Guidelines for Observations

Guidelines for Leadership Accreditation Pathway (LAP) Training Observations

Accreditation Committee, July 2021

The requirements for Observations are set out in the Pathway document entitled PATHWAY TO BSANZ LEADERSHIP ACCREDITATION VIA LEADERSHIP TRAINING:

Towards the end of each year of training with an individual supervisor the Accreditation Committee will arrange an observation of the candidate’s leadership of a case during a group session online or in person. Two observations are required over the period of training.

Observation: essential requirements:

  1. Observed Balint group Leadership by BSANZ accredited Leader Trainers (the Observers) for 2 group sessions. One observation will wherever possible, be at an annual BSANZ Balint Intensive or other face to face BSANZ workshop and the other can be at a Balint Group when the applicant is leading the group.
  2. The observations will be completed by two different Leader Trainers at separate observation sessions.
  3. Observations will be recommended by the Accreditation Committee and observers are appointed by the Committee.
  4. The Observers will provide a written report to the Accreditation Committee and the trainee.

Accreditation Committee’s Role in Offering Observations at BSANZ Workshops

  1. The AC reviews the list of the trainees on the pathway and offers an Observation to trainees who have been on the Pathway as appropriate, considering the stage of their leadership training.
  2. Observations are offered to a maximum of two trainees per Leadership group in a workshop event. (This number has been found to be the best number as more is overwhelming.)
  3. The Observations are offered by the AC by email, followed up by a phone call. After Trainees have accepted, they will be contacted by the designated Observer.
  4. The Observer is appointed by the AC and, when she/he has accepted, begins the process of contacting the Trainee

Role of Observer at BSANZ Workshops

The Observer will make initial email contact with Trainees to be observed and will:

  1. Set up a workshop meeting time with Trainees being observed, for explanation and planning of the observations; and follow up individual feedback/discussion meetings after their observation has taken place.
  2. Observe each Trainee co-leading with one of the Group Leaders, whilst being responsible for the work of the case.
  3. Liaise with the Group Leaders regarding the Observer’s entrance and exit to and from the group, since the Observer is a guest and needs to be guided by the wishes of the leaders and the group.
  4. The Observer uses the Observation Report Template for writing the observation report, provides a copy of the report to the Trainee and discusses it, then submits the final report to the AC.

Role of Observer in a Local Group Observation

NB: Local observation has been required during times while there has been no chance for BSANZ community Intensives (eg through COVID effect in 2020-21), as well as for the second observation.

  1. Local observation is generally for the second observation of the trainee, towards the end of the trainee’s time on the pathway, leading an ongoing Balint group they have established (as distinct from a group in which they are usually a participant) and
  2. The Observer chosen by the AC will contact the Trainee and make suitable arrangements for the observation.
  3. These observations are usually conducted face to face with the observer visiting the trainee’s group.
  4. Where the Trainee is in a remote locality every effort will be made for a second observation to be offered at a BSANZ Intensive, or similar BSANZ workshop, using Zoom only if absolutely necessary.

Role of Observer at Second Observation is as at first Observation, above

  1. Set up preparation meeting with Trainee prior to the Observation
  2. Conduct observation
  3. Meet with Trainee to debrief and discuss observation (either face to face or by Zoom
  4. Write a report, and discuss it with the Trainee before being submitted to the AC and the Trainee.

Role of Trainee at Second Observation

  1. The Trainee will, in preparation, discuss with her/his co-leader and the group to make sure everyone is comfortable with the observer entering the group for a case session.
  2. The Trainee will familiarise the group with the process and find a suitable place for the observer to be in the room.
  3. Decisions about introducing the Observer and what happens at the ending of the observation will have been thought about and discussed with the Observer, co-leader and group.

Zoom Observations

Since 2020 with COVID19 restrictions, a number of observations have been conducted by Zoom.

The roles of the AC, the Observer and the Trainee are similar to those already mentioned. However, Zoom work increases the importance of paying attention to the following issues:

  1. Safety and how this is achieved in the group. This is particularly important for groups that have only ever met online and have not had the experience of working together in a room.
  2. The Observer and the Trainee will plan prior to the observation how and when the observation will occur so that the Trainee can familiarise the group with the observation process.
  3. Issues to accentuate for the group:
    • The observation is to be of everything that occurs during the case observed and which affects the leadership of the trainee during the case.
    • Confidentiality is, as always, paramount.
  4. The Observer will send a copy of the observation template to the Trainee as part of a preparatory discussion about what the observation will entail.
  5. The Observer, the Trainee and the co-leader will meet 15 minutes before the group starts in order to answer any last-minute questions.
  6. The Observer will be introduced to the group at the beginning, before turning off their video during the case, then turning video on at the end to say thank you and goodbye.
  7. The case presenter will be asked to leave their video on as they push back so that the Leaders can pay attention to the presenter during the working of the case.

NB While BSANZ gets familiar with online observations it is important to choose an Observer, (Leader Trainer), who has considerable experience of online groups and is, at least initially, an experienced observer.

NB In the current COVID climate, in periods when BSANZ Intensives and face to face workshops are suspended, it is possible that both first and second observations will need to be of trainees leading online groups.