Occupational Therapy Placements

A Background on Placements

Arrangement of Placements

Placements are arranged by negotiation between staff of the respective academic unit, acting as Clinical Educator Coordinators, and the staff of the individual placement setting. The academic unit negotiates the standard, type of experience, and number of student places to be offered. In most cases, formal agreements are signed between the University and the placement facility.

Rules of Placements

There are a number of rules and conditions applying to students regarding the amount of workplace based education, the timing of it, the selection of sites, and types of experiences required. These rules have implications for progression in the course and acceptance into the relevant profession after graduation. Students should consult the relevant handbooks of their courses for such rules and details of the Clinical Education/Fieldwork/Professional Experience Program.

Assessment of Students

Students are expected to take an active responsibility for their own education by identifying their own learning needs, assisting the placement supervisor in planning and implementing the learning experiences, being familiar with and adhering to procedures and rules laid down by the University and the affiliating centre, and in evaluating their own performance.

The placement supervisor performs the role of teacher, facilitator, coordinator and professional role model. Supervision may be conducted by staff of the respective academic unit for the on campus clinics, or by external practitioners at external sites, who are expert in their professional area.

The nature of the assessment varies across academic units but generally includes a student evaluation by both the supervisor and the student, the satisfactory completion of the learning objectives, as well as a variety of assignments that may include case studies, essays, verbal presentations and practical examinations. The clinical education unit may be assessed on a graded scale or on a pass/fail basis.

Occupational Therapy Placements

Professional practice (or fieldwork) is an integral part of the undergraduate and postgraduate pre-registration occupational therapy courses, enabling students to become increasingly confident in their ability to competently deliver occupational therapy services to individuals, their families and/or the broader population.

Professional practice consists of placements with learning opportunities occurring prior to, during and after specific placement. Placements range from short placements of one to two weeks in the earlier years of study through to seven to eight weeks in the latter years. For each placement, students need to plan to attend five days a week full time for approximately 40 hours per week. Placements occur during semester time and during recess periods, at all levels of the courses, and are located in metropolitan, regional, rural and remote facilities. Every student is expected to complete at least one rural placement area during their program.

Occupational therapy students need to be aware of and abide by the Fieldwork Activity and Attendance Guidelines as all students need to ensure they have met both the learning outcomes of each placement as well as the overall minimum 1000 hours in order to be eligible to graduate, and to meet specific professional registration requirements.

Occupational Therapy Staff

For contact details for Occupational Therapy placement staff visit Staff Contact Information.