Factsheet number: 5.4


Last Updated: 24 July 2019

Introduction

It is good practice to review your PA’s performance by holding regular supervision meetings every 4 – 6 weeks. Supervision meetings are regular one-to-one meetings between you and your PA which give you a chance to get together and chat about how things are going for both of you. They are a great way to give feedback and resolve any problems. Supervision meetings will give you a chance to let your PA know what is going well and what they could improve upon.  They are also a chance for your PA to discuss any issues they have about their work.

Independent Lives has produced a support sheet which you can use to assist you with supervision meetings. See PA supervision template – employer template 5.4(b).

PA supervision template

Contents

1. Introduction

1.1 What is a supervision meeting?

1.2 Why are supervision meetings a good idea?

2. Holding a supervision meeting

2.1 Arranging a supervision meeting

2.2 Preparing for a supervision meeting

2.3 What should we discuss in a supervision meeting?

1. Introduction

1.1 What is a supervision meeting?

Supervision meetings are regular one-to-one meetings between you and your PA which give both of you a chance to review how things are going. Supervision meetings will give you a chance to let your PA know what is going well and what they could improve upon and are also a chance for your PA to raise any questions or to discuss any issues they have about their work.

Supervision meetings should ideally be held every 4 – 6 weeks (in some cases it may be appropriate to hold them more or less regularly than this).  They are an opportunity for both parties to discuss in confidence in a one-to-one situation the work the PA is undertaking and any issues arising from this.

1.2 Why are supervision meetings a good idea?

When everything is going well it can seem unnecessary to meet regularly with your PA but it is still a good idea to have regular supervision meetings anyway.  If you are very happy with your PA’s performance, supervision meetings provide a great opportunity to let them know this and to thank them for all their hard work. People like to know when they are doing a good job and it will help your PA to stay motivated!  Supervision is a great way to help your PAs to feel supported in their job and to build a good working relationship with them.

Supervision meetings are vital however if there is something that either you or your PA is not happy about. This may be because your PA is not keeping up the standards you expect or they have picked up bad habits or started doing things in ways you are not happy with.  If this is the case you should talk to your PA to make sure they continue to work in a way that meets your needs. It can be hard in these circumstances to find the right time to have a much needed talk. If you have a regular supervision meetings planned you will have time to discuss these issues before they become a serious problem.

2. Holding a supervision meeting

2.1 Arranging a supervision meeting

How you choose to arrange supervision meetings will depend on you and your circumstances.

If your PA’s job is quite complicated e.g. a PA going out with a child with challenging behaviour, you may want to meet with your PA after every shift to discuss how things went and whether there were any issues or problems.  If there are often, but not always, things to discuss you may want to meet every week or two.  If you don’t see the PA very often or they are well established and there are very few issues you may want to meet once a month or less.

The meeting could be either an informal chat at the end of a shift or it could be held separately to normal shifts (in paid time) if you think this would be easier. If a particular problem comes up, a special meeting could be arranged to address that particular issue. This is a great way to deal with problems before they become more serious.  The most important thing is that supervision meetings are arranged in a way that you and your PAs feel comfortable with.

2.2 Preparing for a supervision meeting

Before you and your PA meet for a supervision meeting, it is helpful for you both to prepare by thinking about the following key areas of the PA’s work.

  • reliability including attendance and time keeping
  • attitude and approach to work
  • initiative and ability to work independently
  • working relationship with the employer and their colleagues
  • confidentiality / integrity
  • efficiency and quality of work
  • ability to be remain calm under pressure
  • ability to follow instructions and take direction
  • knowledge of the tasks required

More generally you may wish to think about what is and isn’t going well and any ways to resolve problems.

Planning beforehand will help give a structure to your meeting and allow you both to focus on the important issues. You and your PA may each wish to make notes to bring with you to the meeting.

2.3 What should we discuss in a supervision meeting?

It is a good idea to make written notes of what was discussed at supervision meetings particularly if any problems are discussed.  If you do this and the problem continues, you can refer back to your notes.  If the worst happens and you ultimately have to discipline your PA, you will have evidence of when you discussed the issue previously.

If you wish you can use the Independent Lives’ PA supervision template – employer template 5.4(b) to help you with this.

PA supervision template

How you feel about the PA’s work and their attitude to their work

The supervision meeting is an opportunity for you to:

  • Record your PA’s achievements and any new skills acquired.
  • Congratulate your PA on areas where they are doing well.
  • Discuss areas of their job where you feel they are not performing as well e.g. not completing certain tasks, a tendency to be late or a problematic attitude.
  • Discuss ways that they can improve and set timescales for improvement.
  • Discuss any possible training needs or targets for the future.
  • Review any progress targets set at previous review meetings.

How your PA feels about the job and your working relationship

The supervision meeting is an opportunity for your PA to discuss:

  • The content of their job role i.e. tasks involved/ job description.
  • How they feel about their role:
  • Are they happy/confident about it?
  • Is there anything they are unclear about that they would like more training/ guidance on?
  • Do they feel they have too much or too little, or the right amount of work?
  • Any additional training/ support they feel they need.
  • Any holiday leave that they would like to request.

After the supervision it is a good idea to give the PA a copy of your notes to keep for their own records. This will help to remind them of any targets for improvement that you have set during the supervision.