Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


All OTHY3XX coded units

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Progressive high quality occupational therapy services require graduating therapists to work effectively with their managers and other health professionals, to plan their professional development and career in line with service requirements and their personal skill set, and to demonstrate leadership appropriate to the level of appointment. In this unit students learn about and reflect on concepts of leadership and management that influence organisational culture in health and community services. Students are encouraged to explore and demonstrate professional leadership, to reflect on their personal and professional skills, and to develop a professional development plan in preparation for their transition from student to graduate worker and beyond.


This unit contains a learning outcome from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework (HCF, 2014) specifically addressing the HCF cultural capability of Reflect.


The overall aim of this unit is to prepare students for the transition to work as an occupational therapist.  

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 - Generate and evaluate own professional development plan and career objectives within a critical and reflective framework (GA4, GA5)

LO2 - Analyse the use of political, economic, socio‑cultural, demographic and geographical influences on health and community services in organisational planning for occupational therapy services development and promotion (GA4, GA7, GA8, GA10)

LO3 - Describe and analyse the roles and organisational structures, of government, corporate sector and voluntary agencies in relation to health and community service delivery (GA4, GA7)

LO4 - Evaluate theories and characteristics of contemporary leadership and management styles, and their influence on organisation culture and individual work performance (GA4, GA5, GA8)

LO5 - HCF 11.3 Design practical strategies to enable ongoing self-reflexivity in a professional context (GA4, GA5)

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 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.

AOTCS 2018

Australian occupational therapy competency standards (AOTCS) 2018, developed in this unit are:

Standard/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

Standard 1 - Professionalism 

An occupational therapist practises in an ethical, safe, lawful and accountable manner, supporting client health and wellbeing through occupation and consideration of the person and their environment.

An occupational therapist:

1.1 Complies with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia's standards, guidelines and Code of conduct

1.2. Adheres to legislation relevant to practice

1.9. Identifies and manages the influence of her/his values and culture on practice

1.5. Practises in a culturally responsive and culturally safe manner, with particular respect to culturally diverse client groups

1.6. Incorporates and responds to historical, political, cultural, societal, environmental and economic factors influencing health, wellbeing and occupations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

1.10. Practises within limits of her/his own level of competence and expertise

1.11. Maintains professional competence and adapts to change in practice contexts

1.12. Identifies and uses relevant professional and operation support and supervision

1.13. Manages resources, time and workload accountably and effectively

1.14. Recognises and manages her/his own physical and mental health for safe, professional practice

1.16. Contribute to education and professional practice development of peers and students

1.17. Recognises and manages any inherent power imbalance in relationships with clients

LO1, LO4, LO5

Standard 2 - Knowledge and learning 

An occupational therapist’s knowledge, skills and behaviours in practice are informed by relevant and contemporary theory, practice knowledge and evidence, and are maintained and developed by ongoing professional development and learning.

An occupational therapist:

2.3. Identifies and applies best available evidence in professional practice and decision-making.

2.6. Maintains and improves currency of knowledge, skills and new evidence for practice by adhering to the requirements for continuing professional development

2.7. Implements a specific learning and development plan when moving to a new area of practice or returning to practice

2.8. Reflects on practice to inform current and future reasoning and decision- making and the integration of theory and evidence into practice.

2.9. Maintains knowledge of relevant resources and technologies,

2.10. Maintains digital literacy for practice. 

LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5

Standard 3 - Occupational therapy process and practice 

An occupational therapist’s practice acknowledges the relationship between health, wellbeing and human occupation, and their practice is client-centred for individuals, groups, communities and populations.

An occupational therapist:

3.7. Reflects on practice to inform and communicate professional reasoning and decision-making

3.8. Identifies and uses practice guidelines and protocols suitable to the practice setting or work environment

3.11. Evaluates client and service outcomes to inform future practice

3.12. Uses effective collaborative, multidisciplinary and interprofessional approaches for decision-making and planning

3.14. Contributes to quality improvement and service development

LO1, LO2, LO3

Standard 4 – Communication

Occupational therapists practise with open, responsive and appropriate communication to maximise the occupational performance and engagement of clients and relevant others.


An occupational therapist:

4.1. Communicates openly, respectfully and effectively

4.2. Adapts written, verbal and non-verbal communication appropriate to the client and practice context   

4.4. Uses culturally responsive, safe and relevant communication tools and strategies

4.5. Complies with legal and procedural requirements for the responsible and accurate documentation, sharing and storage of professional information and records of practice.

4.8. Maintains collaborative professional relationships with clients, health professionals and relevant others

4.9. Uses effective communication skills to initiate and end relationships with clients and relevant others   

4.10. Seeks and responds to feedback, modifying communication and/or practice accordingly

LO1, LO4


Transition to Practice

  • Understanding oneself as a professional
  • Professional development and lifelong learning
  • Cultural self and health care
  • Emotional intelligence in the workplace
  • Applying for and getting a job
  • Understanding your professional environment
  • Governing bodies
  • Mentoring and supervision
  • Competencies
  • Ethics
  • Workplace supervision
  • Managing your workload


Considerations in service management

  • Finance and resource management
  • Service Planning
  • Policy
  • Quality assurance and accountability
  • Working in government, corporate sector and voluntary agencies
  • Demographic and geographic influences in service development and delivery
  • Marketing
  • Human resources
  • Decision‑making


Health and community organisations

  • Organisational culture
  • Motivation
  • Leadership and management
  • Working in teams

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and Teaching approaches included in this unit were developed in collaboration with First Peoples’ Cultural Advisors. Teaching and learning approaches for this unit will include lectures, tutorials, case based and self-directed learning. Consistent with adult learning principles, the teaching and learning approcahes used within these modes of delivery will aid in students constructing knowledge and will apply to real-life situations of allied health management and leadership. Students should be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively within group activities, demonstrating respect for the individual as an independent learner.


Lectures will provide a framework for the content of this unit and situate it within the occupational therapy context as well as the context of transitioning from a student to a new graduate occupational therapist. The tutorials will provide an opportunity for experiential learning to further develop an understanding of professional leadership and their own professional development. Experiential learning in this unit is an important aspect for learning about the professional processes that will take place through the transition from student to new graduate. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment approaches in this unit were developed in collaboration with First Peoples’ Cultural Advisors. In order to meet learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, students will complete three assessments.


A professional development plan is formed in assignment 1. This assignment facilitates students to individually create a vision statement and articulate values and goals based on their personal strengths and interests. Students will need to outline a strategy for how each goal will be achieved. Students are required to use academic literature to describe the importance of a professional development plan generally.


Assignment two prepares students to commence the process of applying for occupational therapy jobs. Students are required to identify suitable jobs that are advertised at the time of completing the subject. They are also required to prepare a detailed application including a rationale for how their skill set matches what is required, a well-written cover letter and address all key selection criteria. In the final part of the assignment, students need to identify key ‘job ready’ skills that employers are more likely to seek in new graduate therapists. Students need to articulate why these are valued by different organisations.


In the final assignment students will form groups within their tutorial groups to focus on the promotion of occupational therapy.. Students are encouraged to present ideas through creative mediums which would be suitable to publish on social media during occupational therapy week. This assessment consolidates students team work skills in the context of the leadership and management.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Individual written paper: Development of a professional development plan which includes professional values, goals and strategies 


LO1, LO5

GA4, GA5

Individual written paper: Identification of suitable jobs in which occupational therapy graduates have a matched skill set, preparation of a detailed job application and identification of job ready skills required of new graduate occupational therapists.


LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10

Group written paper and group presentation.


LO1, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8

Representative texts and references

Ledlow, G.R., & Copola, M.N. (2011). Leadership for health professionals: Theory, skills and applications. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC.


Liebler, J., & McConnell, C. (2011). Management principles for health professionals (6th ed). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC.


Rigolosi, E. L. (2005). Management and leadership in nursing and health care (2nd ed). NY: Springer Publishing Co Ltd.

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