One of the significant roles performed by the higher degree research (HDR) supervisor is to assist students to prepare their dissertations for examination. At a time when there is increasing interest in how the academy manages the transition of creative arts HDR candidates from apprentice to peer, there is also concern about the processes, practices, and policies associated with this largely under-researched area of research training. In a recent national Office of Learning and Teaching funded project, we investigated the policy expectations, expert and peer beliefs and expectations, and examiners’ practice around HDR examination, and canvassed the creative arts academic community for their recommendations on best practice in the examination of creative arts doctorates. An unexpected finding was the role of the HDR supervisor in relation to these key areas, and the impact of supervisors upon the examination of students’ theses. This article presents our findings with special reference to the role, understandings, and aspirations of HDR supervisors in the context, and process, of preparing their students for creative arts HDR examination.