Diploma in Advanced Supervision across Professions

IACP Accredited CourseIACP LogoDiploma in Advanced Supervision across Professions

– A Holistic and Integrative Approach

110+ hours’ Professional Programme (delivered over 15 days)

Meet International Supervision Experts – Robin Shohet and Bobby Moore

(See clip “Fear and Love in Supervision” by Robin at bottom of this page)

What is supervision? Like all ‘identity questions’ this one is asked within developmental contexts – it is not easy to freeze supervision and capture it in words that last forever. Rather than ask what supervision is, perhaps we should ask: how do we build on what supervision has been in order to provide trainees, professionals and professions with what they need to do their jobs better.    Prof Michael Carroll.

Philosophy of Supervision?

ICPPD endorses and appreciates supervision as a profession in its own right. Supervision, and the associated intellectual, emotional, financial and the time commitment, is seen as an investment in a useful personal and professional resource. ICPPD’s philosophy, and that of the programme, supports supervision in the facilitation of learning which includes the knowledge, competence and skills required for the management of the supervisory context, environment and relationship, the ongoing ethical requirement of self-care, and the ultimate responsibility for good practice and quality service for clients engaging in therapy and with other helping professions.

Why Supervision?

Supervision is seen by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) as vital to the process and ongoing maintenance of a Counsellor’s/Psychotherapist’s competency and continued accreditation.

All IACP Members working as Counsellor/Psychotherapists are bound by the IACP Code of Ethics and Practice to monitor their work through regular Supervision, to ensure that their standard of Counselling/ Psychotherapy is competent and continues to develop. IACP [online, accessed 21/03/16]

About the Programme

This intensive part-time programme (comprising over 110+ hours) is intended for counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists, and other professionals (including educators, guidance counsellors, psychologists, managers, Gardaí, prison officers, complementary therapists, community workers, healthcare and other helping professionals) and all who supervise the work of others in the helping professions or are preparing to supervise same who are intending, beginning or already practising supervisors, and wish to understand the vision, principles and practice of Supervision. It focuses on the Skills, Theory and Practice of Supervision and is designed to enable individuals to extend their understanding and knowledge of supervision, incorporating theoretical input with opportunities for group discussion and experiential learning and exercises.

This Diploma will be of interest to professionals who work in an integrative manner, and should be of particular interest to counsellors, psychotherapists, educators, guidance counsellors, psychologists, managers, Gardaí, prison officers, complementary therapists, community workers, healthcare and other helping professionals, and all who supervise, or are preparing to supervise, the work of others within the helping professions.

This programme is unique in that it is facilitated by two International Guest Lecturers: Robin Shohet, co-author of Supervision in the Helping Professions and Passionate Supervision, and Dr Bobby Moore, internationally-renowned for supervision training as a profession in its own right and author of Reflexive Supervision: a Workbook for Learning Within and Across Professions. 

Both Robin and Bobby are supervisors, trainers of supervisors, group workers and have many years’ experience in the area of supervision and psychotherapy, including group and organisational settings.

They will each facilitate a weekend of this programme.


The aim of this programme is to enable and empower participants to become competent supervisors and facilitators of learning, while working in a humanistic, integrative, holistic and creative way, which underpins the ethos of the programme and all ICPPD programmes.

Minimum Entry Requirements

  • Applicants must be qualified professionals who are intending/have begun to supervise the work of others.
  • A minimum of 4 years’ accredited if a counsellor/psychotherapist or 3 years’ experience as a professional/clinician/practitioner is required. It is the responsibility of the applicant to check with the relevant professional body to ensure these criteria are appropriate for them.
  • Recommendation from applicant’s supervisor or manager.

Application Process

To secure a place on this programme please submit (a) an application form and (b) a 500-word Statement of Interest Essay, explaining why you wish to engage in Supervision Training, and (c) a letter of recommendation from your current Supervisor.

Documented evidence that an applicant meets the entry requirements must be furnished with the application form.

The application should be accompanied by a non-refundable deposit of €100 (reference Fee section, below, for more information).

Following review of your application we will call you to arrange an interview, which may be conducted by telephone or Skype.

Places are limited (to 16) and allocated on a first come first served basis following interview.

NOTE: Trainee supervisors must hold professional indemnity insurance cover – a copy of the current insurance policy is required to be submitted by participants on commencement of programme.

Course Facilitators/Core Tutors

  • Liz Sugar, MIACP, SAI Accredited Supervisor and Group Supervisor (trained as a supervisor with Bobby Moore)
  • Tom Moran, MA, MIACP, Accredited Supervisor and Group supervisor (trained as a supervisor with Professor Michael Carroll)
  • Robin Shohet, International Supervision Expert, Master Trainer and Author
  • Dr Bobby Moore, International Supervision Expert, Master Trainer and author
  • Christine Moran, MA, MIACP, MNAPCP, MEAC, Accredited Supervisor (trained as a supervisor with Professor Michael Carroll) and author

Learning Outcomes

The programme aims and learning outcomes provide participants with the opportunity to explore and develop their interest and learning in the field of Supervision and to, thereby, develop into competent, compassionate, professional practitioners.

  1. Review, understand and critically reflect on the theories and models of supervision and the skills required to effectively apply them in supervisory practice.
  2. Identify the tasks, functions and roles of supervision, and utilise these in supervision settings/sessions, to support supervisees to use the supervisory process effectively.
  3. Determine the learning styles of supervisees and agree how to use experiential learning in supervision.
  4. Effectively establish learning agreement/contract to maintain and progress a supervisory relationship/arrangement that facilitates effective learning and supports ongoing self-care.
  5. Work with supervisees in one-to-one, group and organisational environments and manage the dynamics involved.
  6. Grow in ethical awareness and know the process of ethical decision-making in a supervisory capacity including relevant legal issues and codes of ethics.
  7. Know, understand and apply the skills of reflexivity and empathic resonance through a creative and holistic approach.
  8. Give and receive appropriate feedback, and write clear and honest reports as a supervisor.
  9. Use sensitively, the supervisory relationship to create a quality learning environment that encourages, inspires, challenges and supports supervisees to integrate academic learning and clinical practice.

Teaching & Learning Strategies

The holistic ethos that underpins all programmes offered at ICPPD will be inherent in this training and education course.

Facilitators and Core Tutors are warm, vibrant and supportive. The programme is supported by a learning environment that is experiential and highly interactive with lectures; small and large group discussion and simulated live supervision working groups, role-play, DVD and creative exercises. Modelling by the lecturers is an
important facet of the learning methods.

Indicative Syllabus

The programmes covers:

  • Definitions and purpose of Supervision – its goals, tasks, functions and process and knowledge of research developments in the field of supervision.
  • Theories and models of supervisory process explored include, Hawkins and Shohet, Carroll, Moore, Wosket, Inskipp and Proctor, Stoltenberg and Delworth, and Holloway.
  • Learning Styles of individuals and groups.
  • The training development and supervisory needs of supervisors and supervisees.
  • Use of participants own case work to role play for learning and discussion.
  • Awareness of transference, countertransference, parallel process and empathetic resonance in helping relationships.
  • Reflection on contextual similarities and differences of one-to-one, group and organisational supervision.
  • Diversity, inclusivity, ethical and professional issues in supervision.
  • Self-reflection and reflexive practice as a learning tool to develop the internal supervisor
  • Writing supervisory reports and fitness to practice evaluations.

Programme Structure/Learning Methods

This Diploma is delivered over 100+ hours’ class contact time, including a final integration weekend.

Additional scheduled requirements for this educational and training programme include

  • A mandatory Induction Session (on commencement) which will outline all requirements of the programme; this will include an introduction to ICPPD’s virtual learning environment (Moodle), library resources, the Learner Handbook and all relevant documents, forms, procedures and supports for learners.
  • Plenary Group Session(s), which offer all involved in the programme the opportunity to give and receive constructive feedback. It is scheduled on at least two occasions during the year and will be facilitated by the Academic Director (not the Core Tutors).
  • Individual Progression Interviews – scheduled with the Core Tutors to ensure all academic, professional and financial requirements have been met on completion of programme.


As this is a programme for mature and experienced professionals and accredited therapists, the focus of assessment includes ongoing self, peer and lecturer assessment and feedback. The assessment of learning outcomes will be implemented through mechanism such as theoretical essays, class presentations, reflection papers and learning journal, including:

  • 3,000-word Theoretical Essay 1: Through critical evaluation of the literature, consider how far organisational and group dynamics impact on your role as supervisor. Drawing on case examples, demonstrate your awareness of similarities and differences when working in organisational and group settings.
  • 3.000-word Theoretical Essay 2: Through critical review of current literature and drawing on examples from your professional supervisory practice, consider the dilemmas that might arise and how you would use your ethical awareness to manage them.
  •  1,500-word Reflection: My philosophy of supervision and ethical awareness as it has emerged from my key
    personal and professional learning through the course and as reflected in my learning journal.
  • Small Group Presentations: In small learning groups of no more than 6 members prepare a 2-hour presentation of a selected theoretical model/framework and present to the class.
  • 750-word Self-Assessment: I should pass this course because… (pass/fail basis).
  • Ongoing/in-class assessment on the use of facilitation skills, reflexivity awareness and empathetic resonance (pass/fail basis).

Additional Programme Requirements

To support the holistic focus of the programme, learners facilitate a 10-minute reflection at the beginning of each class to deepen self-awareness and encourage self-support.

It is important to note that while this is a learning group, the group is not important in itself – the individual as learner is priority in this programme.

The participant is registered to meet his/her own needs as a fledgling supervisor, the group members and tutors facilitate this exploration and learning experience to provide a space for learning to flourish.

Supervised Supervision Practice

A minimum of 50 hours of supervised supervision practice is required within the duration of the course. These practice hours may be a blend of one-to-one, peer, or group supervision, and must be formally contracted in the ratio of 25 internal and 25 external practice hours.

The minimum 25 hours of internal supervision practice/experience during the programme may be gained through 20 hours of supervised work with a designated peer and a minimum of 5 hours’ practice within the course learning environment.

This experiential work is evaluated and supported by a minimum of 5 hours of external supervision of the trainee’s supervision practice, ratio 1-5. The chosen External Supervisor should work in a complementary and supportive style and must be approved (in advance) by the programme Core Tutors.

Documentation to support the supervised supervision practice is required as evidence of attendance and ongoing learning.

Each participant on this programme is required to be responsible for ensuring they are meeting the criteria of their chosen professional body.

ICPPD will provide Internal Group Supervision as a modelling and learning experience and support to trainee supervisors.

External and Internal supervisors’ reports will form an integral part of the ongoing assessment of participants on this programme.

Trainee supervisors must hold professional indemnity insurance cover – a copy of the current insurance policy is required to be submitted to ICPPD on commencement of programme.

Programme Quality Assurance

A learner representative will be nominated by the group to present feedback to Programme Board meetings during the year.

Trainees evaluate their learning experience, content, delivery and facilities at the end of each week-end and on completion of the programme through a Feedback/Evaluation Form.

We are moving into a new era of supervision characterised by a capacity for crossprofessional practice based on philosophies of learning rather than particular professional practices. As we do so the previous language of ‘contracting’, which highlighted roles and responsibilities, becomes less helpful. We will explore the process of negotiating and evaluating ‘learning agreements’ with supervisees.

In doing this we will consider the supervisory relationship as a participative inquiry. Within the framework of action research both supervisors and supervisees engage in critical reflexivity and we will explore the benefit of reflexive learning journals.  Dr Bobby Moore

Programme Delivery Schedule

This IACP-accredited programme runs over 7 weekends (15 days), on Saturday and Sunday [9.30am – 5.30pm], from September 2017 to May 2018, plus one Friday. In addition, there will be a maximum of 2 Friday evenings [5.30 pm – 7.30pm] during the year, plus an individual progression meeting at the end of your course.

All dates will be scheduled and identified on your timetable at the commencement of the programme.

To facilitate broader and deeper learning for programme participants, a minimum of 2 weekends will facilitated by International Guest Facilitators/experts in the area of Supervision.

To support a holistic and experiential experience, class numbers are limited to 16 participants, unless otherwise notified or/and agreed with the learning group.

Attendance at all training days, evenings and progression meetings is mandatory to successfully complete the programme and qualify for the award of Diploma.


Specific Delivery Dates  Facilitators
3 & 7 October 2018 Liz Sugar and Tom Moran (Core Tutors)
3 & 4 November 2018 Liz Sugar and Tom Moran (Core Tutors)
1 – 2 December 2018 Robin Shohet
2 – 3 February 2019 Liz Sugar and Tom Moran (Core Tutors)
2 – 3 March 2019 Dr Bobby Moore
6 – 7 April 2019 Liz Sugar and Tom Moran (Core Tutors)
3 May 2019 Christine Moran, and plenary feedback session
4 – 5 May 2019 Liz Sugar and Tom Moran – Individual Progression Meetings

Supervision is my calling card but really I am doing what I love helping to create a learning community where people (including me) can feel safe and flourish. Of course ego comes in and says look what I did, but that’s what ego does. It’s its job to try and claim everything and I do more than my fair share of that. But something magical does happen when I can be open to both leading and following, teaching and learning, and above all communicating to people that it is ok not to know, essential even, and trusting my own and others’ deep wish for truth.      Robin Shohet

Exploring the Dynamics of Complaints by Robin Shohet

 (Article published in Self and Society Vol 45 No. 1 April 2017)

 Many professionals have a fear of a complaint being made against them. In this article, my aim has been to throw some light on some of the dynamics that might be operating around complaints in order to move towards a more compassionate, systemic view that goes beyond blame. Some of what I have written could be applied to relationships of any kind.

 Key words.  Complaints, dynamics, countertransference, relationships, inquiry, understanding, systemic view, parallel process, needs, right/wrong.

 In July this year (2017), I am helping to organize a conference to look at the dynamics of complaints in the so-called helping professions. I start with the premise that whatever position we take around complaints is a form of countertransference.  In other words, whether we sit on an ethics committee, whether we start an insurance company for therapists, or even whether we organize a conference on the dynamics of complaints, we are trying to heal something in ourselves by the positions we take.,

 I started with myself and found more authority issues, a tendency to split which I saw mirrored in how client and practitioner can be split when a complaint is made, and an omnipotent wish to protect “my” profession from going down the route of other professions where fear has dominated to the detriment of all concerned.

 Discovering this has helped me be clearer, but I recognize my understanding will always be incomplete.  What I want to do now is to share some of my understanding about what could be going on around complaints.  You may disagree with some or all of it.  You may feel supported in it. But it is the conversation that we might have after you have read it that will be important.

  1. Our society is becoming increasingly litigious. This is bound to increase fear.  From a place of fear, we are more likely to be in survival mode, which lessens the opportunity to combine, to see a bigger picture.
  2. It also means we become increasingly defensive. If I defend myself against you, I am implying you are dangerous. I therefore am attacking you, which justifies your attacking me.  We are caught into a vicious cycle.
  3. Whatever the content of the complaint, there is a process question of Why now? This may (or may not) be connected to a stage in therapy, like ending or where, just before a breakthrough, a major rupture from earlier in the client’s life is often re-enacted.
  4. A complaints procedure could be used as an avoidance technique. This does not mean we don’t look at the behaviour of the therapist, but we recognize that relationships are also co-created.
  5. When we teach supervision, we encourage supervisors not to believe what the supervisee says about their client uncritically. “I have a very difficult client” would be translated into “I am finding this client difficult.”  I would not believe a client’s version of their parents or of their partner uncritically – I would see it as their truth but not the In other words, I am mindful of a bigger picture.  I would want a complaints procedure to hold a bigger picture, however obvious wrongdoing might appear.
  6. People often mention so called bad therapists. So, called bad practice exists in all professions and we may have an omnipotent fantasy it can be stopped.
  7. We are the bad therapists too. If there is someone who says he has never done bad therapy (whatever that is), then this is someone who is likely to be doing bad therapy (whatever that is).
  8. The people professions are different in that there is not an object involved eg a tooth or a car to be fixed or some product that can be exchanged or refunded. We are paying for a relationship not a product or something to be fixed.  The criteria for success or failure are hard to judge.
  9. The therapy profession has not been going on as long as medicine, social work, teaching. It may have a wish to prove it has its own house in order. The desire to be accepted by mainstream has a cost, and this cost may be coming out in the approach to complaints where we over identify with the complainant.
  10. If we look at some of the processes involved in OCD, then the patient is unable to cope with their anxiety. They invent rituals to help them feel safe. The rituals do not deal with the underlying anxiety so become more pronounced.
  11. Are we caught in the same dynamic? A complaints ritual that does not deal with the underlying fears and anxieties, leading to an ever more vigorous complaints procedure.
  12. Many years ago, there was a channel 4 programme called Doctors Mistakes. What this particular hospital found was that instead of going into denial and defence, when the doctors admitted mistakes and apologized publicly, suing rates went down, learning went up, and so accident rates went further down. Is there something that therapeutic bodies can learn from that?
  13. Do complaints offer a sense of offering to regain potency that is perhaps misguided? We know a lawyer who has successfully sued therapists and said it did not bring closure for the clients and he will no longer do it. There was suffering for the therapist and not the outcome the client really wanted.
  14. We have a complaints procedure about therapy, which does not seem therapeutic. Why? What is the need of the complainant? This is not about pathologising the client, but given as mentioned earlier about doctor’s mistakes, then a system that enables this kind of inquiry and subsequent acknowledgment would seem most fruitful.
  15. So, by extension the first step in a complaint is to ask the complainant what they want. If it were a product it could be a replacement, or a fixing or a refund. For a relationship – what is wanted? If we again go back to doctor’s mistakes, is it acknowledgment rather than an identification with the complaint that might be needed?  How can the question “What do you need?” be held? In other words, the best support for the client might not be to pursue their client’s grievance at face value.
  16. Or it might be. This is not throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
  17. I think our relationship to what therapy is all about reflects our attitude to complaints. If we think it is about understanding ourselves, rather than being fixed, then whatever happens is an opportunity to reflect. A complaints process in the helping professions could go the route of reflection rather than pursuing the right/wrong process.
  18. And of course, if we can’t prove the therapy works we don’t get funding so we really are caught in a double bind. There is a much bigger picture here about justification and money and fixing.
  19. In divorce courts, there used to be an adversarial framework, which created much distress. It is now recognised that it is more useful that the couple be held using methods like mediation.  A complaints procedure which holds the practitioner and client would mirror the holding that is part of our work.
  20. Supervision holds the therapeutic relationship. A complaints procedure could mirror that.
  21. Society seems to be attracted to the Victim, Persecutor, Rescuer triangle We can fall into replicating that with initially therapist as persecutor, client as victim and complaints procedure as rescuer. This then turns into complaints procedure and client as persecutors and therapists as victims.
  22. Our work is about relationship and awareness and yet we can lose both foci in looking at complaints because it activates scripts like fairness, justice, power, betrayal and so on
  23. An understanding of parallel process is vital in our work. Can we apply this to complaints? Is there a replication of a client’s or therapist’s or complaints body’s traumata being re-enacted? An understanding of some of the dynamics of shame in the victim, persecutor, rescuer triangle could help with that.
  24. Do both therapist and client have an image of a safe haven which gets betrayed by reality? Do therapists set themselves up to do more than we can, and thereby collude with a system that demands and blames?
  25. I am back to looking at our personal countertransference and that of our profession. I believe that doing this can lead to less polarized positions and perhaps help us to embrace an understanding, inquiry process model rather than a right/wrong content model. This may help us work towards all parties being able to voice the feelings, unmet needs, values and expectations which might lie behind a complaint.
  26. Finally, my wish is to live the words of the Sufi poet Rumi in my all aspects of my life and work

 “Out beyond rightdoing and wrongdoing is a field.  I’ll meet you there.” (Rumi)

Robin Shohet has been a therapist and supervisor for forty years and co-authored and edited many books on supervision.

Robin Shohet is a tutor on ICPPD’s Professional Diploma in Advanced Supervision across Profession. This is an IACP Accredited course.    

  • Venues:
    Suite 11,
    Inish Carraig,
    Golden Island,
    Co Westmeath,
    N37 PN82
  • Commencement Dates:
    Delivery Dates:
    6 & 7 October 2018
    3 & 4 November 2018
    1 & 2 December 2018
    2 & 3 February 2019
    2 & 3 March 2019
    6 & 7 April 2019
    3, 4 & 5 May 2019
  • Duration:
    100 hours (plus), part-time, course, delivered over 15 days, 9.30am - 5.30pm
  • Application Fee:
    €2500 - €100 deposit.
  • Application Form:
  • Information Leaflet:
  • Payment:
    Payment Options

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