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How Do I Become a Clinical Supervisor?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen

The qualifications to become a clinical supervisor vary by jurisdiction and profession. Typically, you can become a clinical supervisor after you have several years of full-time employment in your field. You may also be required to hold an advanced degree or to have completed a training course in clinical supervision. Some professional organizations may also offer certification in supervision, which may assist you in your quest to become a clinical supervisor. Ultimately, it is up to an employer to determine whether you meet the qualifications for supervising students or other employees.

A clinical supervisor is someone who assumes responsibility for the performance and training of students or subordinate employees in a health care or mental health setting. The supervisor is typically responsible for observing the performance of his or her charges and, depending on the nature of the supervision, preparing reports for schools, licensing boards, or personal files. The clinical supervisor may also work as a liaison with institutional management so as to implement new policies for employees and trainees.

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Woman posing

Before you become a clinical supervisor, you will need to review the laws in your jurisdiction for those who wish to assume this role. Contact the licensing board for your profession and ask if there is a licensing requirement for clinical supervisors. If there is, review these qualifications and any application materials that you must complete in order to become a clinical supervisor.

The requirements to become a clinical supervisor often include an educational component as well as a work experience requirement. Depending on your profession and the qualifications of the individuals that you will be supervising, you may need to hold a master's or doctoral degree in your field. You may also be required to hold certification as a clinical supervisor or advanced practitioner in your field that has been issued by a recognized professional organization. Be prepared to provide documentation of your work experience. In many instances, you will be expected to show proof of employment for a specific number of years.

Once you are sure that you meet the requirements to become a clinical supervisor, you will need to submit your application to a licensing or certification board. After you receive your credential, you can begin looking for jobs. If you are employed in an industry that does not require licensing or certification for its clinical supervisors, you can typically begin looking for work right away. In either case, familiarize yourself with the requirements of individual employers for their clinical supervisors so that you can best target your job search efforts.

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