Counselor educators and field supervisors often feel
uncomfortable about assessing trainee skills and struggle
to find an appropriate vehicle for delivering essential con-
structive feedback regarding performance.
received little or no training in evaluation or assessment
However, current and proposed accreditation,
certification, and licensure regulations place an increas-
ing emphasis on the evaluation and assessment of coun-
Clearly, evaluation practices will need
to be augmented by theoretical and conceptual knowl-
edge, as well as programmatic research.
The purpose of this digest is to suggest that there
exist some fairly basic premises from educational psy-
(Isaacs & Michaels, 1981), and counselor supervision lit-
supervision evaluation practices, and thus reduce the
ambiguity and uncertainty about evaluation in supervi-
Although this digest does not specifically address
program evaluation, it should be clear that this is also an
important component of any comprehensive evaluation
Professional competence evaluation is made in a series
of formal and informal measurements that result in a
judgement that an “individual is fit to practice a profes-
sion autonomously” (McGaghie, 1991).
ation describes “how effective or ineffective, how
adequate or inadequate, how good or bad, how valuable
or invaluable, and how appropriate or inappropriate” the
trainee is “in terms of the perceptions of the individual
who makes use of the information provided by the evalu-
ator” (Isaac & Mitchell, 1981, p. 2).
sors are responsible for summative evaluations and
assessments of supervisee competence to university
departments, state licensing boards, and agency admin-
Summative evaluation is described by Bernard
and Goodyear (1992) as “the moment of truth when the
supervisor steps back, takes stock, and decides how the
trainee measures up” (p. 105).
Effective summative evalu-
ation requires clearly delineated performance objectives
that can be assessed in both quantitative and qualitative
terms and that have been made explicit to the trainee
during initial supervision contacts.
The heart of counselor evaluation, however, is an
process which uses feedback and leads
to trainee skills improvement and positive client outcome.
In this case the trainee is the person using the informa-
Bernard and Goodyear (1992) refer to this kind of
evaluation as “a constant variable in supervision.”
result, every supervision session will contain either an
overt or covert formative evaluation component.
Evaluation Practices and Procedures