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Campus offering

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SPHY203 Speech Pathology Practice 2A AND SPHY204 Speech Disorders (Developmental)

Unit rationale, description and aim

This is the third of seven professional practice units. This unit provides students with an increased focus on the provision of speech pathology intervention. Specifically, students will apply and integrate theory of typical and atypical speech and language development to a paediatric professional practice setting/s. Students will consolidate their knowledge of speech pathology assessment, analysis, and interpretation and develop their knowledge of the planning, implementation and outcome measurement of evidence based intervention/s (Competency based Occupational Standards (CBOS) units 1-4). Students' professional competencies of clinical reasoning, communication, lifelong learning and professionalism will continue to be developed along with reflective practice.

SWithin this unit students will complete community engagement activities, working collaboratively with community groups and organisations to achieve mutually agreed goals that build capacity, especially with those who are marginalised and disadvantaged.

The overall aim of this unit is to prepare and support students to demonstrate knowledge and skills which meet novice-level professional and occupational standards.

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 - Communicate effectively with clients, groups and/or communities at a novice level (GA1, )

LO2  - Demonstrate clinical reasoning and learning at a novice level (GA6, GA8)

LO3 - Demonstrate professional, ethical, and evidence-based speech pathology practice (GA1, GA2, GA5)

LO4 - Plan, implement and evaluate assessment and intervention using the ICF framework, and evidence-based practice principles at a novice level (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9)

LO5 - Reflect critically on the professional and ethical behaviours that underpin the relationships, roles, and functions of staff and clients within community organisations and on how you integrate these into your developing professional identity as a Speech Pathologist (GA1, GA2, GA4)

Graduate attributes

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

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

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

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include:

Planning for evidence based (E3BP) Speech Pathology practice

  • Application of the ICF framework and collaborative goal setting
  • Clinical reasoning and E3BP 
  • Sourcing, integrating and interpreting information 
  • Long-term, short-term, session goals and Goal Attainment Scaling

Documenting Speech Pathology planning and practice

  • Session Plans for Intervention
  • E3BP Goals and rationales; 
  • Resources and Procedures for intervention;
  • Contingency development;
  • Outcome measurement and data collection.
  • Group Intervention
  • Gathering Portfolio evidence in Speech Pathology planning and implementation

Implementation of E3BP Speech Pathology Practice

  • Progress notes, file management, and Medico-legal considerations
  • Discharge planning and documentation
  • Behavioural Goals and managing challenging behaviour in practice

Effective interpersonal skills for Professional Practice

  • Teamwork: Giving and Receiving Feedback
  • Clinical reflection for advancing your practice
  • Communicating with empathy: Talking to parents, carers and older children

Community Engagement

  • Respect for human dignity
  • Mutuality and reciprocity
  • Forging partnerships for transformation
  • Framework for critical reflection on:
  • professional and ethical behaviour that acknowledges the dignity, culture, values, beliefs and rights of people being supported by community organisations 
  • the values underpinning the relationships, roles and functions of staff and clients within a community organisation/s 
  • the degree of transformation that students experience via community engagement experiences

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and teaching strategies for this unit include material delivered in face to face and/or online lectures, tutorials and professional practice. This unit provides opportunities for students to apply theoretical knowledge to real-life and simulated situations, with a particular focus on intervention planning and implementation. Students are expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively and respectfully during professional practice and within group activities, acknowledging the student as an independent learner.  

Professional practice provides opportunities for students to apply theoretical knowledge from lectures and tutorials to real life and simulated situations in a supported, small group format. Students are required to continue to develop and construct their professional identity, confidence and competence to a novice level. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment tasks will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with ACU’s assessment requirements. Professional practice activities will assess students’ professional conduct, effective communication with clients and co-workers, reasoning, reflective practice and clinical skills competency. Students will be assessed on their ability to work both autonomously and collaboratively with other students during practicum sessions and in small group activities. 

To pass this unit students are required to demonstrate competency at a novice level or above on the professional competencies of reasoning, communication, lifelong learning and professionalism as well as on the Competency based Occupational Standards in the units of Assessment, Analysis and Interpretation, Intervention Planning and Intervention Implementation (CBOS units 1-4). These skills are developed via onsite and offsite experiences. 

Mandatory documentation. In order to attend offsite professional practice experiences students must have submitted ‘mandatory documentation’ to the Professional Experiences Services office, as required. Students are unable to progress to placement or simulation experiences unless all mandatory requirements have been met. Documentation includes both state-specific health requirements, as well as ACU requirements. 

Professional Practice Assessment. The assessment strategies used to determine professional practice competency allow students to establish and develop a professional identity progressing towards novice competencies. The Competency-based Occupational Standards for Speech Pathologists (CBOS; SPA, 2011) requires students to demonstrate progression from novice through to entry level competency in a variety of Range of Practice (RoP) areas in order to meet Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) graduate entry requirements. The Year 2, semester 2 professional practice experience scaffolds student learning to enable novice competency to be attained within a supported environment. Due to the progressive nature of competency development, students will be assessed dynamically throughout the professional practice period. The Professional Practice Assessment tool will record student progress, set goals and determine levels of competency in both simulated and real clinical environments. In order to pass SPHY207 students must reach novice level for both the SPA professional competencies and the occupational competency units 1 through 4 (CBOS 1-4).

Professional Practice Portfolio. This is a formative assessment task that provides evidence of a student’s ability to identify and organise documentary evidence of competency across the experienced Range of Practice areas within the scope of Speech Pathology practice (SPA, 2011). In order to pass this hurdle task students must submit a professional practice portfolio comprising evidence that supports the competency level identified via the professional practice assessment. For SPHY207 the portfolio must reflect and support novice level professional practice performance.  

Community Engagement. All students at ACU are required to understand the University’s mission, values, and principles. In SPHY207 speech pathology students undertake community engagement and complete task/s that demonstrate that they have understood the principles of community engagement. Students will be required to submit a written reflection/s, based on a community engagement experience this year or on an exploration of the impact of COVID-19 on a vulnerable group within the community.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Mandatory Documentation 

To fulfil mandatory requirements of external agencies and comply with ACU Policy and Procedures. 



GA1, GA2, GA5,


Professional Practice Assessment:

Students must demonstrate progression from early novice to novice in professional practice contexts.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA4,

GA5 GA6, GA8,


Professional Portfolio


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA4,

GA5 GA6, GA8,


Community Engagement Tasks

  • written reflection/s



GA1, GA2, GA4

Representative texts and references

Meyer, S. M. (2004). Survival guide for the beginning speech-language clinician (2nd ed.). Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.

Higgs, J., Aijawi, R., McAllister, L., Franziska, T., & Loftus, S. (2012). Communicating in the health sciences (3rd ed.).Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Stagnitti, K., Schoo, A., & Welch, D. (Eds). (2010). Clinical and fieldwork placement in the health professions.South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Alsop, A. & Ryan, S. (1996). Making the most of fieldwork education: A practical approach (3rd ed.). Cheltenham, UK:Nelson Thomas.

Bunning, K. (2004). Speech and language therapy intervention: frameworks and processes. London: Whurr Publishers.

Higgs, J., Jones, M., Loftus, S., & Christensen, N. (2011). Clinical reasoning in the health professions (3rd ed.). NewYork, NY: Butterworth-Heinemann.

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

McAllister, L. & Lincoln, M. (2004) Clinical education in speech-language pathology. (Methods in speech andlanguage pathology series.) London: Whurr.

McAllister, L., Paterson, M., Higgs, J., & Bithell, C. (2010). Innovations in allied health fieldwork education: Acritical appraisal. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publications.

Partin Vinson, B., (2009). Workplace skills and professional issues in speech language pathology. San Diego, CA: Plural publishing.

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