supervision.  Clinical case management supervision (CCMS) is a significant departure from traditional supervision models and aims to ensure treatment fidelity, good case management and clinical governance.  Clinical supervision (CS) will be more familiar to supervisors and is the method by which PWP skills development and support is ensured.  Potential supervisors of PWP’s must ensure that they are familiar with both the low-intensity interventions undertaken by PWP’s and the two contrasting CCMS and CS methods. The national IAPT workforce have recommended that PWP’s receive a minimum of one hour per week of individual CCMS and one hour per fortnight of CS, which can be undertaken in groups.  Supervisors should ensure that they have sufficient time to devote to these activities as well as knowledge of low intensity interventions and the PWP delivery methods.


  • Provide the skills and knowledge to equip mental health professionals to become effective CCMS and CS and enhance the effectiveness of supervision for supervisees.
  • To enable mental health professionals to critically examine the boundaries of supervision (both CCMS and CS) and its relevance to practice situations.
  • To facilitate mental health professionals in developing approaches to implementing supervision within an IAPT service.

Teaching and learning methods

The unit is primarily delivered face to face but will adopt a blended approach to teaching and learning, involving a combination of directed reading and independent learning.  Approaches to teaching and learning will include lectures, group discussions, skill development (demonstration of skill followed by role rehearsal and feedback) and an active online feedback session.
Skills practice will focus on developing/enhancing specific skills that aid the development of an effective supervisory relationship as well as following and including IAPT structures within supervision.
Supportive material will be given to students including; handouts, presentations, lecture notes, links to key journal papers, key policy documents, reputable websites and e-learning resources.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate in-depth and critical understanding of the Roth and Pilling supervision competencies. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the interpretation and application of the Roth and Pilling supervision competencies.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and critical understanding of the process of CCMS.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the COM-B framework and its application within supervision.

Intellectual skills

  • Critically evaluate the need for CCMS and CS, and critically analyse its advantages and disadvantages.
  • With critical insight, evaluate various definitions of supervision.
  • Critically examine and interpret contemporary models of supervision.
  • Critically examine theoretical perspectives of group development relevant to supervision delivery.
  • Critically appraise the roles of the supervisor and supervisee within supervision.
  • Critically explore the ethical and professional issues around supervision.
  • Critically analyse the advantages and disadvantages of group supervision.

Practical skills

  • Demonstrate the ability to deliver a CCMS or CS session which integrates the Roth and Piling supervision competencies.
  • Demonstrate the ability to devise and negotiate supervision contracts, set agenda’s with the supervisee and develop between session tasks to aid supervisee development.
  • Demonstrate the ability to deliver sensitive and culturally appropriate evidence based feedback.
  • To appropriately apply the COM-B framework within a supervision session.
  • Demonstrate the ability to collaboratively problem solve perceived or actual barriers to the supervisory relationship.
  • Undertake a structured approach to systematically evaluate the effectiveness of the supervision you deliver using a variety of feedback options.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Communicate effectively (verbal, nonverbal, written) in a variety of settings with a range of individuals.
  • Effectively utilise information technology/ health informatics.
  • Demonstrate research and enquiry skills by accessing and analysing literature in order to inform and develop practice.
  • Work co-operatively and effectively with others as a member of a team.
  • Reflect on their own academic and clinical performance and utilise 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Students will normally have the opportunity to receive feedback on formative work submitted prior to the summative assessment. Other feedback opportunities will also be available in class and online discussion boards. Online feedback is provided in Grademark. Provisional feedback based on internal marking will be made available prior to the Exam Board on the basis that these marks are yet to be ratified at the Exam Board and therefore may be subject to change. A standard feedback mechanism in Grademark is utilised across all postgraduate programmes within the School which provides detailed and constructive feedback on each component and aspect of assessment and identifies areas of strength and those aspects which could be enhanced.

Student feedback is obtained through open discussion forums on blackboard, in class discussions, via formal University unit evaluation forms and also qualitative, in house evaluations at the end of the unit. 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Practical classes & workshops 48
Tutorials 2
Independent study hours
Independent study 76

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Clare Stephenson Unit coordinator

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