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.



Clinical Education Professional Support Program (CEPS)

The Clinical Educator Preparation and Support Program is a series of online modules relating to teaching and learning in the clinical setting. They have been developed to guide nurses, doctors and allied health professionals through the experience of supervising students during clinical placements. The current program includes:

Module 1 Introduction to clinical learning
Module 2 Planning for placement
Module 3 Preparation for learners
Module 4 Teaching in the clinical setting
Module 5 Facilitating clinical reasoning
Module 6 Self-directed and collaborative learning
Module 7 Learning in small groups
Module 8 Assessment
Module 9 Giving feedback
Module 10 Managing student difficulties or failure whilst on placement
Module 11 Review of the teaching and learning experience
Module 12 Interprofessional Education on student placements to support Interprofessional Collaborative Practice

This module can be accessed by registering on the iLearn platform (Queensland Health)


Please Note: References remain valid until superseded by later research. The resources referenced here are regularly reviewed and are considered current and relevant to the topics presented.

  • Health Education and Training Institute (2023). Clinical supervision: The superguide: a handbook for supervising allied health professionals
  • 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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