Clinical supervision is a formally structured professional arrangement between a supervisor and one or more supervisees. It is a planned regular meeting that provides for critical reflection on the work issues raised by the supervisee(s). It is a confidential relationship within the ethical and legal parameters of practice.
Clinical supervision enables development of reflective practice and the professional skills of the supervisee(s) . You can learn more about this by reading the position statement and definition of clinical supervision.
Clinical supervision is not performance management or line management; it allows for deeper discussion and an opportunity to review clinical practice.
Why clinical supervision is important
Clinical supervision is an internationally recognised strategy to support the health workforce to cope with the demands of their jobs. It provides a framework for skills development and reflection, promotes staff wellbeing and resilience and is seen as:
A core component of professional practice
Having a positive impact on professional development and the health and wellbeing of supervisees
Vital for recruitment, retention and promoting a healthy and sustainable workforce
Positively effecting the outcomes of service-users, demonstrated by emerging evidence.
The difference of clinical supervision and other models of supervision
The table below provides an overview of the different types of supervision for nurses and midwives:
Clinical supervision modes and models used in the ACT
Modes of delivery
Clinical supervision is facilitated through a range of modes including:
delivered face to face in an individual or group setting
virtually with the aid of technology.
Clinical supervision models
There are many models of reflective practice that can be used in clinical supervision, and they may vary within different professional groups and settings. Each of the different models are grounded in theories and practices common to all.
ACT nurses, midwives and allied health professionals are trained in various clinical supervision models and below provides an example of a model being offered in partnership by the ACT Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer (CNMO) and ACT Office of the Chief Allied Health Officer (CAHO).
Clinical supervision using the Role Development Model
The model uses ‘role analysis’ which provides an opportunity for the supervisee to become more conscious of their actions and interactions (behaviours) during the reflective process. This approach is reflective, restorative and enabling. The focus is on the supervisor exploring the question rather than solving the problem. This approach focuses on the role of the professional and is very much person-centred.
The supervisee is guided through a range of techniques, to consider new ways of viewing situations and move forward productively to become more ‘progressive’. It is not necessary to be an expert in the supervisees field, however it is necessary to be adequately trained in the art and skill of clinical supervision.
Participants will be required to attend Workshop 1,2, and 3 (8-day foundational training)
7,8,9 March 2023
6,7,8 June 2023
5,6 September 2023
9,10,11 May 2023
8,9,10 August 2023
7,8, November 2023
How to receive clinical supervision
Staff who would like to be paired with a clinical supervisor can email firstname.lastname@example.org. A list of trained nursing, midwifery and allied health clinical supervisors can be provided for you to choose from.
Support for clinical supervisors
Australian College of Clinical Supervision (ACSA)- local member meeting (LMM)
ACSA supports several local member groups across Australia. Meetings can be held online or in person and may include guest speakers, networking and information sharing. ACSA members, their guests and non-members are welcome to attend any advertised LMM event. Upcoming events can be found on the ACSA website. If ACT staff wish to organise a LMM you can do so directly with ACSA or by emailing email@example.com
Clinical supervision in the Role Development Model
Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer (OCNMO)
The OCNMO has a Clinical Supervision Coordinator who offers:
Support for clinical supervisors to maintain their own standard of practice.
Establish linkages for other clinical supervisors across the ACT public health system, including forums and communities of practice to maintain momentum and share learnings.
Provide advice and support to healthcare organisations to embed and sustain clinical supervision in their organisation.
Clinical Supervision Maintenance workshops
These full day refresher workshops are for clinical supervisors who have completed their foundational 8-day training in the Clinical Supervision for Role Development Model.
Dates for 2023 yet to be released.
Virtual Sessions for existing supervisors
These are monthly 2-hour sessions and include education or revision of selected techniques, followed by a virtual individual clinical supervision session held with attendees with the use of virtual chat rooms. Dates for 2023 yet to be released.
Support for supervisees
Clinical Supervision workshops - raising awareness of clinical supervision
These workshops will assist staff, managers and executives in the ACT public health system to gain knowledge and understanding of clinical supervision, its importance for workforce development, and how best to support its provision in their services. These workshops will be held over 4 hours.
Clinical supervisors are also advertised on the ACSA website.
The clinical supervision pilot project
From July 2020-June 2021, the CNMO led the Clinical Supervision Pilot Project, which aimed to discover the strategies, processes and resources needed to introduce Clinical Supervision for ACT nurses and midwives on a larger scale.
The project identified to:
Develop ACT nurses and midwives as clinical supervisors through an endorsed program
Establish a clinical supervision coordinator position
Collaboratively engage the ACT public health system to implement clinical supervision
This project was initiated in response to the 2019 joint Position Statement: Clinical Supervision for Nurses and Midwives, released by the Australian College of Nurses (ACN), Australian College of Midwives (ACM) and Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) which recommended clinical supervision be accessible for all nurses and midwives irrespective of their specific role, area of practice and years of experience.
A governance structure was established to develop and deliver clinical supervision across the ACT public health service for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals. This is achieved through the ACT Health Directorate Clinical Supervision Strategic Planning and Implementation Committee, Chaired by the ACT Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer. This Committee has representation from relevant ACT public health workplaces and key stakeholders to ensure appropriate leadership and decision making.
Clinical Supervision Framework for ACT Nurses and Midwives
To support nurses and midwives, the ACT Health CNMO is developing the Clinical Supervision Framework for ACT Nurses and Midwives, which is expected to be released in late 2022. The Framework will implement effective clinical supervision, and a workforce strategy on professional development and support, for nurses and midwives.
News and events
ACT Inaugural Clinical Supervision Symposium
Tuesday 6 December 2022, 8am-4pm, Federal Golf Club- Gowrie Drive Red Hill, ACT 2603
The ACT Chief Nursing and Midwifery Office in partnership with the ACT Chief Allied Health Office is proud to present the Inaugural ACT Clinical Supervision Symposium 2022 with the theme Reflect. Grow. Community.
The agenda includes interactive discussions, panels and workshops with leading Australian and local ACT Clinical Supervision Leaders.
At this forum participants will be supported to:
Reflect on the progress of Clinical Supervision within the ACT and more broadly across Australia
Continue to grow professional competency through reflective practice, and
Explore how the interdisciplinary Clinical Supervision community continues to support one another to “pump up our tyres and get back on the road”.
Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Conference 2022
Held on 7-9 September 2022 at the JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort and Spa. The ACT Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer presented on the ACT Clinical Supervision Pilot Project. View the presentationand program guide.
Canberra Health Annual Research Meeting (CHARM)
The CHARM facilitates connections between researchers, students, clinicians, policy makers, consumers, carers, industry, administrators, leaders and partners in the ACT’s health system. The meeting seeks to explore and demonstrate how research can contribute to a learning health system through discovery, collaboration and translation. Allied Health Professionals at Canberra Health Services presented on the effectiveness of allied health clinical supervision at Canberra Health Services. View the presentation and program guide.