With Associate Professor Ronnie Egan, we explore the need for quality student placements, what stops people from taking on a student and the unexpected learnings and rewards. We discuss some of the support and training options available to those interested in having a student.  As well as, how to get in touch with the university about offering student placements.

Dr Ronnie Egan is Associate Professor of Field Education in Social Work at RMIT University. She has specialised in research about supervision and practice for social workers and students, published widely in these areas and has extensive and active networks in  the human service sector. Her relationships with the field span her career as a practitioner and academic and this has enabled the development of innovative ways of understanding and facilitating the nexus between universities and the community. She chairs the National Field Education Network.

Ronnies tips

As a student when you go for an interview be sure to ask about the supervision options and policies that organisation has in place.

While it can be tough she talks about the importance of being assertive enough in a job interview to ask about the organisation’s policies and offerings for supervision.

Making sure you are setting up the expectations from the start when it comes to supervision.

  1. What is the purpose of supervision within this organisation and what will you discuss?
  2. When & How often
  3. Work plan – Does supervision help you develop new skills and look at career progression?
  4. Job specifications – What’s needed for specific roles and industries and how can you use supervision to transfer skills  

If you’re not getting what you need , time to think about how am I going to get it , you may need to think about getting external supervision.

Hiring an external supervisor

Work out why you want external supervisions and what your workplace offers. DO you need someone to help you transition into a new role? Is it for case discussion? Is it to meet a professional development goal or learn a new technique?

If you’re paying for the service of supervision be very clear about what you want.

Do your research when hiring an external supervisors and see that they can meet your needs.

Taking a student on placement

Taking a student on placement can be very rewarding RMIT students placement have a model that involved a lot of professional development opportunities for not only the students but the supervisors too,.

Some of the reasons people take on students include

  • Requirement of promotion in some industries
  • Can be a first step in a leadership position
  • Give back to the profession, sharing a good experience or making up for a bad one they had.
  • Having a student can keep you updated on current industry standards and research.


Supporting quality supervision: Insights for organizational practice

Who Is Watching Whom? Surveillance in Australian Social Work Supervision

Australian Social Work Supervision Practice in 2007

There are some resources below for those wanting to learn more about supervision.

Don’t forget to sign up to the mailing list to get your free social work career guide