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What makes Supervision PGCert at Iron Mill College special?

Delivered at Iron Mill College in Exeter, this course offers a lively, enjoyable and supportive learning experience for people working in the helping professions, delivered by highly experienced tutors.

You will develop the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to enable competence and creativity in the provision of professional supervision for individuals and groups.

Key features

  • Helps experienced practitioners in helping professions gain the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for excellence and creativity in their provision of professional supervision. 
  • Offers opportunities to develop an advanced, critical understanding of the theory and development of a wide range of practice competencies, associated with clinical supervision.
  • Gives an understanding of a variety of structures and contexts, such as private practice, organisational and line management supervision, as well as individual, peer and group supervision.
  • This course is based on the principle that at its best, supervision is a time for supervisees to grow, share, celebrate, learn and gain support.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

  • Possess at least a lower second-class Honours degree, or an equivalent professional qualification.            
  • Be able to provide evidence of substantial experience within a relevant professional role.
  • Be able to provide evidence of your professional accountability, relating to a relevant code of conduct, ethical framework or code of practice.
  • Have access to at least two supervisees in monthly supervision for the duration of your training, who give permission for you to use brief recordings of supervision sessions (this allows you to gain formative feedback on your work). Be willing to undertake an Enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, plus an occupational health check, during the application process. 

If you are interested in this course, you may wish to first book onto one of Iron Mill College’s Open Days or Open Evenings to find out more. If you are new to Iron Mill College, you might also find our Taster Days a useful way to experience what it's like to study at Iron Mill College, before applying.

Other information

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) / Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL):

Entering the Postgraduate Certificate programme though RPEL:

We recognise that many experienced practitioners trained on programmes that were not validated at Level 6, and therefore are not able to meet the entry criteria for our Postgraduate Certificate in Supervision. The RPEL assessment process is intended to provide an opportunity for qualified and experienced practitioners to apply for a place on the programme, when the standard Level 6 entry requirement cannot be met.

Further RPL information:

Applicants can claim academic credit for relevant previous study or learning experiences ("prior learning"). If you can demonstrate that you have already achieved learning which is equivalent to one or more modules, or to a whole year or level of study, relating to the course you wish to apply for at the University of Worcester, then you may make a claim for recognition of that prior learning. This applies to both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Claims are not automatic; they have to be assessed by the university. Claims should be agreed at the point of entry to a programme, and are normally discussed and assessed alongside the application process. If your claim is successful it means that you do not have to take the modules for which credit has been awarded, or you may be able to enter directly to a higher level of study or into the second or third year of a course.

There are three forms of recognition of prior learning:

  • a) Credit transfer - recognition of credit or qualification at HE level (4 or above) awarded by a UK higher education degree-awarding body in accordance with the relevant higher education qualifications framework;
  • b) Recognition of prior certificated learning - (such as professional development awards or employment-based awards) which is a higher education level but which has not led to the award of credits or qualifications positioned on the relevant higher education qualifications framework;
  • c) Recognition of prior experiential or informal learning.

Details of how to apply for RPL, and the relevant forms, can be found on the University of Worcester's applications web page.

Course content

What will you study?

This course is part-time over eight months. You will participate in two modules that both run throughout the year:

Year 1

The two modules of the course both run throughout the year:

  • IMCS4001: Integrative Relational Supervision (30 credits)
  • IMCS4002: Competency and Professional Standards in Supervision (30 credits)

Subjects covered include:

  • Models and Frameworks of relational supervision.
  • Transference, Countertransference and Parallel process.
  • Contractual issues.
  • Lines of Responsibility.
  • Difference, diversity and the balance of power in supervision.
  • The Context of Supervision.
  • Professional Standards and Ethics.
  • Creative Supervision: approaches and methods.
  • Supervising Groups.
  • Managing challenges and ethical complexities within supervision.
  • Facilitating transformation: professional and personal learning and developmental stages.
  • Supervising Supervisors.
  • Line Management and organisational supervision.

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?

Learning and assessment:

The programme integrates both theory and practice. Students should expect to participate in a lively learning environment which offers experiential work, supervision skills with constructive feedback and the sharing of good practice and experiences from different professional backgrounds.

Students are also expected to participate in substantial learning outside of teaching time. As well as attending timetabled teaching days at the college (8 weekends), students will spend time during the programme gaining supervision experience (20 hours), take process notes on their work with supervisees and attend their own monthly (at least) supervision. Students will also need to read widely, work towards assignments and other focused learning activities, prepare for attended days and take time for reflective practice.

In total, the course entails around 600 hours of study, including teaching days, supervisory practice and both self-directed and guided learning. 

Assessment is based on:

  • Supervision case study demonstrating your philosophy of supervision and integration of learning.
  • Critical Reflective Commentary analysing and evaluating your learning and development relating to feedback on your supervision sessions.
  • A minimum of 20 hours of supervision practice with accompanying monthly consultative supervision log and report.

Attendance requirements:

It is expected that students will attend 100% of the taught programme and all additional requirements. Some parts of the programme relating to assessment have a mandatory attendance requirement, and where this applies it will be stated clearly in the relevant Module Specification.


Postgraduate Certificate in Supervision (Level 7) with 60 credits.


The Iron Mill College offers a pleasant and comfortable learning environment within Exeter’s beautiful city centre area of Southernhay. Students have access to:

  • University of Worcester Student Services. Student Services is the central department that provides non-academic support of students.  The department includes Careers, Counselling and Mental Health Support, Disability and Dyslexia Service, Student Wellbeing Centre, and Welfare and Financial Advice.
  • The University of Worcester Library resources, which includes full access to a huge and comprehensive range of books and journals online, and the facility to have books posted out to you.
  • The Iron Mill College Resource Room, which contains reference books, library and a selection of journals
  • The IMC placement database, allowing students to find approved placement providers and supervisors in the geographical area of their choice (these are mostly related to counselling and psychotherapy, but also include other providers within family centres, educational establishments and health settings).
  • Kitchens for storing and preparing food, and a range of tea, coffee and hot drinks are available free of charge
  • Iron Mill offers a low-cost counselling service that is available to students five days per week throughout the year
  • Study Skills Groups facilitated by experienced academic staff throughout the year on evenings and weekends, covering topics such as Harvard Referencing, Essay Writing, Preparing for Placement, and Presentation Skills.

Students are supported throughout the year and over the summer by:

  • The Placement Coordinator
  • The Iron Mill College HE Programmes Administrator
  • A Library Assistant within the Administrative Team, able to help with library requests and enquiries
  • The Personal Academic Tutor who will offer support throughout their studies at the Iron Mill College.
  • The Course Leader and Module Leaders are directly involved in the programme and available to offer support and guidance as required.

Meet the team

The key members of staff involved with the delivery and management of the PG Certificate in Supervision are:

Jane Stavert, Module Leader and core programme tutor
Lucia Capaldi, Course Tutor,
Marie Potter, Placement Coordinator,  
Amanda Murrell, Academic Administrator,
Judith Davies, University of Worcester Link Tutor,         


Where could it take you?

Possible career opportunities for supervisors within the helping professions are varied and numerous, and are growing as the helping professions increasingly understand the requirement to support staff who work with people. Opportunities may therefore include:

  • NHS departments and initiatives
  • Educational institutions: schools, colleges and universities
  • Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPS)
  • Local Authority employee services programmes
  • Charitable agencies
  • Human Resources
  • Private Practice
  • Health and Social Care settings
  • Family centres and services
  • Residential and day services work
  • Probation and social work


How much will it cost?

Tuition fees

For details, please visit our course fees page

Additional costs

Additional costs associated with the course requirements are:

  • Consultative supervision – if not paid for or supplied by your place of work, approximately £30-£60 per 1.5 hours for monthly individual supervision; approximately £20 per hour for group supervision.
  • *Enhanced DBS Certificate (DBS means Disclosure and Barring Service, previously known as the Enhanced CRB) – £44. This is an entry requirement and students will be contacted by the University about how to make a DBS application after accepting a place on the course.
  • Personal insurance for your supervision activities – approximately £25 - £90 per year; monthly payment options usually available.
  • Subsidised coach travel to the University of Worcester Course Induction Day, arranged by the Iron Mill College.


How do you apply?

Postgraduate Certificate in Supervision (Iron Mill)

Apply for October 2018 enrolment

Apply for this course

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Admissions Office

01905 855111