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.