A comparison of international occupational therapy competencies: Implications for Australian standards in the new millennium
ABSTRACT A timely evaluation of the Australian Competency Standards for Entry-Level Occupational Therapists (1994) was conducted. This thorough investigation comprised a literature review exploring the concept of competence and the applications of competency standards; systematic benchmarking of the Australian Occupational Therapy Competency Standards (OT AUSTRALIA, 1994) against other national and international competency standards and other affiliated documents, from occupational therapy and other cognate disciplines; and extensive nationwide consultation with the professional community. This paper explores and examines the similarities and disparities between occupational therapy competency standards documents available in English from Australia and other countries.
An online search for national occupational therapy competency standards located 10 documents, including the Australian competencies.
Four 'frameworks' were created to categorise the documents according to their conceptual underpinnings: Technical-Prescriptive, Enabling, Educational and Meta-Cognitive. Other characteristics that appeared to impact the design, content and implementation of competency standards, including definitions of key concepts, authorship, national and cultural priorities, scope of services, intended use and review mechanisms, were revealed.
The proposed 'frameworks' and identification of influential characteristics provided a 'lens' through which to understand and evaluate competency standards. While consistent application of and attention to some of these characteristics appear to consolidate and affirm the authority of competency standards, it is suggested that the national context should be a critical determinant of the design and content of the final document. The Australian Occupational Therapy Competency Standards (OT AUSTRALIA, 1994) are critiqued accordingly, and preliminary recommendations for revision are proposed.
SourceAvailable from: otaus.com.au
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ABSTRACT: Background Occupational therapy graduates are expected to assume leadership roles in a variety of contexts and capacities. Objective To investigate the leadership styles of undergraduate occupational therapy students. Methods First, second, third, and fourth year undergraduate occupational therapy students from one Australian university were asked to complete the What’s My Leadership Style (WMLS) questionnaire. Results The total sample response rate was 86.3% (n = 182/211). Overall there was a statistically significant difference in students’ preference for the leadership styles (p < .001). The two most preferred leadership styles were the Considerate and Spirited styles while the two least preferred were the Direct and Systematic leadership styles. There were no statistically significant differences in preference for any of the four leadership styles based on students’ sex, age, or year level of study. Conclusion The Considerate leadership style is characterised by creating comfortable working environments, following established procedures, and creating an easy work pace, while the Spirited leadership style is about inspiring people, generating excitement, turning work into play, and rallying people. It is recommended that leadership be integrated into occupational therapy curricula so as to adequately equip students for future professional practice.Hong Kong Journal of Occupational Therapy 06/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.hkjot.2014.04.002 · 0.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There is a paucity of research examining the issues faced by New Zealand new graduate occupational therapists entering practice, including understanding graduates' abilities to translate knowledge and skills gained in their professional training, into the clinical setting. This study sought to explore the perceived strengths and weaknesses of newly graduated occupational therapists in New Zealand. A mixed methods approach was used including: (i) online survey completed by 458 New Zealand registered occupational therapists, and (ii) five focus groups, in four cities, with occupational therapists, educators and managers. Survey and focus group questions explored new graduates' preparedness for practice based on the Occupational Therapy Board of New Zealand competencies for registration. New graduates were perceived to be strong in the competencies of 'communication' and 'continuing professional development', and weaker in the areas of 'implementation of occupational therapy' and 'management of environment and resources'. Perceptions of graduates' preparedness in relation to 'culturally safe practice', 'safe, ethical and legal practice' and 'management of self and people' were mixed. The profession has not raised any serious concerns about new graduates' preparedness for practice; however, there were some identified weaknesses. Currently, there is no clear evidence that increasing undergraduate training time would address these weaknesses and some indication that postgraduate focus may be preferable. Furthermore, the findings highlight the inconsistency in previous studies regarding perceptions of graduate preparedness. Further research regarding new graduates preparedness for practice, from multiple perspectives and taking into consideration length and stage of education, is recommended.Australian Occupational Therapy Journal 06/2013; 60(3):189-96. DOI:10.1111/1440-1630.12027 · 0.83 Impact Factor