Supervision Guidelines

Newfoundland Board of Examiners in Psychology

Revised October 2, 2000

The Psychologists Act in Newfoundland and Labrador specifies that supervised experience is a part of the professional training of the psychologist and that no psychologist shall become registered who has not completed the relevant period of supervised experience.

The following guidelines are intended to define in more detail the standards and the conduct of supervised practice in psychology.

1. Purposes of Supervised Experience:.

The supervised experience required for registration fulfills several purposes:

A. It contributes to the upgrading of professional services and the maintenance of standards of practice.

B. It enhances the growth and skills of the developing practitioner of psychology.

C. It protects the public from potential harm through the reduction of professional errors.

2. Duration:

The durations given here are for full-time practice (see section 3). The duration of supervised experience for part-time practice varies with the rate of practice activity and formal supervision, and it is specified in section 9.

A. Doctoral Level Candidates:

One calendar year of documented supervised experience, subsequent to completion of the doctoral degree, is required.

B. Masters Level Candidates:

Two calendar years of documented supervised experience, subsequent to completion of the degree, are required.

C. For a period of supervised experience to be credited it shall consist of a minimum of six consecutive months in the same setting.

D. Supervised practice time during which the supervisor deems the supervisee’s performance to have been unacceptable, shall not be credited toward the required supervised practice hours. Where such a decision to recommend against crediting is made by a supervisor, and becomes the subject of a dispute between the supervisor and supervisee, the Board may investigate and make a decision.

E. Notwithstanding these specified durations, a supervisee must continue to be supervised until such time as the Board formally grants full registration, or the Board decides that supervision is no longer required.

F. Where a psychologist has completed the applicable period of supervised experience required for full registration but not achieved a passing score for this jurisdiction on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology, the psychologist must continue supervision at the rate of one hour per month..

3. Full-Time and Part-Time Practice:

A. Full-time practice is defined as a rate of practice activity of 20 hours or more per week, and 960 hours or more per year.

B. Part-time practice is defined as a rate of practice activity of less than 20 hours per week, and less than 960 hours per year.

C. Part-time practice of less than 10 hours per week is not acceptable for the purposes of obtaining credit for supervised experience. Supervisees, whose practice activity is less than 10 hours per week, are still required to be supervised and have an approved supervision plan. They must have a minimum amount of formal supervision (see section 9) of 1 hour per week.

4. Work setting:

It is recommended that the setting where supervised experience is acquired be one in which:

A. Psychology and counselling services are well established.

B. At least one senior psychologist is available for consultation.

C. There are sufficient materials and equipment to allow for the use of various types of assessment and intervention procedures.

D. Independent private practice is not permitted under provisional registration. However supervised practice in a private agency may be approved provided that the agency adequately regulates and monitors the supervisee’s work (see section 5).

5. Supervision Plans:

Supervisees must have an approved supervision plan for their supervised experience.

A. The supervision plan must cover all the supervisee’s professional activity as a psychologist.

B. Supervision plans must be submitted on the Supervision Plan Form.

C. When granted provisional registration, the supervisee who is ready to start practice must immediately find a supervisor and submit a supervision plan. The initial supervision plan must be submitted within 60 days of receipt of notification of provisional registration. Where the supervisee is not able to comply with this guideline, the supervisee must immediately inform the Board in writing, giving a brief explanation for the delay.

D. Where a supervisee experiences a long delay in starting supervision, the supervisee shall keep the Board informed of the situation and seek assistance from the Board. In compliance with this guideline, the supervisee must inform the Board in writing of the situation regarding supervision when renewing provisional registration.

E. Supervision plans are normally approved to start on the date of signing, provided that they were submitted on time and all other conditions for registration have been met.

F. Where the initial plan does not cover the full period of supervision, or when the supervisee changes supervisors or goes to a different work setting, an updated supervision plan must be submitted immediately. If, for some reason, an updated plan cannot be submitted immediately or there is an interruption in supervision, the supervisee must immediately notify the Board in writing and explain the situation.

G. Where a supervisee wishes to obtain his or her supervised experience in a private agency, the supervisee may not start to practice psychology in the agency until his or her supervision plan has been approved. Furthermore, in addition to the supervision plan, the supervisee must include a written description, signed by the owner or chief executive officer of the agency, of how the supervisee’s work will be regulated and monitored by the agency, including the name and qualifications of the immediate job supervisor, i.e. the individual to whom the supervisee will report.

H. Where the supervisor provides supervision as a job responsibility recognized by his or her employer, the supervisee will not remunerate the supervisor. However, if the supervisee enters into a private arrangement with a supervisor, the Board permits the supervisee to pay the supervisor for this service. The Board recommends that the supervisee enter into a contract with the supervisor, defining the services to be provided and the terms of payment, and that a draft copy of the contract be submitted with the supervision plan.

6. Nature of Experience:

The professional experience to be supervised should:

A. Be primarily psychological in content, and include evaluation, assessment and intervention procedures with individuals, groups and organizations.

B. Permit pertinent exchanges with other psychologists and other professionals.

C. Allow for the use of a variety of approaches and techniques of evaluation, assessment and intervention.

D. Facilitate the process of continuing education to allow the individual to become familiar with new developments.

7. The Supervisor:

In order to be approved by the Board, the Supervisor:

A. Shall be a registered psychologist.

B. Should have training in the broad area of practice in which supervision is offered.

C. Normally (1), should not be the direct job supervisor of the supervisee.

D. Should have no more than three supervisees at any one time without the expressed approval of the Board.

8. Role of the Supervisor:

The supervisor must agree to accept professional, ethical, and tutorial responsibility for the work of the supervisee. Specifically the supervisor shall:

A. Monitor the professional activities and standards of the supervisee.

B. Be prepared to intervene in problematic situations requiring attention at a level of skill not yet mastered by the supervisee.

C. Regularly evaluate the performance of the supervisee.

D. Provide guidance in administrative issues in the practice setting.

E. Continue and facilitate the supervisee’s education and acquisition of skills.

F. Submit evaluations of the supervisee’s progress to the Board as required.

G. Immediately inform the Board and supervisee if, for any reason, supervision cannot be continued.

H. Immediately inform the Board if, in the supervisor’s opinion, the supervisee cannot perform at a professional level.

I. Immediately inform the Board in writing of serious reservations relating to any aspect of supervision.

9. Amount of Supervisor Contact:

Supervisor contact is designated as formal or informal supervision. Formal supervision refers to planned contacts of at least a half-hour duration, which normally take place as face-to-face meetings. Informal supervision refers to ad hoc and usually brief contacts, which may include casual encounter of the supervisor and supervisee in the workplace, or contact by telephone, email and similar means of communication.

The Board is aware of the problems in conducting face-to-face supervision in remote locations. In such situations the Board will consider other options such as monthly face-to-face meetings supplemented by weekly telephone/computer consultation or teleconference sessions. The key is that the supervision be adequate in the opinion of the supervisor, the supervisee, and the Board.

Formal supervision shall take place on a regular basis, and it shall meet the minimum time requirements set out below. The supervisor is also expected to be available for and receptive to informal supervision contact. The Board recognizes that the need for supervision can vary and the supervisor is expected to provide both formal and informal supervision with consideration for the supervisee’s level of professional experience, work demands, and personal life situation.

The Board permits group supervision, provided that there are not more than three supervisees involved, and each supervisee receives at least one hour per month of individual supervision.

Full-time practice: The required minimum amounts of formal supervision for full-time practice (see section 2A) are as follows:

A. Doctoral Candidates: First year: 8 hours per month

B. Masters Candidates: First year: 10 hours per month Second year: 8 hours per month

Part-time practice: Where the supervisee is practising part-time for 10 or more hours and less than 20 hours per week, the amount of formal supervision shall be prorated, with a minimum of 1 hour per week, and the duration of supervised experience extended to compensate for the lower rate of practice and supervision.

10. Conduct of Supervision:

It is recognized that the variability in the preparation for practice and the type of professional activity engaged in by supervisees will require individually tailored supervision. Therefore, the specific content of the supervised procedures will have to be determined between the supervising psychologist and his/her supervisees. The supervision activities listed below are pertinent to most forms of professional practice so the Board expects them to be included in the Supervision Plan. Where a supervisee believes an activity is not pertinent to the intended supervised experience, a letter explaining the omission shall be attached to the Supervision Plan for the Board’s consideration.

A. Review of psychological assessment and evaluation strategies and procedures relevant to the area f practice, and the application of these strategies and procedures to current cases and issues.

B. Review of intervention strategies and procedures relevant to the area of practice, and the application of these intervention strategies and procedures to current cases and issues.

C. Review of studies from the relevant literature.

D. Discussion regarding the professional ethics involved in both the supervisee’s own practice and encountered in the literature.

E. Direct review of the supervisee’s practice through observation, and use of audio or video recording, as follows:

(i) The supervisee shall receive at minimum, a total of ten (10) hours direct review in the first year and, at minimum, a total of six (6) hours in the second year;

(ii) Time spent in direct review shall be evenly distributed throughout the supervision period;

(iii) Direct review must cover a variety of practice activity with a major portion devoted to the supervisee’s work with individual cases;

(iv) For supervision to qualify as direct review, the professional activity being observed must involve a client or other relevant third party.

(v) Any recording or observation must be done with the client’s consent;

(vi) There should be discussion of the supervisee’s performance as well as the relevant clinical issues and, in the case of observation, sufficient time for this discussion should be set aside before and after the activity being observed;

(vii) In the Record of Supervision section of the Yearly Supervision Report, entries for direct review must be identified as such, with the amount of time specified, and they must cover the issues discussed about the supervisee’s performance as well as any clinical issues;

(viii) Supervisees must indicate their intentions for direct review under”Supervision activities” in the “CONDUCT OF SUPERVISION” section of their Supervision Plan, specifying the kinds of practice activity to be supervised in this way and the approximate percentages of time planned for each activity.

11. Role of the Supervisee:

The supervisee is responsible for securing a supervisor. The Board will provide assistance where needed and it maintains a list of registered psychologists who are interested in being supervisors.The supervisee is responsible for ensuring that the completed forms are forwarded to the Board for approval. These forms will include a plan of supervision and a copy of the contract between the supervisor and the supervisee. In addition, the supervisee shall:

A. Accept responsibility for attending supervisory meetings at times mutually agreed upon.

B. Inform the Board and the supervisor of changes in the work setting or of changes in functions.

C. Report on their supervised experience to the Board on the Yearly Supervision Report form, once a year or as often as required by the Board.

D. Inform the Board in writing of concerns relating to any aspects of the supervision.

12. Yearly Supervision Report:

The Board evaluates supervised experience using the documentation submitted in the Yearly Supervision Report. It is important that Reports are submitted promptly and that they provide an adequate account of supervision.

A. Supervision Reports shall be submitted once a year, or more often as required by the Board.

B. The due date for annual Supervision Reports is based on the anniversary of the date on which the supervisee was given provisional registration. The annual Report shall be submitted with the supervisee’s application for renewal of provisional registration.

C. The Board publishes a Guide for the Yearly Supervision Report which provides detailed information on the completion and submission of the Report.

D. Supervision Reports that are incomplete will be immediately returned without evaluation.

E. The Board only accepts original Supervision Reports, with hand-written initials and signatures where needed. It does not accept telecopies or photocopies.

F. Only formal supervision activity is to be recorded in the Yearly Supervision Report.

13. Prior Supervised Experience:

Where a candidate has had supervised experience prior to application for registration with the Board, this will be taken into consideration provided that the experience was acquired after completion of the approved post-graduate degree, the supervisor was a registered psychologist, and it can be documented in a form acceptable to the Board.


1. It is only in exceptional circumstances that the employment supervisor will be approved as the Supervisor. Approval must be sought in advance of setting up the supervision experience.