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Clinical Supervision

What is Clinical Supervision?

Clinical supervision is directed at developing less experienced worker's clinical practice skills through the provision of support and guidance from a more experienced supervisor. The clinical supervision relationship is characterised by regular, systematic and detailed exploration of a supervisee's work with clients or patients. Clinical supervision is usually a collaboration between an experienced practitioner and one or more less experienced practitioners. It can also involve two practitioners of equal seniority and breadth of experience.

It is important not to confuse clinical supervision with administrative or managerial supervision, which focuses on the worker's day-to-day administrative issues.

Benefits of Clinical Supervision

Clinical supervision has a range of benefits for clinicians and the organisation. Benefits include:

  • Availability of support for supervisees, and a forum to discuss clinical issues
  • Maintenance of clinical skills and quality practice
  • Promotion of standardised performance of core skills across the organisation and/or field
  • Improvement and/or attainment of complex clinical skills
  • Increased job satisfaction and self confidence
  • Improved communication amongst workers
  • Improved worker retention
  • Reduced professional development and administration costs

Setting up a Clinical Supervision Program

There are 3 stages involved in setting up a clinical supervision program:

  1. Program Planning
  2. Program Implementation
  3. Program Evaluation.

More Information

To find out more about setting up a clinical supervision program in your workplace, please see Chapter 2 (pdf 1.7MB) of the TIPS Kit.

For a comprehensive guide on clinical supervision in the AOD field, refer to NCETA's Clinical Supervision Kit.

Peer Reviewed Journal

Roche, A. M., Todd, C., & O'Connor, J. (2007). Clinical supervision in the alcohol and other drugs field: an imperative or an option? Drug and Alcohol Review, 26(3), 241 [website].