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OTHY601 Practicum I: Optimising Occupational Therapy Practice within Interprofessional Contexts, HLSC673 Optimising Interprofessional Collaborative Practice for Healthcare Professionals

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Collaboration between health professionals and consumers is essential to optimise person-centred care. Healthcare professionals looking to engage in leadership or supervisory roles, need advanced knowledge, skills and competencies of interprofessional practice to enhance their contribution to holistic care and optimize health outcomes.    


Building on current practice knowledge, this post graduate unit will use collaborative processes and reflective activities, to enhance theoretical knowledge and interprofessional competencies in Healthcare professionals. The role of various Healthcare professionals within the interprofessional context to optimise collaborative practice within the interprofessional context across all health care settings will be explored. Students will be encouraged to critically analyse their own interprofessional capabilities and competencies in order to critically evaluate interprofessional collaborative practice within the workplace. Students will subsequently propose and evaluate initiatives and strategies to optimise interprofessional collaboration.   


This unit will enable students to develop and apply enhanced knowledge and skills in interprofessional practice to optimise the consumer-therapist and interprofessional relationships. This unit aims to support Healthcare professionals to develop and provide leadership in collaborative multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to health care, within current and future practice. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Demonstrate advanced knowledge of health team processes, and effective communication skills to build and lead effective health care teams (GA1,5)

LO2 - Critically analyse and discuss the advanced competencies and processes required for occupational therapists to optimise the quality of interprofessional collaborative practice and education. (GA3,4,5,6)  

LO3 - Critically appraise, and discuss personal and professional knowledge, skills, attitudes and practice in relation to the competencies associated with optimal collaborative practice and reflect on the impact of these on the student’s own interprofessional practice and team within which the student works, in order to determine and address areas of improvement. (GA 1,4,5,6,7)  

LO4 - Apply enhanced interprofessional competencies to practice and appraise personal and professional contribution in order to provide leadership to foster continuous improvement of collaborative discipline specific, intra-disciplinary, multi-disciplinary and interprofessional practice in contemporary healthcare (GA1,3,4,5,6,7)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 


Topics will include:

Health team function and processes

  • Definition and key principles of interprofessional practice including extended and advanced scope of practice
  • Key policy and legislation guiding interprofessional practice – NDIS
  • Types of interprofessional teams and models of care 
  • Principles for optimal team function
  • Discipline and interprofessional practice competencies
  • Discipline and professional boundaries and risk management
  • Analysis of teams and team dynamics 
  • Workplace culture 
  • Roles and responsibilities; including role of the client in collaborative care 
  • Interprofessional Teamwork interventions 


Effective communication in teams and skills for optimal interprofessional relationships

  • Different forms of communication in healthcare and their role in interprofessional practice
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Facilitators and barriers to effective communication 
  • Conflict management



  • Leadership styles and the influence on interprofessional practice 
  • Change management models
  • Barriers and facilitators to change 
  • Managing change
  • Caring for oneself and others
  • Performance management
  • Supervisory processes
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Coaching and being coached 


Interprofessional Education

  • Definition and key principles of interprofessional education
  • The role of IPE 
  • Factors impacting IPE
  • Strategies to facilitate IPE

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is offered through multi-mode and online delivery for specific on and off shore cohorts. Both modes aim to facilitate learner centred activities and workplace application of learning in relation to selected themes.  Learning and teaching strategies for this post graduate level unit are based on a blend of constructivism, social constructivism, and experiential learning. These strategies focus on active participation and developing a community of inquiry.  Content and types of activities that are the same or similar for all participants regardless of the mode of delivery have been identified. This has led to the development of purposefully designed learning activities that are transferable and work well across both delivery mediums whilst maintaining the flexibility to create and deliver mode specific activities focusing on inquiry based learning principles aimed at encouraging critical thinking, application of knowledge and skills, evidence for practice, collaborative peer learning, and critical self-reflection.  

Both modes of delivery require students to be working or have access to a relevant workplace in the field / discipline for some learning activities. Students in both delivery modes, will participate in individual and small group activities, based on analysis of current practice, assimilation and application of enhanced knowledge to translate learning into personal clinical practice. Where possible, activities are designed as reusable learning objects able to be provided online or modified slightly as required for current Information and communication technologies for online delivery. Learning and teaching strategies for online delivery to specific cohorts will be adapted to accommodate different time zones for example as required. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

OTHY613 assessments have been purposefully designed to replicate authentic reflection on reasoning, thinking and problem solving within personal clinical practice. The assessments incorporate a broad range of tasks aligned to andragogic principles of adult learning, facilitating choice and self-direction for the post graduate student. Unit assessments tools have been designed from an “Assessment for Learning” approach in order to not only provide evidence for judgement of learning, but also to reinforce, facilitate and support learning and application of learning.   


In the first assessment task students will be asked to reflect on current interprofessional practice within their work setting and communicate these reflections to inform areas for personal and professional development. Assessment tasks 2 and 3 are aimed to encourage students to identify an area within their work setting where interprofessional practice could be enhanced. Students will reflect on personal and collaborative team practice; and apply these learnings to inform future decisions related to improving personal and team collaborative practice; and the ability to communicate reflections, collaborative reasoning, decision making and innovations to practice, to management and peers.   


The broad range of assessment activities encourages application of reflection and application of enhanced interprofessional competencies in practice. These assessments have been specifically timed to provide optimal enhancement for learning. Assessment has been aligned to the emerging complexities as students learn, assimilate and apply progressively advanced levels of professional and theoretical knowledge and enhanced critical analysis skills with the aim of optimizing each student’s ability to personally and professionally reflect, analyse and appraise practice. Scheduling of assessments will be equitable for both modes of delivery. Assessment tasks may be delivered and assessed locally with moderated according to University Policies and Procedures. All assessments will be submitted electronically. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assignment - Written:

Enables students to reflect on current interprofessional practice and communicate reflections to inform areas for personal and professional development


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7

Collaborative Educational Seminar with reflective critique 

Enables students to develop and apply knowledge and skills, and communicate reflections and applied learnings, to management and peers


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7

Assignment – Written 

Enables students to critically evaluate and apply learnings to personal and interprofessional practice within a workplace


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7

Representative texts and references

Allen K, (2012) What is an Ethical Dilemma?  The New Social Worker, 19(2)  

Belbin. (2017). Belbin team roles. 

Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative (2010). National Interprofessional Collaborative Framework. – CICH Quick Reference Guide. Vancouver, Canada: Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative  

Dean S G, Siegert RJ, & Taylor WJ (Eds.). (2012). Interprofessional rehabilitation: a person-centred approach. John Wiley & Sons.  

Health Education and Training Institute NSW. (2012). The superguide: a handbook for supervising allied health professionals, HETI, Sydney.  

NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement and Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (2010) Medical Leadership Competency Framework, 3rd edition, Coventry: NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement.   

Reeves S, Lewin S, Espin S, & Zwarenstein M (2011). Interprofessional teamwork for health and social care (Vol. 8). John Wiley & Sons.  

The University of Nottingham. (2012).  Personal Development and Performance Review. Improving Performance through Coaching.   

US Department of Health and Human Services, (2017) Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research Team STEPPS 2.0)  

Zwarenstein M, Goldman J & Reeves S (2009) Interprofessional collaboration: effects of practice-based interventions on professional practice and healthcare outcomes (Review) The Cochrane Collaboration. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.  

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