Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


SPHY200 Neuroscience Speech Pathology AND SPHY201 Language Disorders (Developmental) AND SPHY202 Language Disorders (Acquired) AND SPHY203 Speech Pathology Practice 2A AND SPHY204 Speech Disorders (Developmental) AND SPHY205 Motor Speech Disorders (Acquired) AND SPHY207 Speech Pathology Practice 2B

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit is the fourth of seven Professional Practice units in the Bachelor of Speech Pathology. In this unit students must develop the speech pathology competencies of reasoning, communication, life-long learning and professionalism to an intermediate level of competency under the supervision of ACU staff and Professional Practice Educators.

This unit also provides students with an opportunity to develop and demonstrate competency in the adult range of practice areas across the Competency based Occupational standards of assessment, analysis and interpretation, and the planning, and implementation of intervention (CBOS units 1-4); skills essential for entry into the profession.

Specifically, students will explore increasingly complex adult case scenarios, where a higher level of integration and application of knowledge is required. Students will progress towards being more independent in their professional practice skills, attitudes and knowledge, as well as further developing their identity and competence as a speech pathologist.

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 the Speech Pathology Australia Competency based Occupational Standards generic competency Professionalism to intermediate level (GA5, GA7, GA8)

LO2 - Demonstrate progression of the Speech Pathology Australia Competency based Occupational Standards generic competencies of Reasoning, Communication and Learning from novice towards intermediate level. (GA4, GA9)

LO3 - Analyse, plan, implement, and evaluate evidence based speech pathology practice for an adult population utilizing the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9)

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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

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


The Speech Pathologist as a professional

  • Professional communication skills (extended)
  • Clinical reasoning, professionalism and lifelong learning across the adult range of practice areas  

The Speech Pathologist and practice

  • Introduction to adult service settings and service models
  • Requirements for the transition from novice to intermediate level of speech pathology competency 
  • Transferability of skills from paediatric to adult professional practice environments
  • Application of the ICF to facilitate activity, participation, and quality of life across adult range of practice areas
  • Introduction to comorbidity within the adult range of practice areas 
  • Consideration of client, clinician, and contextual factors in planning and implementing evidence based adult client management

The Speech Pathologist and community

  • Person-centred care (adults) 
  • Advocating for the adult client
  • Advocating for the profession within adult service settings

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Professional practice learning and experiences can occur in a variety of contexts and modalities. This unit is based on a blended learning approach to closely replicate a ‘real world’ environment and the inherent breadth of working as a health professional. The unit consists of 150 hours of professional practice inclusive of face-to-face lectures and tutorials, online learning modules, workshops, simulations, external professional practice experiences, and self-directed investigations. 

This unit provides an opportunity for students to apply their theoretical knowledge to real-life and simulated situations whilst reflecting on and developing their professional identity, confidence and competence. University-based activities prepare students for their external professional practice experiences in a facilitated and supportive peer learning environment, scaffolding students’ readiness for future workplace experiences, while off-site activities ensure students are able to integrate new learning into less predictable environments.

Students will be exposed to a range of client presentations and professional practice scenarios, enabling diversity within the experiences of the cohort. Class based activities will ensure that students can share these disparities with one another, providing opportunities for interdisciplinary learning and practice using professional language across a range of practice areas, whilst furthering students’ understanding of their role and professional identity.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In this unit students demonstrate their learning and competency development through a series of professional practice activities which include individual and small group tasks, online and face-to-face learning modules, simulations, external activities, peer learning and self-directed investigations. 

The unit is assessed cumulatively, in that students must satisfactorily complete each component of the unit and reflect each week on how one week’s components have built on the last. Student reflections are a hurdle requirement and are submitted as part of the Professional Practice Portfolio. 

Professional Practice Portfolio: The Professional Practice Portfolio is a progressive document, in that it is submitted several times throughout the course, providing students with formative feedback and the ability to track their development of competence. Whilst it is a hurdle, submission alone is not sufficient. Inclusions must be accurate and demonstrate progression of competency across a range of practice areas when compared to SPHY207 (Professional Practice 2B), particularly in the adult range of practice areas. Students are also required to ensure that all mandatory documentation is current and complete, to ensure eligibility for professional practice experiences. 

Professional Practice: Students are formally introduced to the Competency based Occupational Standards (CBOS) during this unit and are assessed against the CBOS across all tasks undertaken in the unit. Students are provided with formative feedback throughout the unit by their PPE or staff and also provide self-reflections on their progress using both the Competency Assessment in Speech Pathology (COMPASS) tool (SPA, 2006) and their reflection documents. At the completion of the unit, students must have shown consistent progression in their competency development, and be demonstrating skills that are near to intermediate level. Specifically students must perform at intermediate level on the generic competency of professionalism and be rated as performing at intermediate level on at least four of the following; reasoning, communication, lifelong learning (professional competencies), assessment, analysis and interpretation, planning intervention, or implementing intervention (CBOS units 1-4).  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Professional Practice Portfolio: 

Provides sufficient and accurate evidence of claimed competency development across the range of practice areas against CBOS.

Reflections are a mandatory inclusion


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8,  GA9

Completion of Professional Practice including;

  • Completion of mandatory tasks
  • a Pass grade on COMPASS, showing overall progression towards the intermediate zone, and individual COMPASS ratings consistent with the requirements of each Professional or CBOS unit rating


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8,  GA9

Representative texts and references

McAllister, S., Lincoln, M., Ferguson, A. & McAllister, L. (2013) (2nd ed) COMPASS®: Competency 

assessment in speech pathology technical manual. Melbourne: Speech Pathology Australia, p. 1-2.

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

Speech Pathology Australia. (2011). Competency-based occupational standards for speech 

pathologists revised. Retrieved 19 February 2021 from Speech Pathology Competency Based Standards (CBOS)

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

World Health Organisation (2012). International classification of functioning, disability and health: International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health

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