Send to

Choose Destination
Drug Alcohol Rev. 2007 May;26(3):241-9.

Clinical supervision in the alcohol and other drugs field: an imperative or an option?

Author information

National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA), Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.


There is a growing interest in Clinical Supervision (CS) as a central workforce development (WFD) strategy. This paper provides a definition of and rationale for CS, characterises its various forms, identifies selection and training issues, and advises on policy and implementation issues central to redressing shortcomings in supervision practice within the alcohol and other drugs (AOD) field. Relevant selective literature is reviewed. Key conceptual issues were identified, and strategies developed to address implementation barriers and facilitate relevant policy. There is a common conceptual confusion between administrative supervision and CS. Clarification of the role, function and implementation of CS is required. Priority issues for the AOD field include: enhancing belief in CS; ensuring adequate resource allocation; developing evaluation protocols; and addressing specific arrangements under which supervision should occur. CS has been underutilised to date but holds considerable potential as a WFD strategy. It is fundamental to workers' professional development, can contribute to worker satisfaction and retention, and may improve client outcomes. Critical next steps are to establish the generalisability to the AOD field of the benefits observed from CS in other disciplines, and evaluate longer-term gains of CS programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center