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The purpose of this webpage is to present you
with an array of theoretical, empirical, and clinical resources
aimed at anchoring your clinical supervision in best practices.

Clinical supervision is an essential component of the education and training of counsellors and psychotherapists. It is the “signature pedagogy” (Goodyear, 2007, p. 273) across the mental health professions and the “cornerstone of professional development (Bernard & Goodyear, 2009, p. 218). Clinical supervision has its own history, theoretical knowledge base, models, and related issues (Bernard & Goodyear, 2019). Yet many graduate degree programs that prepare counsellors/psychotherapists preclude a course in supervision. Unfortunately, when a supervisor has not received sufficient preparation, they are inadequately prepared to effectively supervise others in the profession.

Only in recent years has obtaining supervision become an explicitly recognized and valued feature of counsellor and psychotherapists’ ongoing post-qualification practice (Fleming & Steen, 2012) largely due to developments on the regulatory landscape, dawning recognition of the benefits that accrue from clinical supervision at all levels of practitioner experience (novice through veteran), and growing appreciation of clinical supervision as a specialty area of practice with its own unique corpus of knowledge and skills.

What is Clinical Supervision? Click for more info!

Hawkins and Shohet (2012) refer to clinical supervision as:
…a joint endeavour in which a practitioner with the help of a supervisor, attends to their clients, themselves as part of their client practitioner relationship and the wider systemic context, and by so doing improves the quality of their work, transforms their client relationships, continuously develops themselves, their practice, and the wider profession. (p. 60)

The CCPA defines supervision as “a formal arrangement between a clinical supervisor and supervisee to embark on a supervisory relationship and process (CCPA, 2021, p. 114) while the American Psychological Association (2014) states that supervision is:
… a distinct professional practice employing a collaborative relationship that has both facilitative and evaluative components, that extends over time, which has the goals of enhancing the professional competence and science-informed practice of the supervisee, monitoring the quality of services provided, protecting the public, and providing a gate keeping function for entry into the profession. (p. 5).

Clinical supervision differs from several related activities: mentoring, coaching, consultation, and administrative supervision. Mentoring is usually a voluntary, non-reporting relationship with a more experienced professional while coaching is often used to improve instruction and teaching strategies, to experiment with new approaches and techniques, and to problem solve. Consultation is defined in the CCPA Standards of Practice (2021) as:
an arrangement between professionals in which the consultant provides a service, such as sharing of skills, providing opinion on a case, problem solving, and brainstorming but the professional receiving the consultation has the right to accept or
reject the opinion of the consultant. A consultant does not take on the legal responsibility or liability for decisions made by the therapist. Consultation also may be undertaken as a formal arrangement with fee requirements. (CCPA, 2021, p. 115)

In some settings, the clinical supervisor also acts as the administrative supervisor. While this dual role should be avoided, it is a reality in various counselling settings given financial restraints (Tromski-Klingshirn, 2007). Administrative supervision ensures that the agency or organization meets its mandate to provide effective client services by focusing on how staff manage caseloads, keep records, andadhere to organizational policies, practices, and priorities.

Since 2012, the CCPA has engaged in a number of supervision-related initiatives to support its members:

  • established the Canadian Clinical Supervisor (CCS) previously known as CCC-S
  • created a national clinical supervision competency framework
  • held a National Symposium on Clinical Supervision in 2018
  • surveyed competencies using the CCPA framework with supervisors at Family Services of Ontario
  • established the CCPA Advancement of Clinical Supervision Committee
  • published a clinical supervision handbook in 2012 and revised it in 2020
  • launched an online graduate course in clinical supervision
  • published a multi-authored text on clinical supervision in 2016
  • published the Clinical Supervision Vignettes: Promoting Competency through Reflective Practice
  • developed a clinical supervision website
  • designed and delivered introductory, intermediate, and advanced workshops

The CCPA continues to support supervisees and supervisors through ongoing initiatives.

Links to other pages & documents


CCS Certification

CCPA’s Supervisor Certification is intended
to certify qualified clinical supervisors

Supervision Certification


CCS Forms

Looking to apply for our CCS Certification?



Publications on Supervision

CCPA has published ‘The supervision of counselling and psychotherapy handbook: A handbook for Canadian certified supervisors and applicants’ & ‘Supervision of the Canadian counselling and psychotherapy profession’

Find out more about these publications

Professional Development

Professional Development

See our professional development options on supervision!

learn more

Clinical Supervision Resources for Members

Learn more

Counselling Session

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supervisor or supervisee?

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Connections among CCPA’s Clinical Supervision Initiatives


Clinical Supervision Bibliography


Clinical Supervision Competencies Annotated Bibliographies


Professional Development

Webinar Recordings – General

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More information on clinical supervision is offered to our members! To access it, please log in to the member portal and click on Workspaces. You will find one workspace called Supervision. You can find there more information such as reading lists, Powerpoint presentations, etc.

Have you thought of hosting a CCPA-Sponsored Supervision Workshop?
Would you like to build supervision capacity in your community?

Contact us!

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