Information About Supervision for Registrars:
This is to help new registrars who may not be sure what is meant by supervision during psychiatric training, or how to get the most out of it. The RANZCP requires you to have 1 hour of individual supervision from your main consultant supervisor each week, and 3 hours of general clinical supervision (or 1.5 hrs of general clincial supervision weekly if you work half-time). This is the College's information Link about Supervision.
During first year you'll need to get basic skills like history-taking, mental state assessment, case-presentation and understanding of phenomenology sorted out, and you're required to have more individual supervision in 1st year (2 hours per week) compared to later years of training. Only one of those 2 hours is expected to be 1:1 training-focussed supervision though - the other hour will probably be clinical supervision or used for completion of a Workplace-Based Assessment. Every three months, individual supervision should be used for a more in-depth feedback session, with a feedback form (the mid-run ITA) being completed. There's a detailed feedback report (the end-of-run ITA) at the end of the 6 months attachment which is sent to the Training Centre (then the College) and which accredits the run. Again, this should be a record of the feedback discussion with you, and you should keep a photocopy of the form before sending it to the Training Centre.
Aim to schedule your 1:1 supervision in the first half of the week so that if for some unavoidable reason the session has to be postponed, you can fit it in later in the week. Supervision is very important and it's vital to be punctual and not to miss sessions or chop and change with the times - there needs to be a commitment from you and your supervisor that it's a priority - more important than general clinical work in fact, for a registrar in training. Put a "do not disturb" sign on the door and try to prevent interruptions from cellphones or pagers - ideally, get the team receptionist to screen your calls across the hour or at the very least turn phones to 'silent'. Supervision isn't a social event or a 'break' - so while it's fine to bring in a cup of tea or coffee, it's not appropriate to do 1:1 supervision over lunch, in a car while driving, or in a social setting like a café.
Clinical Supervision This can take a number of forms as well. Discussion of your patients - of assessments and aspects of management - is a common focus, but it mustn't all be in team Review Meetings, especially in modern multidisciplinary teams where the focus is not on your training needs. Time spent doing a Mini-CEX or observing your consultant interviewing and practising this in front of them, with feedback and discussion afterwards, is all useful clinical supervision, as is time spent working alongside your supervisor and then discussing patients and family meetings. Clinical supervision may occur in longer stretches of an hour or so, or as briefer discussions in person or by phone - it's all clinical supervision. Clinical supervision can also happen in a small group or team setting - most DHBs offer group supervision for all their registrars, each week. In teams where the registrar and consultant work quite autonomously, it often needs to be specifically timetabled for at least 1 hour weekly, to make sure that it happens.
Managing any Problems
Remember, the College is very clear that if you are not receiving your supervision according to the RANZCP requirements, and you report this to your local Training Facilitator or the Director of Training, you won't be penalised or your time disaccredited. But you must take responsibility for contacting the Director or Training Facilitator if there is a problem, as soon as it's clear that there is one - you won't get much sympathy if you leave it until the end of the 6 months before complaining. If a serious problem in the relationship with your supervisor develops and you cannot resolve this with them, it's important to talk to your local Training Facilitator or the Director of Training. Alternatively, you could talk to one of the Trainee Representatives on the Regional Training Committee - Rosalynn at the Training Centre can tell you who they are, if you're not sure.
If you think that you may be being bullied or harassed by a work colleague or boss, you could talk to Occupational Health within your DHB, as they can advise you confidentially and help you to decide what, if anything, to do. The RANZCP has a strict no-tolerance policy for workplace bullying and harassment and of course you can and should let your Training Facilitator or Director of Training know, but if you don't feel able to do so, then talking to Occupational Health is an alternative. Your Training Facilitator or Director of Training would feel compelled to intervene and to investigate a complaint of bullying or harassment so you might want to talk to someone else as an initial step. You could also contact the College directly, to report bullying or harassment. See the RANZCP policy on bullying and harassment.
Information About Supervision for Supervisors:
Consultants accredited as RANZCP supervisors in NZ must have either Provisional Vocational or Vocational registration. Most are College fellows, but in New Zealand, many supervisors have overseas specialist qualifications. All supervisors must be formally accredited via the Director of Training. College Fellows need to do a initial supervisor training workshop and fill in an Application form, so as to supervise. Apart from the initial workshop, an update workshop is required every five years. The Training Centre runs these intermittent workshops and keeps a database of all local supervisors. Supervisors must also attend a peer discussion session about supervision, or otherwise undertake peer review regarding their role as a supervisor, a minimum of 3 times per year. There are quarterly supervisor meetings within each DHB, at the mid- and end-of-run points. These are organised by the Director of Training and supervisors are notified about them by email.
Overseas specialists require special Approval paperwork so as to be accredited, as well as the workshop training and Application form. Contact the Director of Training to organise the accreditation of any new supervisor, whether a College Fellow or from overseas. For overseas consultants, a CV needs to be emailed to the Director of Training.
Here is the College's information Link about Supervisors.
Useful Links and Resources about Supervision for Registrars and Supervisors