The Supervisor Handbook

In your role as a supervisor, you are at the forefront of shaping the next generation of physicians. Your work is paramount to establishing an excellent education and training base for our trainees — and importantly, for maintaining safe, quality patient care.

Being a supervisor

Supervisor Handbook coverAn RACP supervisor plans and facilitates a trainee’s learning by introducing them to effective educational opportunities, and providing comprehensive and timely feedback on their progress and achievement.

The key responsibilities of supervisors include:

  • ensuring safe and effective medical practice
  • incorporating high-quality training into the delivery of decisions for patients and populations
  • establishing a safe and supportive environment for learning
  • using work-based learning and assessment tools to drive learning
  • guiding the development of skills, knowledge and professional behaviours (as outlined in the relevant curricula)
  • introducing trainees to educational opportunities aligned to their learning outcomes
  • providing regular, timely feedback on progress and performance
  • supporting, monitoring and assessing educational progress

There are different supervision roles across the RACP Divisions, Faculties and Chapters. Each supervisor has specific responsibilities depending on their role.

Depending on the size of an institution, a trainee may have one supervisor with many supervisory roles to several supervisors at one time.

Educational Leadership and Supervision Framework

It is important for supervisors to be aware of the Educational Leadership and Supervision Framework (PDF). The framework covers:

  • the roles and structures of educational leadership and supervision
  • the RACP standards for educational leadership and supervision
  • accreditation, selection and appointment
  • evaluating the effectiveness of educational leadership and supervision

These documents came into effect in December 2018.

Becoming a supervisor

To become a supervisor, depending on the supervisory role you are interested in, you can be self-nomination, nominated by your workplace, or a nominated by a trainee.

Find out more about becoming a supervisor.

Learning in the workplace

Trainees learn in the workplace, at RACP accredited sites, through a wide variety of work-based learning opportunities and experiences, timely and constructive feedback, and self-reflection.

The 70:20:101 Model provides a strong evidence-based framework for this model of learning. The key premise of the Model, when applied to physician training, is that 90% of learning is from doing the job (experience), combined with learning from others (exposure), which accounts for the greatest impact on the development of competence.

Understanding the 70:20:10 Model

70 % Experience 20% Exposure 10% Education
Learning and development through worked-based experience and learning by doing and practice. Learning and development with and through others such as supervisors, networks, peers and other health professionals. Learning and development through formal learning such as workshops, lectures and courses.
Example activities:
  • work-based assessments
  • writing a reflection
  • shadowing a colleague or peer
  • observing a senior colleague
  • assessing patients with a supervisor or colleague
  • taking part in a clinical audit
  • participating in interdisciplinary meetings
  • role playing with a colleague or supervisor
  • teaching a junior colleague
  • coaching and mentoring
  • receiving supervisor feedback
  • watching a webinar
  • reading a journal article or
    case study
  • attending a conference or
  • completing an online course
  • practice simulation
  • self-study and online
90% = experiential learning and development

Training program requirements and curricula

The RACP training program requirements are outlined in the Basic Training and Advanced Training program handbooks. The handbooks outline the set training components and work-based learning and assessment tools trainees must achieve to progress in their training.

The Professional Qualities Curriculum (PDF) and specialty-specific curricula outline the learning objectives and associated knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours required from graduates of RACP training programs.

Work-based learning and assessment tools

All trainees complete work-based learning and assessment tools, as part of their training program requirements. These tools are designed to:

  • drive learning through feedback and guidance
  • support reflective practice and self-directed learning
  • monitor progress and assess performance
  • provide evidence of learning

1 Lombardo, M., Eichinger, R. (2000) High Potentials as High Learners. Human Resource Management, 39(4), 321-330
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