top of page
  • Writer's pictureAbigail Blackman

Supervision Skills

Clinical supervisors must be equipped with the skills to effectively supervise and guide their staff. Lack of training and support from supervisors is a reason why providers intend to quit their jobs (Kazemi et al., 2015). Recent survey research revealed that there is a lot of variability in supervisory practices within our field (Hajiaghamohseni et al., 2021) and that 57% of clinical supervisors reported they did not receive supervisory skills training at their place of employment (Blackman et al., 2022).

In recent years, there have been several publications that provide recommendations for supervisors. Notably, Behavior Analysis in Practice released a special issue on supervision. Some papers highlighted recommended practices for individual supervision (Sellers et al., 2016a), the use of ethical and socially valid supervision techniques (Turner et al., 2016), the benefits of group supervision (Valentino et al., 2016), and recommendations on how to detect and address barriers to supervision (Sellers et al., 2016b).  Additionally, books have been published on BCBA fieldwork and supervision practices (Britten & Cicoria, 2019; Kazemi et al., 2018), ways to build and sustain meaningful relationships as a supervisor (LeBlanc et al., 2020),  and evidence-based practices for prompting work quality (Reid et al., 2012). 

It is not enough to rely on training programs and experience hours to fully develop the repertoires of BCBAs to be effective supervisors. It is the organization's responsibility to ensure they are providing high-quality supervision. Thus, organizations should have effective supervisory training in place for clinical supervisors. Once training has been provided, clinical supervisor performance should be monitored to ensure they are carrying out their job responsibilities effectively. Some behaviors to ensure competence in writing treatment plans, skill acquisition programs, and behavior reduction programs. As well as, monitoring professionalism and conducting clinical audits, to name a few. 


Blackman, A. L., DiGennaro Reed, F. D., Erath, T. G., & Henley, A. J. (2022). A survey of staff training and performance management practices: An update. Behavior Analysis in Practice. 

Britten, L. M., & Cicoria, M. J. (2019). Remote fieldwork supervision for BCBA Trainees. Elsevier. 

Hajiaghamohseni, Z., Drasgow, E., & Wolfe, K. (2020). Supervision behaviors of board certified behavior analysts with trainees. Behavior Analysis in PRactice, 14(1), 97-109. 

Kazemi, E., Rice, B., & Adzhyan, P. (2018). Fieldwork and supervision for behavior analysts. Springer Publishing Company.  

Kazemi, E., Shapiro, M. & Kavner, A. (2015). Predictors of intention to turnover in behavior technicians working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 17, 106-115.

LeBlanc, L. A., Sellers, T. P., & Ala’i, S. (2020). Building and sustaining meaningful and effective relationships as a supervisor and mentor. Sloan Educational Publishing. 

Reid, D. H., Parsons, M. B., Green, C. W., & Press, P. (2012). The supervisor’s guidebook: Evidence-based strategies for promoting work quality and enjoyment among human service staff. Habilitative Management Consultants, Inc. 

Sellers, T. P., LeBlanc, L. A., & Valentino, A. L. (2016b). Recommendations for detecting and addressing barriers to successful supervision. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 9, 309-319. 

Sellers, T., Valentino, A. L., & LeBlanc, L. A. (2016a). Recommended practices for individual supervision of aspiring behavior analysts. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 9(4), 274-286. 

Turner, L. B., Fischer, A. J., & Luiselli, J. K. (2016). Toward a competency-based, ethical, and socially valid approach to supervision of applied beahvior analytic trainees. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 9, 287-298. 

Valentino, A. L., LeBlanc, L. A., & Sellers, T. P. (2016). The benefits of group supervision and a recommended structure for implementation. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 9, 320-328. 


bottom of page