The focus of supervision is understandably upon the student and the thesis. However, it is widely understood that it is the supervisor that is the most critical component in terms of achieving successful completion. How does a supervisor reflect on their own experiences and build their supervisory capacity? There are very diverse modes of supervision, often dictated by disciplinary imperatives but often also reflecting the supervisors’ character. There is no single recipe for successful supervision, but there appear to be three important underpinning capabilities. Effective supervisors ensure that the candidature progresses according to the policies and practices of the institution; they also reflect on and learn from each interaction, building up a reservoir of experience and wide range of decision-making tools and options; and finally, they learn from their colleagues, contributing to and building the community of practice for supervision around them.
The tools to support ‘Supervisor Development’ are contained in this section of the toolkit.