8 BBS supervision changes every licensed and pre-licensed clinician should be aware of:
On January 1st, 2022, a significant number of changes impacting supervision in California took effect. Some of these changes are designed to streamline documentation for trainees and associates, while other changes are more substantive and add new requirements for supervisors and supervisees. The overall goal of these changes is to enrich the professional development of supervisees and ultimately enhance client care.
1. Supervisor Self-Assessment Report
All supervisors are now required to complete and submit this report to the board. In this self-assessment, the licensee certifies they possess the qualifications to be a supervisor. (The release of this form has been delayed, but we will add a link once it’s made available.)
- Licensees providing supervision prior to January 1, 2022 must submit a Self-Assessment Report to the board by January 1, 2023.
- Licensees starting supervision after January 1, 2022 must submit a Self-Assessment Report to the board within 60 days of beginning supervision.
2. Supervisor Responsibilities:
The board now specifies certain required activities as part of supervision. The supervisor must:
- Be competent in the areas of clinical practice and techniques being supervised.
- Self-monitor for any supervision dynamics that may affect supervision.
- Inform the supervisee of any changes or conditions that affect their ability to practice.
- Complete an annual assessment of the supervisee’s strengths and limitations, as well as an assessment at the time of termination of the supervisory relationship. The supervisor should provide copies of the assessment to the supervisee.
- Develop written procedures for supervisees to contact the supervisor or, if unavailable, alternative on-call supervisors who can assist supervisees in handling crises and emergencies.
3. Number of Supervisees:
Supervisors in nonexempt settings are permitted to supervise a maximum of six (6) supervisees. The law for exempt settings remains the same; supervisors do not have limits on the number of associates or trainees they can supervise. (Exempt settings include governmental entities, schools, colleges, universities, or institutions that are both nonprofit and charitable.)
4. Substitute Supervisors:
If a supervisor is temporarily unable to meet with their supervisee, a substitute supervisor can fill in for them. A substitute supervisor must:
- Meet all supervisor qualifications required by law
- Sign the supervisee’s weekly log
- Sign the Supervision Agreement prior to commencing supervision
- If the licensee is substitute supervising for more than 30 consecutive days, a new supervisory plan must be developed and the substitute supervisor must sign the Experience Verification form for any hours earned under them
- Sign the Written Oversight Agreement (if required)
5. Supervisor Training and Coursework:
ALL supervisors must complete 6 hours of professional development for supervision during each renewal period. Licensees new to supervision on or after January 1, 2022 must complete 15 hours of supervision training or coursework. This course must be taken within 60 days of starting supervision.
- Supervisors must maintain documentation of training and/or coursework for seven years following the termination of supervision.
- The board has the authority to audit supervisors (and in recent years has increasingly exercised this authority).
6. Supervision Agreement:
The following change is ONLY for supervisory relationships that begin on or after January 1, 2022: Supervisors and supervisees must sign this form within 60 days of the start of supervision; it replaces the Supervisor Responsibility Statement and the Supervision Plan. This form includes a supervisory plan that should be collaboratively developed by the supervisor and supervisee.
7. Written Oversight Agreement:
The following change is ONLY for supervisory relationships that begin on or after January 1, 2022 and is ONLY required when the supervisor is not employed by the supervisee’s employer. You can refer to the BBS sample agreement. This agreement requires the supervisee’s employer to acknowledge the role of the outside supervisor and agree not to interfere with supervision.
8. Weekly Log:
This is a new requirement for individuals on track for LCSW licensure (MFTs and PCCs already use weekly logs). The weekly log is only required for hours gained toward LCSW licensure on or after January 1, 2022. The log must be signed weekly by the supervisor and the supervisee should retain the original copies. (The BBS can request copies during the license application process).
These changes highlight the Board’s prioritization and understanding of the vital role supervisors play in the professional development and quality assurance of future therapists. We believe supervisees and clients alike will benefit from these new requirements.
You can review all of the statutory and regulatory changes to supervision here.