Roles and Responsibilities

Before your student or students start take a moment to review the different roles and responsibilities. This will allow you to have a clear understanding of what to expect as a supervisor and how all the roles interact and relate to each other.

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As a supervisor you may take on numerous roles throughout the placement period.

  • Be sufficiently available to undertake the necessary preparation and engage in the tasks necessary for student learning;
  • Assume the task of role model and learning facilitator for students;
  • Ensure the student's learning plan is manageable and realistic;
  • Orientate the student to relevant policies and procedures and perform appropriate inductions, including work health and safety;
  • Maintain a duty of care to the student and not ask them to perform work for which they do not have the knowledge or skills, or send them into situations where their safety is at risk;
  • Be an advocate for the student within the work setting and ensure that appropriate learning experiences are available;
  • Provide timely constructive feedback to the student regarding their performance so as to enhance their capacity for reflection and facilitate the further development of discipline specific skills;
  • Encourage and assist students to make contact with further supports such as counselling, if required; and
  • Assessment of student's knowledge, skills and professionalism.

In order to assist you with your role as supervisor we have provided some additional Inter-Professional Resources and Discipline Specific Resources.

Students have numerous pre-placement requirements, including compliance with the ACU and state policies regarding police and working with children checks, immunisations and first-aid certification. To review the requirements of students please review Prior to Professional Practice.

While on placement students have responsibilities including expectations of professional behaviour, attendance, and work health and safety compliance. Please take time to review the roles and responsibilities students are expected to comply with During Professional Practice.

Student scope of practice

Scope of practice is used to define the procedures, actions and processes that are permitted for different individuals within these disciplines. Scope of practice can be clearly defined through three categories. If the requirements for treatment or skill on placement satisfy all three criteria, then it is within the student's scope of practice:

  1. Education and training - the student has been educated academically, and will be under the direct supervision of a suitably qualified practitioner while practicing the proposed care, treatment or skill in the workplace; the
  2. Governing body allows the student or profession to practice the proposed care, treatment or skill (or does not explicitly disallow this); and the
  3. Workplace institution allows the student to practice the proposed care, treatment or skill under the supervision of a suitably qualified health practitioner.

Course coordinator

An academic staff member of each School serves as its course coordinator. They are responsible for overseeing the School's degree course program(s). The course coordinator is typically an experienced health care practitioner as well as an academic staff member, and is directly involved in the teaching and supervision of students in the course that they coordinate.

Professional practice coordinator

An academic staff member of each School serves as its professional practice (or clinical or fieldwork education) coordinator. They are responsible for overseeing the School's placement program. Like the course coordinator, the professional practice coordinator is typically an experienced practitioner as well as an academic staff member, and is directly involved in the teaching and supervision of students on placement. Professional practice coordinators are responsible for:

  • arranging placement allocations and coordinating placement education opportunities;
  • maintaining ongoing contact with you and the facilities providing student placements;
  • providing support for students and you, the supervising practitioners;
  • assisting with arranging support for students who are at risk of failing;
  • liaising with you to resolve conflict, any adverse events and if there is a need to remove a student from a placement;
  • maintaining records of placements and experiences for each student;
  • arranging and conducting professional practice education workshops for supervisors;
  • liaising with you regarding student assessment and results; and
  • arranging supplementary placements, when required.

Lecturers in charge

The Lecturer in charge (LIC) is the academic staff member who has direct authority over the teaching and learning aspects of a unit of study that includes a placement component. Where needed the professional practice coordinator will escalate placement related student issues for discussion with the LIC.


Next: Preparation and Planning