Frequently Asked Questions
How do I obtain a copy of the Approved Supervisor Designation Standards and Responsibilities Handbook?
What do I need to do to begin training to become an AAMFT Approved Supervisor?
The process is outlined in the Becoming an Approved Supervisor section. Make sure you meet the prerequisites, and that you can reasonably expect to fulfill all the requirements. Identify and contract with an Approved Supervisor mentor, and begin training.
Do I need to send in anything to the AAMFT before I begin training for the Approved Supervisor designation?
No. Meet with an Approved Supervisor and determine your eligibility to begin training. Develop a contract and a training plan, and begin training. You will send an application packet to AAMFT at the end of the training process, when you and your AAMFT Approved Supervisor mentor agree that you have met all the requirements for the designation.
Do I need to become an AAMFT Clinical Member before I begin training?
While most candidates will be AAMFT Clinical Members prior to training as a supervisor, it is not required. However, by the time you complete your supervisor candidate training and submit your Approved Supervisor application packet, you must be an AAMFT Clinical Member (or have been evaluated as qualifying for AAMFT Clinical Membership). Further, at the time of your application you must have a minimum of two years of clinical experience beyond the date you obtained (1) Clinical Membership or (2) an MFT license.
Can I be grand-parented in under a previous training standard?
No. All new supervisor candidates must apply under the current standards. Candidates who were previously considered "supervisors-in-training" (a term that became obsolete in April 2002) may submit their final application according to the guidelines that were in place when their training contract with AAMFT was accepted. If the application is not submitted by the due date established at the time the training contract was accepted, the candidate must apply under the current guidelines.
Are training requirements to become an Approved Supervisor ever waived?
No. The training requirements were established by the AAMFT Board of Directors and they apply to all prospective Approved Supervisors. They are not waived and exceptions are not granted.
Is being accepted as a supervisor in my state/province the same as being an AAMFT Approved Supervisor?
No. AAMFT Approved Supervisors have gone through training designed by AAMFT to promote the highest level of proficiency for supervisors. The designation signifies to other professionals that the Approved Supervisor has gone through a prescribed training program of education and mentoring, and has demonstrated skills in the provision of systemically-oriented clinical supervision. States/provinces and other organizations may not have the same guidelines as AAMFT. Completion of a state/provincial certification process does not qualify one for the AAMFT Approved Supervisor designation, although the requirements may be similar, and it is possible that they can be met concurrently. You are not an AAMFT Approved Supervisor until you have submitted an application to AAMFT and been awarded the designation by AAMFT.
Where can I find an AAMFT Approved Supervisor?
Consult with MFTs in your area for recommendations for an Approved Supervisor who may be a good fit for you. Also, you may search for Approved Supervisors using our Approved Supervisor Directory.
Can I use an "alternate supervisor" to train for the Approved Supervisor designation?
No. A current AAMFT Approved Supervisor must provide mentoring and oversee the training process of supervision candidates.
What if I live in a rural area, or an area that does not have many MFTs/trainees?
If you are considering becoming an Approved Supervisor, consider the availability of trainees before you proceed. You may contact local universities and agencies to offer your services.
Do I have to take an AAMFT pre-approved supervision course, or can I take a course in my area?
All supervision courses must be offered by or approved by the AAMFT. Courses are offered at various locations, so you may be able to find one in or near your area. Instructions for developing a course and having it pre-approved can be found in the Supervision Course Requirements section.
If my supervision fundamentals course is over five years old by the time I'm ready to apply, do I have to take the full course over?
You may take the entire course again, or "update" your course by: (1) attending the entire supervision track at the AAMFT annual conference, (2) completing an AAMFT-sponsored distance learning course in supervision, or (3) taking the AAMFT Approved Supervisor Refresher Course.
I want to apply for the Approved Supervisor designation, but I received supervision mentoring more than two years ago. Will it count?
The hours of supervision mentoring will be allowed to count towards the AAMFT Approved Supervisor designation provided they meet the following criteria:
· The mentor must have been an AAMFT Approved Supervisor at the time the mentoring was provided.
· You must have received a minimum of 18 hours of mentoring per Approved Supervisor.
· You must receive at least 18 of supervision mentoring within the two years immediately prior to submitting the Approved Supervisor application packet.
I am a supervisor candidate. Can I advertise that I am in training for the AAMFT Approved Supervisor designation?
Supervisor candidate is not a membership category of AAMFT, and it should not be used in advertisements as a title or a designation. When indicating the fact that you are a supervisor candidate, you are ethically obligated to be clear that you are in training, and have not yet received the designation. Do not imply that you will be awarded the designation by a certain date. Offer to provide a completed Supervisor Candidate Verification Form to anyone who has an interest in your progress toward the designation.
Will the supervision provided by a supervisor candidate count toward a trainee's AAMFT membership? License?
Supervision provided by a supervisor candidate will indeed count toward the supervision hours needed for AAMFT membership. The supervision candidate must be under ongoing supervision of a current Approved Supervisor, of course, which is the key to having the supervision count. To "prove" that the supervision candidate is qualified to provide the supervision, the trainee should be provided with a copy of the Supervisor Candidate Verification Form. The trainee can send this in with their membership application when they are ready to apply. The supervision provided by a supervisor candidate will often count toward the hours of supervision required for MFT licensure. States and provinces have differing requirements for supervisors, and AAMFT Approved Supervisors and supervisor candidates should be familiar with the requirements in their jurisdiction. Supervisors are responsible for accurately representing their credentials to trainees.
Once I become an Approved Supervisor, do I carry the designation for life?
No. The term Approved Supervisor implies that the holder is actively engaged in, and available to provide, clinical supervision. The designation is awarded for five years, and is updated each year when the Approved Supervisor fee is paid. At the end of the five-year period, the Approved Supervisor may renew for another five-year term. The renewal process, including the continuing education requirement, is described in the Renewal of the Approved Supervisor Designation section.
I am an Approved Supervisor near the end of my five-year term, and I understand that there is a continuing education requirement for renewal. May I substitute other courses or workshops in place of the Approved Supervisor refresher course?
The five-hour Approved Supervisor refresher courses are specifically designed to cover the material experienced Approved Supervisors need to know. You may not substitute other coursework or workshops. You may fulfill the requirement by attending a complete 30-hour supervision fundamentals course that has been pre-approved or offered by the AAMFT. This is not necessary, of course, as the 30-hour courses are designed for candidates in their initial training for the Approved Supervisor designation. The five-hour refresher course is the most expeditious and economical way to fulfill the CE requirement for your renewal.
What happens if I do not renew my designation upon my five-year renewal date?
If the requirements for the five-year renewal are not completed and submitted to AAMFT by the deadline indicated on the renewal notification, the designation will automatically be resigned. If you wish to regain the designation at a future point, you will be required to demonstrate that you have taken the Approved Supervisor refresher course within the past five years.
What are the fees for becoming an Approved Supervisor and for maintaining the designation?
(These fees and dues are in addition to annual AAMFT membership dues and are subject to change)
Approved Supervisor Application Processing Fee (non-refundable) $200.00
Annual Fee for the Approved Supervisor designation (AAMFT Clinical Members) $50.00
Annual Fee for the Approved Supervisor designation (non-members) $100.00