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External supervision

Like internal supervision arrangements, external supervision can assist community workers to provide services that are accurate and accord with relevant standards or codes. External supervision can take many forms, including:

supervision by contracted advisers
supervision and support from professional associations or societies
independent case review and audit.

Independent supervision is crucial in that it provides a point of contact where a community worker can raise issues without fear or favour. It may be that the questions that need to be asked are of a sensitive nature and cannot be easily asked of a co-worker or supervisor. Independent or external supervision can be costly but it may be that buddy arrangements can be entered with other like-minded organisations or pro bono relationships can be formed with appropriate professionals.

Lawyers in community legal centres will often avail themselves of the advice of independent senior members of the Queensland Law Society (called senior counsellors) or members from the professional standards section of the Society.

Sometimes files within community legal centres might be checked by independent advisors for quality control whereby a random selection of files is scrutinised against a checklist.

Questions relating to this topic include:

What policies and procedures are in place for external supervision?
What requirements or standards need to be met for external supervision?
What is the process for external supervision?
How is quality and accuracy of external supervision ensured?
How is responsibility for external supervision determined?
Is external supervision reviewed?
Who pays for external supervision?