Credit points



For Bachelor of Physiotherapy Students: (PHTY402 Physiotherapy Clinical Practice 1 OR PHTY403 Physiotherapy Clinical Practice 2 OR PHTY404 Physiotherapy Clinical Practice 3 OR PHTY405 Physiotherapy Clinical Practice 4 OR PHTY406 Physiotherapy Clinical Practice 5 OR PHTY407 Physiotherapy Clinical Practice 6 )

For Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) Students: (PHTY411 Physiotherapy Honours Clinical Practice 1 OR PHTY412 Physiotherapy Honours Clinical Practice 2 OR PHTY413 Physiotherapy Honours Clinical Practice 3 OR PHTY414 Physiotherapy Honours Clinical Practice 4 )

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Health-care systems and work places undergo constant change which requires practitioners to be flexible and adaptable. Physiotherapists need think critically and reflectively, have confidence to approach and manage novel situations and, be responsive to these and demonstrate leadership in the workplace. In this unit students will extend their understanding of skills, knowledge and strategies required for physiotherapists to operate effectively across a range of health-care settings and gain new knowledge of leadership skills, business management and, assessment and management of risk in the workplace. In addition students will develop the skills required for applying for employment and career planning. The overall aim of the unit is to prepare students for professional physiotherapy practice.

Learning outcomes

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome Description
LO1Describe the components of leadership, identify and reflect on their own leadership style and propose strategies for physiotherapists to be responsive leaders in a changing health-care system
LO2Critique and demonstrate an understanding of the skills, knowledge and strategies required for physiotherapists to operate effectively across a range of settings within health-care, conduct risk analyses and demonstrate strategies to respond appropriately to risk within the workplace
LO3Explain and demonstrate effective work-ready skills for professional physiotherapy practice


Topics will include: 

Leadership skills 

  • Identifying and understanding leadership styles 
  • Marketing and management for physiotherapy practitioners 
  • Effective strategies to manage and supervise individuals and groups in their work environment 
  • Strategic thinking 
  • Advocacy 
  • Critical reflection of workplace practices 
  • Innovative problem solving and initiative 
  • The role of the physiotherapist in health promotion 
  • Continuing professional development, career pathways and progression 

Management of change in the work environment 

  • Recognition of a volatile, uncertain, changing and ambiguous (VUCA) environment  
  • Development of strategies to be able to respond to change 
  • Understanding the delivery of health care services in Australia – issues of rural and remote physiotherapy services 
  • Development of an individual e-portfolio (including effective curriculum vitae and continuing professional development record) 

Development of work-ready skills 

  • Physiotherapists as first contact practitioners 
  • Operating effectively across a range of settings within health-care 
  • Identification of requirements, skills and knowledge required to work within private and public health-care sector including overview of Governance bodies, private health insurance, compensable bodies 
  • Identification of limitations of practice and the necessity to refer 
  • Time management skills 
  • Digital literacy – online physiotherapy software and applications, medical documentation 
  • Understanding the requirements of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency eg Code of Conduct, guidelines on social media, photography, advertising 
  • Financial literacy, business acumen and management (private and public), ‘mind-your-own-business’ strategies 
  • Career planning 
  • Writing a curriculum vitae 
  • Interview skills 

 Risk within the workplace – Work health and safety, vocational rehabilitation 

  • Cultural safety/cross cultural health 
  • Professional burnout 
  • Promote risk free working environment 
  • Work practices to reduce likelihood of injury/recurrence – manual handling techniques, reporting guidelines 
  • Return to work issues – assessment and strategies 
  • Report writing eg WorkCover, Veteran’s Affairs 
  • Workplace assessment - ergonomics, work stations, working posture, sedentary behaviour/physical activity in the workplace 
  • Health promotion programs to facilitate work conditioning 

Develop and foster a positive workplace culture 

  • Teaching/mentoring role 
  • Collaborative goal setting 
  • Managing client expectations – managing difficult clients 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit involves 150 hours of learning. On campus learning and teaching strategies include a combination of face-to-face, online, simulation, and other directed independent learning activities. Students will participate in tutor-led, peer and self-directed learning activities which promote active learning.   

Assessment strategy and rationale

This unit takes an authentic assessment approach allowing students to demonstrate their learning and competency for clinically relevant scenarios.  In the viva examination students will demonstrate their understanding of the skills required when applying for employment and those that demonstrate work-readiness relevant to professional physiotherapy practice. For the group assignment students will demonstrate their understanding and application of the knowledge and skills required for working effectively in health care environment and for the individual assignment their understanding and application of leadership skills. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Assessment Task 1 :Assignment: 

Requires students to consider and apply the components of leadership to their own professional practice by critically analysing the challenges for the physiotherapy profession, locally and globally, in a changing health-care environment and to propose strategies to address these challenges.

Individual assignment 



Assessment Task 2: Assignment:

Requires students to assimilate and apply theoretical knowledge of working effectively in the health-care environment through analysis, assessment and proposal of intervention strategies for a case-based scenario related to a work place setting. 

Group assignment 


LO1, LO2, LO3

Assessment Task 3: Viva Examination:

Requires students to demonstrate competency in their knowledge and understanding of work-ready skills relevant to professional physiotherapy practice.

20 min


LO1, LO2, LO3

Representative texts and references

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)  

Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) 

Hartley, J., & Benington, J. (2010). Leadership for healthcare. Policy Press. 

Higgs, J., Richardson, B., & Abrandt Dahlgren, M. (2004). Developing practice knowledge for health professionals. Butterworth & Heinemann. 

Higgs, J., & Titchen, A. (Eds.). (2008). Professional practice in health, education and the creative arts. John Wiley & Sons. 

Reason, J. (2016). Managing the risks of organizational accidents. Routledge. 

Richmond, T., & Powers, D. (2004). Business fundamentals for the rehabilitation professional. Slack. 

Work Cover New South Wales  

Work Cover Queensland  

Work Safe Victoria  

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