Purpose: This paper describes the exploration of clinical educator and student perspectives on the implementation of the Calderdale Framework (CF) as a model for pre-entry occupational therapy clinical placement. Setting: The study was undertaken within a regional health service in Queensland, Australia. The orthopaedic inpatient ward at the regional hospital and mixed inpatient and outpatient community based caseloads in rural hospitals were the focus of this study. Methods: The Calderdale Framework is a seven stage process which involves: engaging staff with the framework; identifying which clinical tasks are carried out within the service; analysing which tasks can be allocated to students; setting up supervision systems; developing Clinical Task Instructions (CTIs); providing competency training and assessment; and developing organisational systems to sustain the new ways of working. In the first week of placement, students were ‘taught’ background and theoretical information for nine Clinical Task Instructions. In the remainder of their placement they achieved competence in these tasks and implemented clinical interventions with patients. Results: Separate focus groups and in-depth interviews were used to explore clinical educator and student opinions about their experience of the application of the Calderdale Framework in clinical education. Five themes emerged from the data analysis: experience of new model; adjustment to change in approach to the placement model; impact of the Calderdale Framework Clinical Task Instructions; impact of the Calderdale Framework learning model on student confidence and impact of the Calderdale Framework placement model on service delivery. Conclusion: In this pilot study, the application of the Calderdale Framework in clinical education was supported by both clinical educators and students as a model that supported student learning and safe contribution to patient service delivery. The time invested in planning, resource development and implementing this application of the Calderdale Framework in clinical education has resulted in a model which can continue to be implemented within our health service and could be applied to other professions or replicated elsewhere.

Author Bio(s)

Linda J Furness, MPST, BOccThy, is an Occupational Therapy Clinical Education Officer within the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service, and Lecturer with Griffith University, School of Allied Health Sciences.

Anna Tynan PhD, MIPH, BOccThy, is a Research Fellow with the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service and an Honorary Research Fellow with The School of Public Health, The University of Queensland

Alison C Pighills, PhD, MSc, Grad Dip, Dip COT, is an Associate Professor in the College of Healthcare Sciences at James Cook University, Townsville, and a Principal Research Fellow in the Mackay Institute of Research and Innovation within the Mackay Hospital and Health Service, Queensland Health


This project has been funded by Allied Health Professionals’ Office of Queensland, Department of Health, Queensland, Health Practitioner Research Scheme 2015-2017 and Toowoomba Hospital Foundation Research Scholarship. The authors acknowledge the occupational therapy staff at Toowoomba Hospital and participating occupational therapy students for their willingness to support this study, and the Directors of Occupational Therapy, Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service, the Calderdale Framework network Queensland Health and the Allied Health Professions’ Office of Queensland. The authors wish to thank Ms Cate Fitzgerald, Queensland Health Statewide Clinical Education and Training Program Manager, Occupational Therapy, for her review of an earlier draft of this manuscript.




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