Employer-sponsored occupational therapy professional development in a multicampus facility: a quality project



Publication Details

Cusick, A., Convey, M., Novak, I. & McIntyre, S. 2009, 'Employer-sponsored occupational therapy professional development in a multicampus facility: a quality project', Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, vol. 56, no. 4, pp. 229-238.


Aim: To critically assess and develop recommendations for professional development (PD) for occupational therapists in a multisite specialist cerebral palsy occupational therapy service. Method: Quality improvement project based on principles of participatory action research: audit of PD resources/ activity; stakeholder consultations and literature review. Results: The PD program goal, resources, strategies, activities and evaluations conducted at the centre were identified and described. Areas for improvement were identified by critically considering the PD program in the context of reviewed literature. There was an assumption that personal change through PD would help attain the organisational goal of clinically competent practitioners who use evidence-based practice in a family-centred context. Recommendations: Future PD plans and evaluations need to explicitly address this assumption. The use of structured reflection and the ‘clinical reasoning’ conceptual framework was recommended as one way to help personal change from PD to have workplace impact. This project provides a precedent and guide to occupational therapy PD planners regarding a whole-of-organisation approach to developing and maintaining competence through PD. KEY WORDS evidence-based practice, professional competence, reflective practice.

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