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SPHY305 Speech Pathology Practice 3B

Unit rationale, description and aim

Graduates need to be well prepared for entry into the workplace with a sound understanding of expectations and processes. Speech pathologists are required to understand and comply with workplace systems, policies, legislation, regulations, guidelines and codes of conduct, including professional guidelines. Furthermore, speech pathologists must consider implications for client services and advocate appropriately for the needs and rights of people with communication and/or swallowing disorders. Workplaces will vary in their purpose, client population, facilities, context, service delivery strategies, pace, work hours and conditions.

Employers seek graduates with professional and personal skills, attributes, and attitudes that will enable them to be successful in their workplace. Graduates need to possess a clear understanding of their own work readiness and how to seek and obtain employment. Graduates with poor work readiness are at risk of undue stress, low job satisfaction and unsatisfactory performance. It is therefore relevant to explore work readiness to prepare speech pathology graduates for successful work entry.

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

This unit aims to prepare students to work in a variety of settings by developing their understanding of workplaces, professional expectations and how to negotiate job recruitment processes.

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 - Critically reflect on, and articulate professional and occupational competencies and personal values and attributes as they relate to professional job seeking. (GA5, GA9)

LO2 - Apply knowledge of workplace environments that support health and wellbeing to job seeking and service development. (GA2, GA4, GA9)

LO3 - Demonstrate critical thinking and innovation to problem-solve a speech pathology service need with consideration of relevant policies, practices, and guidelines from regulating bodies. (GA2, GA6, GA9)

LO4 - HCF 3.3* Design strategies for delivering culturally safe health care with respect to individual, cultural and linguistic diversity. (GA5) *Reference:

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

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

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


Topics will include:

The peak professional body for speech pathologists in Australia: Speech Pathology Australia

  • Membership benefits
  • Position statements
  • Clinical guidelines
  • Resources for members
  • Professional standards
  • Ethics

Caseload management and service delivery

  • Service delivery models
  • Teamwork and interprofessional practice
  • Decision-making
  • Inequities
  • Advocacy
  • Culturally responsive practice

Workplace settings: Purpose, scope and policies of sectors employing speech pathologists across Australian jurisdictions and contexts

  • Health
  • Education
  • Disability
  • Private Practice
  • Rural and Remote

Workplace, practices, guidelines and standards

  • Attributes and skills required by employers
  • Hierarchies and administrative structures
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Bullying, discrimination and harassment
  • Awards and unions

Work Readiness

  • The concept of work readiness
  • Measurement and evaluation of work readiness
  • Work readiness as a self-reflective, self-management process

Job seeking processes and career development

  • Job applications
  • Job interviews
  • Negotiating conditions

Positive workplace environments

  • Characteristics
  • Strategies for creating positivity
  • Strategies for dealing with difficult people/situations

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit applies a flexible, blended learning approach to accommodate the varied placement schedules of fourth year students. Students will engage with content from a variety of sources including input from industry partners, published literature and government and organizational websites. Interactive learning sessions will be available in face to face and online modes. Students will be guided to consider application of workplace and work readiness concepts to self and others; and the purpose and nature of key service delivery sectors in Australia.

The unit involves 150 hours of learning inclusive of a combination of face-to-face and online delivery, interactive and independent learning, and assessment tasks.

Assessment strategy and rationale

This unit adopts an authentic assessment approach by requiring students to demonstrate knowledge and application of professional workplace and service delivery parameters, work readiness, self-management and job-seeking processes. The assessment strategies for this unit include two individual assignments with written and oral components and a group presentation.

Authentic individual tasks with both written and oral components will require students to demonstrate their ability to write a job application and participate in an interview.

Assessment 1 will require students to respond to an advertised position and consider how their personal attributes, experiences and work readiness relate to the job and person description, and their use of culturally safe practices. Learning outcomes 1 and 4 will be assessed in this task.

Assessment 2 will require students to reflect on their personal work readiness and preferred work environment, to negotiate suitable employment conditions and respond to questions about service development. The negotiation of employment conditions will be in response to a mock job offer which presents some challenges for self and the common good. Learning outcomes 1, 2 and 3 will be assessed in this task.

Assessment 3 will provide opportunity for students to collaboratively develop a proposal for a new or alternative speech pathology service and present it as a pitch to a service manager. Students will need to consider health and wellbeing of staff and culturally safe service provision for both Australia’s First Peoples and migrant populations in responding to a service need. Service development is rarely a solo task but will synthesise contributions from a team of developers. The assessment will thus require individuals to demonstrate how they have contributed to each phase of project development. Learning outcomes 2, 3 and 4 will be assessed in this task.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment 1: Individual written task - Applying for a Job.

This enables students to apply for a speech pathology position through a written application.


LO1, LO4

GA5, GA9

CBOS Alignment


5.1, 5.3, 5.5, 5.6,

6.1, 6.2,

7.1, 7.2


1.2, 1.3,

2.1, 2.2,

3.1. 3.3, 4.2, 4.4,

Assessment 2: Individual oral task - Job interview.

This enables students to reflect on their personal work readiness, participate in an interview and negotiate suitable employment conditions.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA2, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA9

CBOS Alignment


5.1, 5.3, 5.5, 5.6

6.1, 6.2

7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4



2.1, 2.3,

3.1, 3.2, 3.4,

4.2, 4.4, 4.5

Assessment 3: Group oral presentation task - Service Development.

This enables students to demonstrate capacity to develop a new or extended service development proposal within a small team, with consideration of relevant guidelines.


LO2, LO3, LO4

GA2, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA9

CBOS Alignment


5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.8,

6.1, 6.2,


1.1, 1.2, 1.3,

2.2, 2.3,


4.1, 4.3, 4.4

Representative texts and references

Australian Government. Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. (n.d). Quality Standards.

Australian Government. (n.d.). Students with disability.

Caballero, C., Walker, A., & Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, M. (2011). The Work Readiness Scale (WRS): Developing a measure to assess work readiness in college graduates. Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 2(2), 41-54.

Keleher, H., & Reynolds, L. (2019). Understanding the Australian Health Care System (4th ed.). Elsevier.

National Disability Insurance Agency. (n.d.). National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Speech Pathology Australia. (n.d.). Practice guidelines.

Speech Pathology Australia. (n.d.). Code of Ethics 2020.

Speech Pathology Australia. (n.d.). Position statements.

Speech Pathology Australia. (n.d.). Private practice essentials.

Workplace and policy websites for federal and state government departments, non-government organisations and private practice.

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