Guidelines for Observations


Leadership Observation Report Template

Towards the end of each year of training with an individual supervisor the Training 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.

Observations: 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 Training Committee and observers are appointed by the Committee.
  4. The Observers will provide a written report to the Training Committee and the trainee.


  1. The TC 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 TC 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 TC and, when she/he has accepted, begins the process of contacting the Trainee

    Observation Reports can be written and submitted by using the Observation Report Template.

 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 Training Committee.

Observations in a Local group

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 Training Committee 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.

Zoom Observations

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

The roles of the TC, 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.


Training Committee, July 2021