Effective clinical supervision for regional allied health professionals: the supervisor’s perspective Academic Article uri icon


  • Objective. To explore the effectiveness of the current clinical supervision (CS) processes for allied health professionals (AHPs) at a regional health service from the perspective of the supervisor. Method. A mixed method study with two phases, involving AHPs across nine disciplines, employed at a regional health service and providing CS. In the first phase 14 supervisors participated in focus groups which were followed by the completion of a questionnaire by 26 supervisors. Results. Focus group results indicated confusion between CS, line and performance management and mentoring. Clinical supervision was perceived to contribute to the quality of patient care and reflective practice. The challenges of time for busy clinical staff were reported. The questionnaire response rate was 52.1% and the mean total score for the questionnaire was 162.96 (s.d. 13.47), being 76% of the maximum possible total score. Clinical supervision was considered to improve care quality despite the avoidance of addressing personal issues. Identified CS improvements included empowerment through education, resources development, streamlined documentation and use of best practice protocols. Conclusions. The results identified AHP supervisors’ perceptions of CS and possible improvements to CS processes, including differentiating CS from line management, protecting CS time and the provision of critical feedback. What is known about the topic? There are limited published reports about CS for AHPs, with AHP supervisor experience and knowledge not previously reported. What does the paper add? This is the first study to identify current supervisor understanding and practice of CS for AHPs. What are the implications for practitioners? CS is a valued activity, the effectiveness of which may be supported by education and resources.

publication date

  • 2013