This paper presents a new conceptual framework for the study of supervision, called a ‘semi-open supervision systems model’ or supervision model. It was developed for a research study funded by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) in England, UK. The supervision model was needed because the evidence base for supervision was weak and under-developed, and the theoretical base insubstantial. The supervision model was developed using systems theory and was informed by policy developments, which are normally excluded from supervision research. The research team was tasked with collecting evidence of good and/or innovative supervision at a time of significant service transformation across adult care settings in England and Northern Ireland. The research design was informed by the supervision model and researchers used a mixed methodology for data collection and analysis. This paper examines how the supervision model was developed and used in the study, and concludes by reviewing its contribution to the field of supervision study.