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About Clinical Supervision Scheme (“CSS”) of HKADCP

Introduction

Clinical Supervision Scheme (hereinafter referred to as "CSS") is considered by HKADCP, on top of Code of Ethics and Continuing Professional Development Scheme, another keystone mechanism to nurture the professional development of our members. It is aimed to safeguard our members’ clinical practice rendered to public maintain a high professional standard and accountable manner. Aligning with our Code of Ethics, HKADCP views CSS being an integral part of the Association’s efforts to fulfill the Principles of Accountability and Responsibility and also the Integrity of Professional Services, which indeed provides a good platform for members to access adequate supervision for their clinical practices either in group or on individual basis.

Clinical Supervision defined

Clinical supervision has been defined by Powell, D. &Brodsky A. (2004) as
“a disciplined,tutorial process wherein principlesare transformed into practical skills,with four overlapping foci: administrative,evaluative, clinical and supportive.”
In brief, for the purpose of this Scheme, it is an accountable and systematic process in which a senior clinical psychologists or/ and respectful professional peer psychologist as a supervisor provides to our clinical psychologist as a supervisee and a participating member of the Association a support and intervention with the aim of enhancing his or her professional functioning and core competence in terms of case management, clinical effectiveness, skills and professional development.

Objectives

CSS is ascribed to equip and uplift members in their professionalism of clinical services. Its purposes and goals of CSS can be defined as follows: 

  • to provide a safe and confidential venue of intervention for participating members to review, exchange views and discuss on their clinical work(s) with designated supervisor;
  • to facilitate supervisory meetings for building members’core competency in clinical practices, which is realized in terms of cultural awareness, clinicalskills and evaluation, case management andgrowth in ethics and professionalism
  • to improve quality of the clinical services for the maintenance of professional ethics and protection to the public and the mental well-being of the recipient of the services.
  • to support the supervised clinicians by managing stress, reflecting works and attitude, exploring opportunity for professional development and continuing improvement.

Guiding Scope

CCS as a practice guideline is recommendable to all members of the Association. Rather imposing it as a mandatory standard, it is considered a respect of the member towards the Code of Ethics whereas members are bound to adhere in regulating their professionalism and clinical practice.

Requirements of Supervisor and Supervisee

CCS not only seeks for competent supervisors but also looks for sincere and open supervisees to build a constructive, interactive and disciplined and supportive supervisory relationship.

The supervisor shall have

  • three (3) year or above experience in the mental health field preferable
  • doctorate holder in clinical psychology with training of supervision preferable
  • expertise in the field of supervising cases or come from the same clinical site of the supervisee preferable
  • clinical supervisory skills including time, relationship, stress and risk management and being able to teach and give feedback in an effective and timely manner of concerned practice
  • knowledge relating to the domain of professional activity
  • proper ethical and professional conduct with which confidentiality, appropriate boundaries and supervising within their competence are to be sustained
  • commitment and interest to the supervisee’s professional development.
  • respect, non-judgmental, and empathic attitude towards supervisee
  • discipline to evaluate progress regularly to adjust the process accordingly
  • recognition of one’s personal value, limitation and biases on the supervision

The supervisee shall have

  • preparedness to the supervision session including case details and identified issues to be discussed
  • discipline of attendance,
  • openness and humbleness to listen to the supervisor
  • motivation to change and act responsibly to guidance given in the supervision
  • awareness of own strengths and weaknesses
  • self reflecting ability for his or her clinical works and courage to find best strategy for the case
  • willingness to formulate case and put the conceptualization into treatment plan
  • proper ethical and professional conduct with which appropriate boundaries and carrying out clinical works and service within his or her competence
  • commitment to growth and follow through the CSS 

The Process

Key components
It is recognized that trustful and collaborative relationship between supervisor and supervisee is essential to an effective supervision. Besides the above attributes required for both supervisor and supervisee, CSS considers a regulated supervision shall have the following components:

  • regularity
  • The supervision shall be formed in individual or group on a regular basis (frequently to be defined below)
  • essential contents
  • briefing and presentation of the case
  • reflection of the concerned issues, problems, conceptualization, approach or doubts on presented clinical cases
  • formulating constructive critique or formative feedback which renders encouragement and corrective feedback to the supervisee.
  • evaluation
  • summative evaluation concerns the provision of feedback of the extent to which standards are achieved

Structure and Frequency

  • Although there are various forms of supervision like group, peer and individual supervision is to be structured for fitting the needs and professional development of the participating psychologist (e.g. from a more hierarchical to a colleague based structure when the clinicians gaining more in his or her experiences of services). CCS primarily refers to one-to-one individual supervision rather than many-to-one, one-to-many or many-to- many group or peer supervision.
  • Subject to the needs of the supervisee, it is suggested that the frequency of supervision shall be a minimum of 2 hours per month for full-time psychologists and 1 hr per month for part-time (work less than 20 hours per week) psychologists. Increase and revision of supervision shall be necessary for those trainee psychologists under training program or whenever the psychologist undertakes a new area of work or high risk or demanding clinical services. 
  • Participating psychologist and their supervisor should review the effectiveness of their supervision on a 6 month basis (re sample review form as Appendix 2).

Selection of Supervisor

  • While supervisees have the responsibility to find and arrange a suitable and eligible supervisor, it is recommended that they should consult the eligibility and functionality required for supervisor under the CSS.
  • To assist members to look for a supervisor, HKADCP provides a reference list of supervisors with their qualification, area(s) of expertise and research interests, years of experience and contacts

Contractual Agreement

  • To specify the needs and avoid ambiguity of the supervisory service, it is also recommended that a supervisory contract between the psychologist and their supervisor shall be in place and signed by both parties, wherein the goals of supervision, the process and meeting details (place, time, frequently) as well as charges (if applicable), confidentiality agreement and period shall be stated clearly in the same (Sample Contract Template as Appendix 1 is hereto attached)
  • Minimum contractual duration will be 3 consecutive months or more.
  • Copy of the contract and yearly report will be sent to HKADCP in PDF format for record and verification (if required) purposes.
  • HKADCP shall be responsible for recording valid members’ record once they have submitted the same with the retention period of 3 years (from the date of submission). The Association is not obligated to provide verification or record for non-members or the said retention period is lapsed.

Dispute and Termination

  • In the event there are any concerns or dispute between the supervisor and the supervisee regarding the supervision, both parties are encouraged to discuss and find a solution that is agreeable by both parties without jeopardizing the goals of the supervision. If the concern or dispute could not be resolved to the satisfaction of the supervisor, both parties might consider look for a third party including without limitation the employed organization (if any) or esteemed peer psychologist commissioned by HKADCP to mediate the situation. If the problem persists and the parties could not reach a consensus to the solution proposed by the third party or mediator, the parties might bring the case to the HKADCP for final jurisdiction. The decision of the HKADCP will be considered as final.
  • In case of the supervisee or supervisor intends to terminate the services on a voluntarily basis as per the contractual term abided, initiated party shall notify HKADCP for the decision and agreement as per the prescribed form as Appendix 3 hereto attached within 7 working days from the effective date. 
  • If the termination is happened on involuntarily basis including without limitation any issues related ethics, illegality, monetary dispute, or personal matters, both parties should notify HKADCP as per the prescribed form as Appendix 2 hereto attached within 7 working days from the effective date. 

Record keeping
The following records of supervision shall be kept within the respective supervision profile of individual psychologist:

  • copies of all supervision contracts (re Appendix 1)
  • review, exceptional and evaluation reports (re Appendix 2)
  • logbook which shows brief notes on the supervision shall be maintained by both supervisor and supervisee; however it is not required by the Association for submission, save and except the Association may request for the record for ;investigation, evaluation and/or jurisdiction purposes particularly either or both parties are involved in any disciplinary or complaint situation
  • departure form which records the termination of the details of the supervision (re Appendix 3)
  • notwithstanding with the above item c, participating members are encouraged to remark concerned ethical, risk or safety issues in exceptional report and review notes on their status in evaluation record upon their submission.
  • even the supervision agreement or contract and the attendance record may be a public document, confidentiality shall be always alerted for the supervision records, which may contain client details or other sensitive material and that is preferable to be kept by the supervisee directly. In case there are any identifiable information contained in the supervision note(s), informed consent should be obtained from the concerned client prior to any disclosure of the materials and/or information to any outside third party.

Accountability and confidentiality
Any expectations and obligations of the supervisor shall be made explicitly and clearly referred to the supervision contract.

Acknowledgements
This document makes reference to the following sources:

  • Canterbury District Health Board Mental Health Service Supervision Guidelines,
  • The British Psychological Society, Division of Clinical Psychology Supervision Policy Guidelines,
  • The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (North America): Supervision Policies.
  • National Practice Standards 2004-2007 of Western Australia
  • Guidelines on Supervision from New Zealand Psychologists Board