Working as an Allied Health Professional you will likely provide and receive many different kinds of supervision. Some of these include:

  • Supervision by managers or supervisors during performance development/management
  • Supervision of support workers such as Allied Health Assistants and other support staff
  • Supervision of students on placement.

Well-structured and supported supervision can improve work practice and client outcomes and reduce burnout. It is an important part of ensuring the quality and safety of health services. Skills in both giving and receiving supervision will increase the likelihood of successful supervisory relationships.

Successful supervision depends on developing a relationship based on trust. There are a number of principles to remember when providing or receiving supervision:

  • Use adult learning principles. Adults prefer supervision to be goal-oriented, relevant, practical, and respectful treating the supervisor/supervisee as equal partners.
  • Appreciate different learning styles – what works for you may not work for someone else!
  • Always provide high quality feedback (specific, factual, descriptive, constructive, understood, timely, sensitive and directed at the behaviour).
  • Make a plan – plan how often and what methods will be used, make some supervisory goals and plan how you might deal with conflict.
  • Determine how you will assess or evaluate performance – this could be by observation, written materials of self-assessment.

Once goals have been established and a supervision plan implemented then monitoring and follow-up are critical. Likewise it is also important to evaluate the supervision process itself.

More information is available on the Supervision page in the Orientation, Development & Support section.


Supervision & You

  • What supervisory relationships are you involved in? Who supervisors you? Who do you supervise?
  • How effective are you as a supervisor?
  • How effective are you as a supervisee?
  • What do you think are your supervisory strengths and weaknesses?
  • Are you supervisor/supervisee relationship working well?
  • How can you improve the quality of your supervisory relationships?


Useful Resources

  • The WA Country Health Service/Combined Universities Centre for Rural Health Introduction to Supervision training package
  • Adult Learning Australia
  • Lake F, Ryan G. Teaching on the run tips 2: Educational guides for teaching in a clinical setting. Medical Journal of Australia, vol 180, iss 10, pp. 527-528; 2004.