Characteristics of effective student supervisors

One of the most important factors in providing quality clinical education placements is the relationship between the student and the supervisor.  In this video, Lucy and Wendy, clinical education liaison managers at the University of Queensland, reflect on the characteristics of effective student supervisors:



Some other characteristics of supervisors that enable effective supervision include the ability to:

  • demonstrate clinical competence
  • demonstrate reflective practice
  • provide detailed orientation
  • provide a graded program of learning
  • provide modeling and opportunities for practice
  • demonstrate consistent and transparent assessment procedures 
  • acknowledge students' capabilities and limits
  • demonstrate respect, empathy and understanding
  • communicate clear and consistent expectations
  • demonstrate a motivating and positive attitude.
In this video, two students discuss the characteristics and practices of supervisors they have experienced.




  • Health Education and Training Institute (2012). The superguide: a handbook for supervising allied health professionals. HETI, Sydney.
  • Rodger, S., Fitzgerald, C., Davila, W., Millar, F. and Allison, H. (2011). What makes a quality occupational therapy practice placement? Students' and practice educators' perspectives. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 58 3: 195-202.
  • Siggins Miller Consultants. (2012). Promoting quality in clinical placements: Literature review and national stakeholder consultation. HWA, Adelaide.



HWA National Clinical Supervision Competency Resource

HWA National Clinical Supervision Competency Resource
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