Quality allied health clinical supervision policy in Australia: a literature review Academic Article uri icon


  • Clinical supervision is presented as a complex set of skills that may broadly apply to any and all allied health professions. However, it is also noted that a clear understanding of clinical supervision and how to implement it in allied health is currently lacking. It is argued that there is a need to reflect upon current approaches to clinical supervision amongst allied health professionals and to gain a shared understanding about what supervision involves, what effective supervision is, and what effective implementation of clinical supervision might look like. By gaining an understanding of what high quality clinical supervision is and how it is best put into practice, it is anticipated that this will form the first step in developing an understandable and useful universal supervision policy for all allied health professionals. What is known about the topic? Clinical supervision is important because it improves quality of care for clients and it may also improve staff satisfaction and retention rates and clinical governance for organisations. There is a clear need for a well-articulated supervision policy in allied health as there is currently no comprehensive and universally accepted supervision policy for this group of health professionals. What does this paper add? This literature review argues that if there is no clear supervision policy that is endorsed at a whole of health level there is a risk that disparate, haphazard, and poorly coordinated approaches to supervision may result in poor quality of supervision provision. Much of the recent literature is profession-specific; however, this paper contends that there are many possible reasons for collaboration in establishing clinical supervision in allied health. The possible barriers to implementing a universal policy are also examined. What are the implications for practitioners? This literature review will help practitioners understand the complex issues that inform the clinical supervision process and particularly those factors that affect the delivery of an excellent quality of supervision. This knowledge will help them to assess the quality of supervision they receive and provide, and may also contribute to motivation to work with colleagues to develop meritorious supervision skill.

publication date

  • 2012