Introduction: Practice education within undergraduate occupational therapy programs faces a range of challenges including increased cohort sizes, changing workplace demands, increasing pressure for ﬁnancial payment for placements, and a diversifying employment landscape. While a growing body of literature promotes the role emerging placement model as a solution to the ‘supply and demand’ challenge, examples cited are usually project funding dependent. A choice was made at one Queensland university to establish a framework to increase sustainability of this model. Objectives: This paper presents an innovative, evidence-based framework for student practice education that meets the multiple challenges facing the practice education sector today. Approach: Over the past four years a framework, initially modelled on the role emerging placement model, has been developed to now incorporate university-employed practice educators, and student-led services that occur both on and off the university campus, and are targeted towards sectors of community need and expected employment growth. Practice implications: The framework provides a process for the development, establishment and ongoing management of these placements. At its core it sets out processes and structures relating to the practice educator role, the manner in which learning is scaffolded and supported, and the development of strong partnerships with host organisations through clariﬁcation of needs and expectations. This increases accountability for both quality service provision for consumers; and educational experiences for students. Conclusion: Implementation of this framework has resulted in increased guaranteed capacity to provide high quality, local placements that are responsive to student, community and workforce needs.
26th Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA) National Conference and Exhibition: Changes, Challenges, Choices, Melbourne, Australia 1-3 July 2015
Australian Occupational Therapy Journal / Vol. 62, Supplement 1, pp.36