Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


OTHY416 Professional Practice Education 3 OR OTHY401 Professional Practice Education 3

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Contemporary occupational therapists work in highly diverse health and disability environments and complex organisational systems. Graduating therapists must 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. Graduates must possess the professional knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviours to practise ethically and effectively in organisations and collaborative interprofessional teams. In this unit students learn about and reflect on concepts of leadership and management that influence organisational culture in health and community services and explore strengths, opportunities and challenges of various practice environments. 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.

The overall aim of this capstone unit is to consolidate the knowledge, skills attitudes and behaviours required for successful transition to work as an occupational therapist and to prepare students for the opportunities and rigours of interprofessional collaboration in the context of service delivery with people, families, and communities. 

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 - Evaluate and reflect on their own professional identity, ethics and career objectives within a complex practice environment (GA4, GA5).

LO2 – Analyse the impact of contemporary leadership and management styles, organisational culture, and teamwork on individual work performance (GA4, GA5, GA8).

LO3 - IPLO 5.2 Use reflexive practices to develop and evaluate strategies that optimise client centred interprofessional practice (GA4, GA5, GA8).

LO4 – Analyse and evaluate the impact of current drivers of change within the contemporary Australian health and disability sector which are relevant to occupational therapy services development, promotion, and stakeholders (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA10).

LO5 - Apply entry to practice professional knowledge, skills and attitudes, to propose strategies to drive innovation within the profession. (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA10).

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.

Australian Occupational Therapy Competency Standards (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

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

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

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, LO2, LO3, 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, LO2, 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, LO4, LO5

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, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5


Transition to Practice:

  • Professional reflexivity
  • Professional development, and lifelong learning
  • Cultural capability and health outcomes
  • Emotional intelligence in the workplace
  • Self-management and resilience 
  • Understanding your professional environment and governing bodies
  • Professional supervision and mentoring
  • Career planning and finding employment
  • Working in teams
  • Collaborative interprofessional practice
  • Working with stakeholders 

Understanding the broader service environment:

  • Australian occupational therapy competency standards 
  • Professional ethics, code of conduct and scope of practice 
  • Marketing and promotional strategies
  • Current drivers of change
  • Policy and funding models and influences on practice
  • Innovation in practice 
  • Organisational culture
  • Theories of Leadership and management
  • Quality assurance and accountability

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and teaching approaches for this unit will include lectures, tutorial discussion and self-directed learning and reflection. Consistent with adult learning principles, these modes of delivery will encourage students to consolidate their professional values, knowledge, skills, and attitudes in readiness to begin the transition to practice as reflexive occupational therapists. As final year students they will be expected to take responsibility for their own development, to participate in class discussion and activities and collaborate with their peers as active and independent learners, ready to apply their learning to real-life situations within the allied health environment.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessments will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with students about to register and commence occupational therapy practice. The assessment strategy for this unit includes a combination of two individual written assessments and a conference style group oral presentation. These assessment strategies reflect expected competencies of final year Bachelor of Occupational Therapy students and will challenge them to consider their place as an individual health professional within organisations, interprofessional teams and the broader health and disability practice environment. 

Assessment 1 requires students to generate an individual professional development plan to evaluate and reflect on their own professional identity to date, how they plan to self-manage and engage in continuing professional development to meet the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency & Australian Occupational Therapy Competency Standards. Assessment 2 prepares students to apply for occupational therapy jobs, demonstrate their understanding of current work environment expectations and of how organisations, team culture and related challenges can impact on individual work performance. Assessment 3 requires students to work in collaborative groups to assess current drivers of change within the contemporary Australian context and propose plans to bring innovation to the profession.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment 1

Individual written reflective paper and professional development plan enabling students to reflect on their professional development.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10

Assessment 2

Individual written paper and job application enabling students to prepare for contemporary practice.


LO1, LO2, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10

Assessment 3

Conference style group presentation enabling students to promote innovation within the profession.


LO3, LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10

Representative texts and references

Brown, Bourke-Taylor, H., Isbel, S., Cordier, R., & Gustafsson, L. (Eds). (2021). Occupational therapy in Australia: Professional and practice issues (2nd ed.). Routledge.

Kerridge, I., Lowe, M., Stewart, C. (2013). Ethics and law for the health professions (4th ed). The Federation Press.

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