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NUTR604 Practice Placement 2

Unit rationale, description and aim

In this final full-time practice placement unit students will be provided with the opportunity to take a tangible step towards their dietetics career path. Students will be expected to demonstrate consolidation of theoretical and practical learning through practising competently in a placement environment of interest. In addition, this unit will support students to present completed work in a conference format where students will be expected to prepare an abstract for consideration by the student-led conference organising committee and then submit work of a publishable standard. Students will also be expected to establish a relationship with a mentor and construct a plan for ongoing professional development following completion of their course. This unit aims to support students to demonstrate final competence required for entry-level practice as a dietitian, and who are ready to enter the workforce.

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 - Consistently demonstrate the dietetic practice attributes, abilities, and skills for professional practice (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO2 - Demonstrate an advanced solution-focused approach to food and nutrition-related problems in practice (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO3 - Prepare and present on work at a professional, publishable standard (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

Graduate attributes

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 

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

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

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


This unit includes topics related to the development and demonstration of professional dietetic practice and competence according to the Accreditation Standards of Dietitians Australia. These are described under the heading ‘Building professional dietetic practice’ in each unit outline and build on topics delivered synchronously and progressively throughout the degree. Students will have opportunities for collecting evidence of competence in these areas.

Building professional dietetic practice

  • reflection and evaluation of practice, peer support and assessment
  • acknowledges, reflects and understands own values, beliefs, attitudes, biases and assumptions privilege and power, at the individual and systems level, and their influence on practice
  • scope of practice and standards of care, codes of conduct
  • continuing professional development
  • attributes (empathy, flexibility, adaptability, resilience, ethical, respectful, demonstrates integrity, honesty, fairness, critical thinker)
  • workload and time management, prioritising workload
  • excellence of practice
  • feedback cycles
  • client-centred approach to practice
  • digital literacy/technological proficiency
  • culturally safe and responsive practice (requiring emotional, spiritual and cultural intelligence)
  • active listening, interpersonal and interviewing skills
  • collaboration and communication skills with stakeholders
  • systematically acquires, evaluates and applies findings into practice
  • appropriate decision-making
  • critical, proactive problem-solving approach to practice
  • reflection of own personal health and wellbeing
  • communication skills for conflict resolution
  • taking responsibility for own actions
  • documenting in accordance with accepted industry standards
  • resource, team worker, leader
  • appropriate nutrition diagnoses/decision-making
  • client-centred approach to practice
  • peer education, sharing new knowledge
  • competent practising dietitian - consolidation

Expanding the role of the dietitian

This unit requires the completion of 30 days of placement and participation in 4-day student-lead conference. Content delivery is arranged as required to support these placements and the underpinning theoretical components. This content includes:

Project planning

  • Conference’ organisation
  • Conference presentation skills

Lifelong learning, supervision, and mentor-mentee

Both professional practice and performance will be directed by the university and the appointed placement supervisor at the host organisation, through a pre-defined and monitored set of criteria which encompass:

  • ability to perform elements of individual case management of clients, completion of defined project or project element/s, or other defined placement activity
  • professional practices/attributes to be demonstrated whilst undertaking the experience
  • ability to seek, respond to and provide feedback from clients (carers etc.) the healthcare team, the community, other stakeholders, and supervisors
  • overall student performance throughout the placement

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The unit theory will be delivered prior to practice placement. The placement component of this unit will be delivered intensively over 6 weeks. Work related to major assessments from this placement will be presented at the end of semester during ‘conference week’. The learning and teaching strategy adopted aligns with the sequencing of the learning outcomes and consists of three interlinked stages that are designed to provide students with a rich learning experience. The unit begins with approaches designed to support further consolidation of specialist knowledge in project planning as students complete preliminary planning for their final ‘conference week’ that will take place at the end of the teaching and placement period. Following this, students will complete their final practice placement, reflection and professional practice portfolio, before participating in the conference planning and participation. The approaches used to facilitate students’ learning include online modules and face-face workshops, practice placement and conference. Overall, the approaches used in this unit have a constructively aligned developmental sequence designed to progressively, and logically, support students learning in ways that maximise the perceived (and actual) relevance and value of each stage. As an overarching strategy, this is expected to engender high levels of engagement, efficiency, and effectiveness in students’ study behaviours, and to maximise their learning achievements. This strategy and approaches will allow students to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit. Learning and teaching approaches will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively in learning activities.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In this unit, three assessment tasks are sequenced to progressively support students learning in alignment with the learning and teaching strategy. A range of assessment strategies are used in ways that support the developmental sequence of the learning and teaching strategy. The first assessment is an extension of their professional practice portfolio where in addition to continuing to collect evidence of their competence to practice where required, they will reflect on their supervisor's final assessment of their placement, and articulate plans for lifelong learning, supervision and their mentoring plan required to become a Provisional Accredited Practising Dietitian. the second and third assessment tasks bring together their learning during their practice placement in the form of a major case study associated related to the practice placement. The second assessment task takes the form of a detailed submission of the case study and assessment three the presentation in conference format of that case study. There are two ungraded hurdle requirements for this unit, completion of 30 days of placement and attendance participation at the end of semester conference. Combined, these assessment tasks will allow unit coordinators to assess students’ demonstration of the learning outcomes and attainment of graduate attributes.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment 1

Professional practice portfolio

Enables students to gather evidence to demonstrate competence to practice, and critically reflect on supervisor’s report of placement.


LO1, LO2

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment 2

Multimedia case study assessment task

Enables students to demonstrate their advanced ability to plan and implement interventions to improve food and nutrition-related health.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment 3

Multimedia assessment task

Enable students to demonstrate their ability to synthesis, prepare and present their work at a publishable standard.


LO2, LO3

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Ungraded hurdles

Completion of 30 days of placement


LO1, LO2

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Participation at student-lead conference



GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Bauer, K. D., Liou, D. & Sokolik, C. A. (2020). Nutrition Counselling and Education Skill Development. 4th Ed. Cengage Learning, Wadsworth, USA.

Ex Ordo. (2020). The No-Panic Guide to Organising a Great Research Conference.

Gandy, J. Ed. (2019). Manual of Dietetic Practice. 6th Edition. Wiley, UK.

Stewart. R. (2020). Handbook of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics. 6th Ed. Nutrition Care Professionals Pty. Ltd. Australia.

Stewart, R., Vivanti, A. & Myers, E. (2016). Nutrition Care and Process Terminology. Nutrition Care Professionals Pty. Ltd. Australia.

Theobald, T. (2019). Develop your Presentation Skills. 4th Ed. Creating Success, UK.

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