Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


OTHY401 Professional Practice Education 3 OR OTHY416 Professional Practice Education 3

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Occupational therapists apply professional reasoning to enable them to enhance their clients' health, well-being and occupational participation. Their reasoning draws upon an ability to apply existing professional skills, knowledge and attitudes, and find best available evidence. Therapists need an ability to identify gaps in their knowledge and skills and to efficiently seek and gather relevant information to address those gaps required for effective practice. Students will work in a small group with their peers, using enquiry-based learning methods to practise assimilating the skills, knowledge, attitudes and evidence-based practice skills they have accumulated over the course of their degree. They will also seek new information to address their knowledge gaps. They will apply these in addressing complex case scenarios drawn from contemporary clinical practice. These scenarios are directly transferable to students' transition to real-world practice and beyond. Learning and assessment in this unit is linked to and supports the practice experience undertaken within the unit OTHY405. This unit contains learning outcomes from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework (HCF, 2014) specifically addressing the HCF cultural capabilities Reflect and Advocate.

The overarching aim of this capstone unit is to equip students with life-long learning strategies they can use during their transition to occupational therapy practice.

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 - Apply entry to practice level professional knowledge and synthesis skills to research, design and justify collaborative, person-centred, occupationally focused and evidence-informed occupational therapy with individuals, organizations and/or populations (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA10)

LO2 - Use valid measurement of key person, environment and occupational issues and service outcomes to match occupational therapy information needs (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8)

LO3 - Apply entry to practice skills in critical evaluation and reflection on their professional reasoning applied to occupational therapy practice scenarios (GA4, GA5)

LO4 - HCF 11.3 Design practical strategies to enable ongoing self-reflexivity in a professional context (GA4, GA5)

LO5 - HCF 12.3. Develop strategies for mitigating the potential challenges of different cultural values and behaviours between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and mainstream health care practice (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6)

LO6 - HCF 17.3. Advocate for equitable health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6)

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 

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 

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

1.3. maintains professional boundaries in all client and professional relationships

1.4. Recognises and manages conflicts of interest in all client and professional relationships

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

1.7 collaborates and consults ethically and responsibly for effective client-centred and interprofessional practice

1.8. adheres to all work health and safety, and quality requirements for practice

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 operational 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

1.15. addresses issues of occupational justice in practice

1.16. contributes to education and professional practice development of peers and students, and

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

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

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:

2.1 applies current and evidence-informed knowledge of occupational therapy and other appropriate and relevant theory in practice

2.2 applies theory and frameworks of occupation to professional practice and decision-making

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

2.4. understands and responds to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health philosophies, leadership, research and practices

2.5. maintains current knowledge for cultural responsiveness to all groups in the practice setting

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, and

2.10. maintains digital literacy for practice.

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

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:

3.1 addresses occupational performance and participation of clients, identifying the enablers and barriers to engagement

3.2 performs appropriate information gathering and assessment when identifying a client's status and functioning, strengths, occupational performance and goals

3.3 collaborates with the client and relevant others to determine the priorities and occupational therapy goals

3.4 develops a plan with the client and relevant others to meet identified occupational therapy goals

3.5 selects and implements culturally responsive and safe practice strategies to suit the occupational therapy goals and environment of the client

3.6. seeks to understand and incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples· experiences of health, wellbeing and occupations encompassing cultural connections

3.7 reflects on practice to inform and communicate professional reasoning and decisionmaking

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

3.9 implements an effective and accountable process for delegation, referral and handover

3.10 reviews, evaluates and modifies plans, goals and interventions with the client and relevant others to enhance or achieve client outcomes

3.11 evaluates client and service outcomes to inform future practice

3.12 uses effective collaborative, multidisciplinary and inter-professional approaches for decision-making and planning

3.13 uses appropriate assistive technology, devices and/or environmental modifications to achieve client occupational performance outcomes

3.14 contributes to quality improvement and service development

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

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

4.3 works ethically with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations to understand and incorporate relevant cultural protocols and communication strategies, with the aim of working to support self-governance in communities

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.

4.6 maintains contemporaneous, accurate and complete records of practice.

4.7 obtains informed consent for practice and information-sharing from the client or legal guardian

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

4.9 uses effective communication skill s to initiate and end relationships with clients and relevant others

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

4.11 identifies and articulates the rationale for practice to clients and relevant others

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6


Topics will include:

  • Therapeutic use of self
  • Reflective practice
  • Evidence based practice
  • Professional and clinical Reasoning
  • Service delivery models
  • Measuring outcomes-client and service level
  • Interdisciplinary practice and team work
  • Local and global influences on practice
  • Integrating conceptual and practice models into everyday practice
  • Culturally safe and responsive practice for First Peoples 
  • Enquiry based thinking processes

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Teaching and learning strategies for this unit will include a combination of lectures, practical sessions and enquiry based learning methods using complex scenarios. As adult learners, students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning and to participate actively within group activities. This learning strategy has been chosen for this unit as it enables students to refine their skills in using existing professional knowledge and skills and reflexive practices, identifying their own further learning needs, and efficiently undertake new learning using self-directed means. Learning and Teaching approaches included in this unit were developed in collaboration with First Peoples’ Cultural Advisors and include tutorial co-facilitation by cultural mentors.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. The assessment strategy for this unit includes a combination of individual written assessment, group oral presentation, and a conference-style written and oral poster presentation. These assessment strategies reflect expected capabilities of final year Bachelor of Occupational Therapy students as well as expected skills of graduate occupational therapists. Assessment approaches in this unit were developed in collaboration with First Peoples’ Cultural Advisors.

Assessment 1 is a graded hurdle as it tests students' achievement of LO4 which is not addressed in other assessments in this unit. Students will have one further attempt at a graded hurdle if a pass grade of 50% for the assessment is not achieved on the first attempt.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment 1: Individual written and oral assignment.

This requires students to submit a written reflection and oral personal statement about their own journey towards developing cultural capabilities for leadership in advocating for change towards equitable health care for First Peoples.


Graded Hurdle

LO4, LO6

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6

Assessment 2: Group oral presentations.

This requires students to demonstrate their ability to orally present a reasoned response/intervention plan related to issues contained in a practice scenario.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5, LO6

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA10

Assessment 3: Poster presentation.

This requires students to convey, in written and oral format, outcomes from a project designed to enhance evidence-informed, person centred and occupationally based practices (connected to OTHY405).


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, 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.

Higgs, J., Jensen, G., Loftus, S., Christensen, N. (2018). Clinical Reasoning in the Health Professions (4th ed). Elsevier.

Hoffman, T., Bennett, S., Del Mar, C. (2017). Evidence Based Practice across the health professions (3rd ed). Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.

University of Queensland. (n.d.) Facilitating student clinical reasoning on placement. Retrieved from

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