Supervision is part of one’s professional practice, education and training in which the supervisor and supervisee collaborate to develop the supervisee’s skills in evidence-based and effective promising practices as well as to protect the welfare of clients served. The provider organization of both the supervisor and supervisee will benefit from having formal agreements (or contracts), expectations, and policies related to the provision of supervision. Modifications may be necessary in the event that an organization is not able to provide a supervisor from within (internal to the provider). In these situations, the organization will benefit from having specific policies and contracts with external supervisors to ensure that all parties are familiar with the expectations, legal responsibilities, and roles. Furthermore, organizations as well as all supervisors and supervisees will benefit from a comprehensive understanding of the provider policies, state licensing board regulations, and documentation that may differ depending upon disciplines. For example, many boards stipulate specific requirements to become an eligible supervisor, documentation, and required hours. Please consult all these resources prior to initiation of the clinical supervision experience. (See Appendix F for further information on regulations.)
B. Best Practice Guidelines
Discipline specific best practice guidelines related to supervision promote high standards to guide clinicians. Please consult each of these as relevant:
- American Psychological Association Guidelines for Clinical Supervision in Health Service Psychology
- Association for Counselor Education and Supervision of the American Counseling Association Best Practices in Clinical Supervision
- National Association of Social Workers Best Practice Standards in Social Work Supervision
C. The Clinical Supervision Relationship
Both supervisor and supervisee will benefit from understanding their roles and the professional responsibilities that each person has in order to uphold their responsibilities and understand the expectations that come along with such an important relationship. The Clinical Supervision Relationship (link) addresses critical responsibilities of both parties.
D. The Rights and Responsibilities of Supervisor and Supervisee
In order to promote a healthy and collaborative supervisory relationship, both the supervisor and supervisee benefit from having clear rights and responsibilities. The Rights and Responsibilities addresses these in a coherent framework compiled from multiple sources.
E. The Supervision Plan
An effective clinical supervision plan is a well-developed agreement or contract resulting in appropriate care for patients, professional growth for the supervisee, and management of liabilities and roles. These agreements contain an outline of goals of supervision, the structure of supervision and duties/responsibilities of both supervisor and
supervisee. Agreements for group vs. individual supervision will be different. Acquiring clinical supervision outside of the provider organization intensifies the need for a well-developed supervision plan to make clear the management of liabilities and responsibilities. Development of an effective supervision plan with collaboration of supervisor and provider will insure a successful outcome for all involved. Examples are below for your reference and
- Counselor Supervision Contract
- Substance abuse counselor supervision agreement
- Psychology supervision contract
- Social work supervision contract
F. Documenting supervision: Clinical Supervision Record
The documentation of supervision meetings is essential to guide both the supervisor and supervisee. It serves as a record to monitor and provide essential feedback and evaluation for the supervisee and assure continuity of follow-up from session to session. Some disciplines suggest that both supervisor and supervisee maintain documentation of their
progress tacking supervisory sessions.
The clinical supervision record template inserted below contains helpful elements that may be pertinent to agencies implementing the Treat First (TF) in New Mexico. Areas in which to record specific client feedback from TF check-in and TF overall evaluation of the clinician by the client is incorporated along with additional content items and quality indicators. The form may be revised according to each organization’s requirements as well as individual supervision needs. Group supervision formats may indicate further modifications to the form.
Additional examples of supervision records include:
- Documenting Supervision
- Supervisor Session: Bridging Form
Following documentation of the supervisory session, the Supervisory Session Bridging Form may be utilized to facilitate the supervisory alliance between supervisor and supervisee and provide them with essential feedback to enhance supervision.