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Clinical supervision is a crucial component in the training of helping professionals. In the arena of supervised practice, nascent counsellors integrate theoretical and conceptual learning and apply skills and strategies in vivo. Clinical supervisors are simultaneously tasked with facilitating the professional growth and development of supervisees while safeguarding the wellbeing of clients and the public. Previous studies identified clinical supervision as the third most frequent activity of professional helpers (Norcross, Hedges, & Castle, 2002), and one in which 85-90% of those with 15 or more years of experience participated (Rønnestad, Orlinsky, Parks, & Davis, 1997). Concern was expressed, however, about the lack of formal training required (Scott, Ingram, Vitanza, & Smith, 2000), with Watkins (1997) noting that “Something does not compute (p. 604).

Thankfully, the status of clinical supervision as a specialty practice is evolving from emerging to established, as is our understanding of supervisory relationships and processes. CCPA anticipates heightened demand for clinical supervision across the country and across the career span (i.e., novice through veteran). The increased call for clinical supervisors will reflect developments on the regulatory landscape, dawning recognition of the benefits that accrue from clinical supervision at all levels of practitioner experience, and growing appreciation of clinical supervision as a specialty area of practice with its own unique corpus of knowledge and skills.

In recognition of the challenge of operationalizing definitions of “qualified” and “competent,” CCPA initiated a study that commenced with an examination of the literature on supervisor competence in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Co-chairs Blythe Shepard and Beth Robinson, along with Working Group members John Driscoll, Liette Goyer, Mark MacAulay, Anne Marshall, Simon Nuttgens, and David Paré conducted this review of the literature; consulted with American experts, Drs Carol Falender and Janine Bernard; and interviewed experienced Canadian clinical supervisors who represent diverse geographical and employment settings. The next step was to administer a pan-Canadian survey on clinical supervision in late 2016. The primary objective of this study is to establish a national competency framework to support the continued growth and development of clinical supervision practice in Canada.

This framework will establish a collective understanding of what constitutes qualified and competent clinical supervision and will generate myriad practical applications. For example, the competencies could be used to inform supervisor self-assessment and professional growth plans. The implementation of the framework could empower supervisees to engage in self-advocacy related to personal and professional learning and growth needs. Identification of competencies will promote collaborative exploration of supervisory goals, relationship, process, and evaluation in dyadic, triadic, and group supervision contexts. A national competency framework aligns with organizational learning culture and promotes psychologically healthy supervisory relationships at the individual, group, and organizational levels. Delineation of competencies can guide clinical supervision course development within and external to postsecondary institutions. The competency framework will support CCPA’s Canadian Certified Counsellor-Supervisor (CCC-S) designation and could potentially serve as a resource for regulatory bodies in their assessment of candidates. The framework will establish a foundation for greater accountability and contribute to the sustainability of clinical supervision as a specialty area of practice under the umbrella of the counselling and psychotherapy profession.

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.

Opportunities to engage in professional development (e.g., webinars, workshops, courses, chapter membership) also will be highlighted.

Links to other pages & documents

CCC-S Certification

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

Supervisor Certification

CCC-S Forms

Looking to apply for our CCC-S 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

See our professional development options on supervision!

learn more

Looking for a
supervisor or supervisee?

Post an ad for CCPA members!


Connections among CCPA’s Clinical Supervision Initiatives


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.

Are you trying to build supervision capacity in your community?

Have you thought about hosting a CCPA-sponsored supervision workshop?

Contact Karina Albert at the CCPA National Office and she will be happy to help arrange this.

Contact Karina