Quality in Canadian University OT Fieldwork Education
To support the quality of Canadian occupational therapy fieldwork education, the following tools and processes are recommended:
- The university fieldwork coordinator/professor will ensure that any site used for occupational therapy student fieldwork education has read Section 1 and 2 of this document.
- The university fieldwork coordinator/professor will provide each site with a fieldwork site profile to complete. The aim of this profile is to provide important information to the university which enables an understanding of the student learning experience within the site. In light of this intent, the fieldwork site profile is completed by the site representative after consultation with administrators, program managers, professional coordinators, fieldwork educators and all persons involved in the fieldwork education experience. This document will be requested within a reasonable timeframe as determined by both the site contact person and the university fieldwork coordinator. The following list describes information to be provided:
- Site and contact information
- Characteristics of occupational therapy services
- Learning opportunities and resources
- Administrative resources
- Site requirements for students
- Following each fieldwork placement, students should complete a fieldwork site evaluation form. The aim of this evaluation process is to gain an understanding of how the student’s learning experience at the site contributed to his or her professional development.
- Considering the important formative role assumed by preceptors, universities must support preceptor professional development as related to fieldwork education. It is strongly recommended that the university fieldwork coordinator/professor collect and analyze preceptor feedback pertaining to quality and availability of university support for fieldwork education including preparedness of students for their fieldwork experience. For this reason, the aim of this process is two-fold. First, to gain an understanding of the preceptor’s needs and offer university based support. Second, to contribute to upgrading curricular content in accordance with the evolving nature of occupational therapy practice.
- On a regular basis (to be determined by the university), the university fieldwork coordinator will review the documents pertaining to particular fieldwork sites: the fieldwork site profile, the relevant student fieldwork site evaluation forms, and the relevant preceptor experience evaluations. The university fieldwork coordinator will compile and analyze the available information and share a summary with the fieldwork site contact person. It is recommended that the university fieldwork coordinator will provide this feedback to the site at least once every 5 years.
- If issues with a fieldwork site arise, the university fieldwork coordinator/professor, in conjunction with the fieldwork site contact person, will propose a plan for improving or optimizing the student learning opportunities. When such a plan is put forth, a timeframe will be set regarding improvements to be made to ensure the future quality of the fieldwork education experience for students.
Depending upon specific needs and programs developed, it is anticipated that each university will be responsible for designing and implementing additional quality improvement measures that are deemed appropriate for their region.