Practice Education for Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists

Welcome to the Practice Education Pages for Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy.  It includes guidance documents and training opportunities for practitioners supporting our Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy students during their placement.

 

Courses follow the same pathway and therefore all information is relevant to both professions, unless specifically stated. This page provides an overview of the information you need to support students on practice placements and is separated into five sections: 

Placement Dates

Here at the University of Worcester, our BSc students follow a part-time placement programme in years 1 & 2. This enables a greater integration of theory and practice at the start of their course, whilst also providing opportunities for part time staff to become Practice Educators. It also enables a higher level of support for both student and Practice Educator. Students experience more hours each year until third year, when they undertake 2 x full-time placements.  Pre-registration MSc students follow a full-time placement programme.

BSc placements are aligned to facilitate peer support and we would encourage you to consider offering a third year and first (or second year) together to maximise your time and reap the rewards of peer learning.  For continuity, our MSc placements have been designed to “fill the gaps” providing a near-continuous flow of students throughout the year.  This supports services whose design is inclusive of student placement provision.

We are happy to consider offers on a placement-by-placement basis, or for a period of time which enables us to allocate students more efficiently.

Placement Dates Academic Year 2021/22

 

1st Year (BSc)

Placement 1 (part-time) 

Academic Year 2021 - 22

  • 10 weeks from 19th January to 25th March 2022
  • Wednesday to Friday - 19 hours per week
  • 190 hours total

2nd Year (BSc) 

Academic Year 2021 - 22

Placement 2 (full-time) 

  • 10 weeks from 27th September to 1st December 2021
  • Monday to Wednesday - 19 hours per week
  • 190 hours total

Placement 3 (part-time)

  • 10 weeks from 17th January to 23rd March 2022
  • Monday to Wednesday - 19 hours per week
  • 190 hours total

3rd Year (BSc)

Academic Year 2021 - 22

Placement 4 (full-time) 

  • 8 weeks from 13th September to 5th November 2021
  • Monday to Friday 34 hours per week (1/2 day per week study leave)
  • 272 hours total

Placement 5 (part-time)

  • 8 weeks from 17th January to 11th March 2022
  • Monday to Friday  34 hours per week (1/2 day per week study leave)
  • 272 hours total 

1st Year (MSc)

Placement 1 (full time)

  • 6 weeks from 8th November – 17th December 2021
  • Monday to Friday 34 hours per week (1/2 day per week study leave)
  • 204 hours total

Placement 2 (full time) 

  • 8 weeks from 25th April – 17th June 2022
  • Monday to Friday 34 hours per week (1/2 day per week study leave)
  • 272 hours total 

 

2nd Year (MSc)

  •  MSc year 2 will commence in July 2022 – dates to be confirmed

A calendar for the placement dates 2021-22 is available to download.

We also require summer placements from May onwards for 5 or 8 weeks for students who are unable to complete their part time placement.

Make a placement offer by completing this form, and this placement profile, and sending it to therapyplacements@worc.ac.uk stating whether you are offering to Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists or both.

Practice Educator Training

All Practice Educator training is currently taking place remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic.  You will require access to a web browser and either webcam or phone line.  We hope to return to in-person training from the end of September 2021.  You will be notified of the method of delivery a minimum of 2 weeks before the course is due to take place. 

Please read the details of available training options to enable you to choose the correct training. If you are in any doubt please contact therapyplacements@worc.ac.uk and we will advise you.

'First Time Practice Educator Training' is applicable if you have not previously undertaken training as a Practice Educator, or if you have not acted as a Practice Educator for students in the last five years.

If you HAVE attended Practice Educator training at another University, we are happy to accept this but would kindly request that you book on a 'Worcester Way' training as soon as you are able to ensure that you are clear about the assessment process.

If you completed one of the training routes above and have acted as a Practice Educator for students in the last 2 years, we ask you to book a place on one of our 'Practice Educator Update Training' sessions every 2 years.

 

First time practice educators training

We are delighted to invite you to the University of Worcester to develop your skills as a Practice Educator amongst colleagues from different Trusts and Organisations.

In line with teaching methods employed with our students, we do require you to undertake a small amount of pre-reading before you attend the course.This enables our sessions to be more interactive and limits time spent in didactic teaching. The pre-reading & course preparation should not take you more than 30 minutes to complete but we do ask that you ensure that you have done this before attending.

We do not routinely provided printed course materials, however you are welcome to print your own to use during your training session if you prefer.

Our 2 day training introduces any Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist, who has never had a student before or not had a student for some time, to becoming a Practice Educator.There is no minimum length of time since registration required to undertake this training.

Learning Outcomes include:

  • Describe the role and critically evaluate the attributes of an effective practice educator

  • Critically apply learning theories that are appropriate for adult and professional learners

  • Plan effective strategies to implement and facilitate learning in the practice placement setting

  • Apply sound principles and judgement in the assessment of performance in the practice placement setting

  • Critically reflect on and evaluate the quality of practice education learning 

  • Critically reflect on experience and formulate action plans to improve future practice

Dates

  • 8 and 22 September 2021

  • 12 and 26 January 2022

  • 15 and 29 June 2022

All training takes place between 9.30 - 16.30

Booking information

Please note that whilst we do not charge for training, we do expect delegates to take a student as soon as practicable after their training. Please consider this before booking and ensure that you have this conversation with your manager before attending.  If you anticipate particular difficulty with this, please contact the team on therapyplacements@worc.ac.uk for an informal discussion.

Please book your place online and download pre-reading here.

 

The Worcester Way (for new Worcester practice educators trained elsewhere)

Worcester Way training can be arranged within your workplace for 10 or more colleagues.If this is not possible, we are delighted to invite you to the University of Worcester to develop your skills as a Practice Educator amongst colleagues from different Trusts and Organisations.

In order to reduce the amount of information delivered in a didactic manner (and therefore increase your engagement and enjoyment), we do require you to undertake a small amount of pre-reading before you attend the course. This basic course information should not take you more than 30 minutes to complete but we do ask that you ensure that you have done this before attending.

We do not routinely provided printed course materials, however you are welcome to print your own to use during your training session if you prefer.

This training is for Educators who are experienced in providing placements but new to the Worcester course and includes:

  • Assessment and documentation

  • Expectations of a student on placement

  • Managing the hours of the placement

  • A summary of the academic subjects covered by students

Dates

  • 15 September 2021

  • 11 January 2022

  • 14 June 2022

All training takes place between 9.00 - 13.00

Booking information

Please note that whilst we do not charge for training, we do expect delegates to take a student as soon as practicable after their training.  Please consider this before booking and ensure that you have this conversation with your manager before attending.  If you anticipate particular difficulty with this, please contact the team on therapyplacements@worc.ac.uk for an informal discussion.

Please book your place online and download pre-reading here

 

Practice educator update training

In line with the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and Chartered Society of Physiotherapy legislation, Practice Educators are required to attend update training regularly. The University of Worcester recommends that training is attended every two years and may not be able to place students with Practice Educators who have not completed this training.

Whilst you only need to update every other year, you are welcome to book on one of these per year to maintain and develop your skills.

All updates will contain a brief overview of documentation and assessment, and an overview of contemporary placements.

Update 1: Managing Challenges in Practice

Managing Challenges in Practice will follow a participant-led format and enable educators to discuss and problem-solve any particular challenges they have faced recently.  These may include, but are not limited to, supporting struggling students, supporting students with additional learning needs, and challenging students who are exceeding expectations.

  • 20 October 2021
  • 20 June 2022

All training takes place between 9.00 - 13.00

Please book your place online 

The course content is participant-led and details of the course materials will be emailed to you after the session. A basic version of the session is available for your perusal.

Update 2: Facilitating Adult Learning

Facilitating Adult Learning will include an overview of adult learning theory and consider how this can be put to best use within placement settings.  Participants will consider different aspects of adult learning theory including focusing on themselves as adult learners.  Common assumptions will be discussed along with critical appraisal of the evidence in relation to learning styles.

  • 2 September 2021
  • 29 March 2022

All training takes place between 9.00 - 13.00 

Please book your place online

A basic version of the session is available for your perusal.

 

Feedback from participants

First time practice educator training

“Really good training! Very informative, interesting and useful course. Lots of interactive exercises, visual information and sense of humour really worked – will take a lot away with me. Thank you!!”

Participants also appreciated the opportunity to ask questions and talk through anxieties they have about taking a student.  They also stated that the course was interactive, clearly explained and easy to understand.

Worcester Way training

“Built upon previous learning and enabled me to meet Worcester way standards when educating students from this area”

Participants also felt that the course covered all aspects of a student placement in a well organized, holistic way.  They also felt that the information was clear and the pathway easy to follow so that having a student is “not too complicated!”

Practice educator update training

“A chance to discuss education & different styles of learning with other clinicians in the field”

Participants also felt that update courses were valuable and enjoyable.  They stated that the courses overed a lot of ground in short time, and answered a number of queries.

About the Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy courses

BSc (Hons)

We believe that the method in which teaching and learning is delivered is an important part of the student experience. Therefore, we think it is important to create the right learning environments that provide our students with the opportunities to explore, question and develop within a supportive environment. Throughout the Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy courses, students are gently guided with a constructivist approach to learning, teaching and assessment (Biggs 2002; Murphy 1997). This approach moves away from the understanding that ‘experts’ pass on knowledge. Instead we aim to create rich learning experiences where students are able to utilise active thinking and problem-solving skills to construct their own understanding about each profession. 

Students will be taught in a wide range of teaching environments. They are encouraged to interact with peers, staff, clinicians and service users and carers, and are provided with a range of opportunities outside of the university to prepare them for practice. The learning experiences provided, utilise rich authentic problem-solving situations inside and outside the academic environment; with opportunities for student-centred learning and choice; and provide students with ongoing feedback to promote learning from experience (Wilson and Cole 1991). The teaching focuses on co-construction, facilitating learning by listening to students, providing guidance, resource provision, and coaching (Murphy 1997). 

The constructivist approach we use for occupational therapy and physiotherapy education actively encourages our students to explore worldviews, assumptions and beliefs. This enables our students to develop the reflexivity and self-insight they need as healthcare practitioners. By working with students to explore their role as a healthcare practitioner, new understandings are brought about, misunderstandings clarified, and practice transformed (Hooper 2007). Transformative learning (Cranton 2006; Mezirow 2000) is a key aspect to this process, learning from individual experience, critical reflection, on-going dialogue, awareness of context and development of authentic relationships. Regular interaction with academic staff, clinicians, service users and carers provides students with the opportunity to experience transformative learning and critical thinking as they progress throughout your education. 

MSc (Pre-reg)

The MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) and MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-registration) courses aim to provide an accelerated route of entry to the professions for learners who have successfully achieved an undergraduate degree. The courses have been designed to meet local and national workforce demands for effective allied health professionals, with the capacity and vision to contribute to integrated care systems and the aspiration to become leaders and managers of the future. 

The courses have been developed and run in parallel with one another, valuing and integrating collaborative working, and evidence-based person-centred practice. Inter-disciplinary learning will ensure that graduates are effective team workers, with leadership and organisational management skills to deliver and design services, relevant to the health and social care practice. As well as learning with students from other disciplines, service user and carer colleagues from the university’s Impact group contribute to learning. Members of this group are involved in all aspects of University life including recruitment, teaching, learning, assessment and research. 

The courses combine theoretical and practice learning across two years of study, ensuring that students achieve the HCPC (2013) Standards of Proficiency for their chosen profession and eligibility to apply for full membership of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) or Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP). A distinctive feature of the programme is the opportunity to become forward thinking, reflective practitioners, through applied theoretical and practice-based learning. The teaching philosophy ensures that students develop professional knowledge, skills and confidence as they progress on the course. The curriculum aims to foster students’ individual strengths and attributes relating them to their own developing professional competence and leadership, encouraging a reasoned, evaluative and evidence-based person-centred approach, encompassing reflection and independence in learning, and the ability to work effectively with others. The courses aim to build on learners’ under-graduate experience and attributes, through Level 7 study, to develop a critical and analytical awareness of their chosen profession, and to ensure that our graduates can practice, develop and lead in the changing and contemporary contexts within which future professionals must be able to work. 

Further information about learning theory is provided during First Time Practice Educator training and Update 2: Facilitating Adult Learning.

Module details can be located on the course pages for Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy

Curriculum of learning 

Our course teaching philosophy is based on a curriculum of learning and aims to develop students of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy in their knowledge, skills and confidence as they progress on the course. As students progress they will experience successive levels of complexity, building on previous knowledge to increase capability and proficiency (Harden 1997). 

BSc (Hons)

Year 1 - Learning to be a professional (observing and thinking)

  • Introducing a critical approach

  • Underpinning knowledge and clinical skills 

  • Introduction to clinical/professional reasoning

  • Becoming self-aware and having awareness of others  

  • Developing self-leadership skills

  • Understanding how and why to reflect

  • Understanding sustainable health and social care

Year 2 - The developing process (practising and modifying)

  • Developing criticality

  • Application of knowledge and clinical skills

  • Developing professional/clinical reasoning

  • Collaborating with others

  • Applying and developing skills of reflective practice

  • Using sustainable approaches in health and social care

  • Using leadership to enhance practice

Year 3 - Becoming an autonomous practitioner (innovating and thinking differently)

  • Applying and using critical skills

  • Engaging with complexity and diversity in clinical practice

  • Refining professional/clinical reasoning skills to become an effective professional

  • Developing and applying leadership skills

  • Becoming a reflective practitioner

  • Integrating sustainability into everyday health and social care practice

MSc (Pre-registration)  

1st Year – developing knowledge, skills and professional reasoning

  • Underpinning principles, knowledge, skills, behaviour and values of a professional
  • Developing a critical and evidence-based approach to person-centred care
  • Focus on self-management and awareness

2nd Year – progressing knowledge, skills and professional reasoning

  • Critically evaluating and synthesising evidence
  • Using complex professional reasoning skills to make decisions
  • Promote leadership, service evaluation and development with an introduction to commissioning and the business context of contemporary health and care services

 

Documentation

Students are assessed on placement via their Practice Learning Document (PLD).  From September 2021, this will be completed electronically via the “PebblePad” platform.  It is therefore essential that the Practice Educator’s email address is supplied accurately so that you can be given access to the document by your student.  This "PebblePad" page will show you how to access the platform and PLD.You are welcome to download the relevant PDF versions for reference only – please be aware that these look slightly different to the online versions, but contain all the same information.  A copy of the Sample PLD for training is available as a PDF.

Please download and keep a copy of the Practice Educator’s Handbook for reference. This document contains all of the information you may need regarding the course structure, placement structure, placement requirements and processes along with guidance on working collaboratively with your student.The majority of queries are addressed in this document which should be used to provide you with rapid support and guidance when placement staff are unavailable. 

Occupational Therapy PLDs    

 BScMSc
Placement 1 (OCTH1100)  

 Placement 1 (OCTH4005)

Placement 2 (OCTH2100)

 Placement 2 (OCTH4005)

Placement 3 (OCTH2105)

 documents to follow

Placement 4 (OCTH3100)  documents to follow
Placement 5 (OCTH3105)  

 

Physiotherapy PLDs

 BScMSc

Placement 1 (PTHY1100)

Placement 1 (PTHY4005)

Placement 2 (PTHY2100)

Placement 2 (PTHY4005)

Placement 3 (PTHY2105)

 documents to follow

Placement 4 (PTHY3100)

 documents to follow

Placement 5 (PTHY3105)

 

Placement Support

Support is available during placements to both educators and students alike. Educators should refer to the Practice Educator Handbook and students to the student handbook for guidance on process. Students have access to staff with a number of different roles who can support them with their placement learning.

  • Placement Lead: Responsible for overall co-ordination of all placements and associated quality processes

  • Module Lead: Responsible for overall co-ordination of the placement module and assessment process.  A member of the Placement Team who works directly with the Placement Lead

  • Personal Academic Tutor: responsible for academic and pastoral support for individual students across the duration of their course

  • Zoned Academic: responsible for providing provide student centred educational support and providing Practice Educator with on-going support for struggling students, including at final summative interview with the Practice Educator if appropriate (i.e. if student is failing). ZAs will attempt to visit once during the placement and may visit more frequently as required.

  • Work-based learning Support Office (WBLSO): responsible for allocating students to individual placements, maintaining and monitoring information available to students and ensuring all quality processes are met.

Please contact your Zoned Academic with all queries in the first instance.  Enquiries can be directed through the Placement Team at therapyplacements@worc.ac.uk if you do not know who your ZA is.