All programs in Australia undergo rigorous scrutiny to ensure they meet the requirements of key professional and regulatory organisations nationally and internationally –including the Occupational Therapy Council, Occupational Therapy Australia, Occupational Therapy Board of Australia, and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.
As Griffith University occupational therapy programs are new, they are subjected to a multi-stage accreditation process that begins before the first students commence. For the Gold Coast program, the process started in 2012 and culminated in the final stage – before the first students graduated – in November 2017.
In November 2017 two assessors from the Occupational Therapy Council visited the university for three days during which they met with staff, students, and external occupational therapists, and others involved in educating or supporting our students. Prior to the visit, the assessors were provided with extensive written documentation which demonstrated how the Griffith University programs met the accreditation standards.
We received the final report in January and the outcome was exceptional!
The Gold Coast programs (pass and honours) were accredited until December 2022 – the best outcome possible. Furthermore, we were commended on many aspects of our programs. We were commended in each of the eight standards, and in some, we received more than one commendation.
Program overview, philosophy, and purpose
- The programs are commended on their philosophy and purpose which have a strong contemporary occupational therapy paradigm with a focus on individuals, communities and populations, and are well informed by research/literature.
- The programs are commended on the occupational therapy philosophy that underpins all aspects including role emerging placements and provides a solid basis for students to work as graduates in current and future oriented occupational therapy practice areas with a strong professional identity.
Curriculum content and sequence
- The programs are commended for explicitly enshrining contemporary occupational therapy theory and practice in all aspects of the curriculum.
- The programs are commended for the manner in which program staff, notably the Head, Discipline of Occupational Therapy, have developed partnerships and connections with key stakeholders in the design, development and evaluation of the curriculum. External stakeholders value this collaborative approach.
- The programs are commended on the well informed and effective learning and teaching approaches and the authentic and varied assessments which have a direct relationship to practice.
- The programs are commended on the Clinical Learning through Extended Immersion in Multimodal Simulation (CLEIMS) which successfully promotes inter-professional learning.
- The collaborative manner in which the practice education placement processes are organised, students and placement educators are prepared and supported during placements is commended.
- The design, implementation and evaluation of the broad range of role emerging placements is commended. These placements have been developed to be: consistent with program philosophy; collaboratively with partner organisations and to be sustainable into the future. Students are effectively prepared for these placements.
Local context of practice
- The occupational therapy academics are commended for the strong partnerships developed with the local practice community.
- The occupational therapy academics are commended for incorporating culturally safe practices including those relevant to the health and well-being of First Australian peoples within the curriculum in a collaborative and sustainable manner. This approach is well supported by the university which has a commitment to ensuring all graduates are culturally capable when working with First Australians and effective in culturally diverse environments.
- The Head, Discipline of Occupational Therapy and the team of occupational therapy academics are commended for the high regard in which they are held by internal and external stakeholders, and the proactive collaborative approach they have taken to establishing effective working relationships with their industry partners.
- The university is commended on the large ‘bank’ of trained simulated patients who are coordinated by the School of Medicine and available to be involved in health professional programs including occupational therapy. The occupational therapy programs effectively include these ‘actors’ to enhance student learning.
Continuing quality improvement
- The strong quality management systems in place with all aspects of curriculum design, development, implementation and evaluation with the specific intent of producing safe, ethical and competent beginning practitioners is commended.
The Nathan programs – which will be the same as those on the Gold Coast but are considered as separate for accreditation purposes – were also considered during the November visit. Those programs have been accredited with conditions until December 2021 – this is the best possible outcome for a new program which is yet to have graduates. The assessors summarised;
… the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (pass and honours) to be delivered from the Nathan campus… are at an appropriate stage of development and are on target to meet all Accreditation Standards… prior to the graduation of the first cohort of students in 2021
Thank you to everyone involved for helping us make the GriffithOT programs such exceptional learning experiences for our students.