What Is Clinical Supervision

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Clinical Supervision

Clinical Supervision is a crucial component of practice where people work with people. It is time spent in reflective discussion with another critiquing practice and possibilities. It utilises a process which is most effective  when accessed  on a regular basis in uninterrupted spaces, with a suitably qualified, knowledgable, skilled and ideally self-chosen professional

Clinical Supervision refers to a career-long practice for experienced professionals. While it also benefits those new to a profession, it is more than oversight of developing early practitioner competencies or an administrative option  for ‘troublesome’  staff

It may be conducted in individual or group formats for reflection, exploration and development of professional practice. And while it may therapeutic, it is not therapy

Australian Clinical Supervision Association (ACSA) highlights that:  Clinical supervision in the 21st century has become an essential practice for helping professions worldwide. Although a universally agreed definition of clinical supervision remains elusive, all helping professionals from nurses to teachers unequivocally agree that clinical supervision is an important aspect of their clinical landscape. Clinical supervision is based on a trusting relationship that aims to provide a safe space in which clinicians-supervisees can discuss their work related concerns. The process aims to empower the supervisee through guided reflection’. ACSA further defines Clinical Supervision thus, …a formal professional relationship between two or more people in designated roles, which facilitates reflective practice, explores ethical issues, and develops skills. (ACSA, 2014)

  • Clinical Supervision is a core component of contemporary professional mental health nursing practice and central to practicing within the ACMHN Standards of Practice for Australian Mental Health Nurses: 2010. (ACMHN, 2011)
  • Clinical Supervision is dedicated time to reflect on clinical practice and situations in the work environment (HETI 2013, p.63)
  • Pilling & Roth lend the view of clinical supervision being “a formal but collaborative relationship that takes place in an organisational context, which forms part of the overall development and training of practitioners, and which is guided by some form of contract between supervisors and supervises.” (In Watkins & Milne, 2014, p.25)

“Over the years Clinical Supervision has been an integral part of sustaining my practice. I believe skilful Clinical Supervision enhances a safe space for honest reflection, exploration and evolution. It has the potential to nourish, sustain and revitalise. It helps enable one to continue to flourish and offer creative, credible services whether in a clinical or non-clinical role according to discipline related professional standards” (Bernadette Towner, 2015).

Bamboo Mind Consulting offers a reflective model of Clinical Supervision as a form of continuing professional development at all stages of ones career, with the purpose of improving professional practice and sustaining practitioners as vibrant professionals.

Clinical Supervisors:

    • are qualified specifically in Clinical Supervision
    • demonstrate ethical, competent and capable skills.
  • aim to create a safe space in which Supervisees may reflect honestly on their professional practice.

Provided in ways that are:

    • confidential
    • enlightening
    • revitalising
    • nurturing
  • sustaining

Clinical Supervision facilitates:

    • practice reflection towards new understandings
    • exploration and development of possible applicable, new ways of working
    • knowledge, skills, clinical competence development that enhances safety
    • enhanced client care
    • burnout risk reduction
    • life long learning






Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria (2018).  Clinical supervision for mental health nurses: A framework for Victoria.

Health Education and Training Institute (2013). ‘The Superguide: A Supervision Continuum for Nurses and Midwives’

Australian College of Mental Heath Nurses’ (2011). Clinical Supervision Position Statement