Building sustainable capacity in physiotherapy clinical education: An innovative Queensland state-wide collaboration

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Purpose: Providing access to professional practice opportunities is essential for the education and development of physiotherapy students towards transition into the professional workforce. Queensland Health workforce planning supports early engagement of students as a recruitment strategy to build future workforce. To address the need for a sustainable capacity to provide opportunities for students, the development of a central allocation process (CAP) was undertaken in Queensland. This recent innovation engages collaboration, manages data and identifies capacity and predictability of professional practice opportunities through an equitable and transparent process. This presentation showcases the stages of development of the CAP, the outcomes since its inception and moving forward with implications for future directions. Relevance: In Queensland, Australia, an increasing demand for professional practice opportunities for students generated by growing student numbers; altered health care service delivery models; increased workforce demands and a reduction in available clinical educators, has resulted in the need to predict capacity and sustainability of available opportunities. One of the largest providers of professional practice opportunities for Physiotherapy students is Queensland Health and Mater Health Services (QH). Understanding predictability is essential to the sustainable participation of QH in providing these opportunities for students. To address this issue, the Physiotherapy Clinical Education Placement Working Party (PCEPWP) was formed. The PCEPWP works to identify and develop sustainable professional practice opportunities through the CAP. Membership includes representation from QH and each University throughout the State. The collaboration of stakeholders has been the benchmark for the growth and success of the CAP. Description: The central allocation process was developed using a supply and demand methodology. The process has established a comprehensive database of placement capacity across QH. Data obtained can determine parameters of predictability and drive strategies to toward future sustainability. Further strategic direction includes a systems analysis and identification of quality related requirements to facilitate transition of students into professional roles. Evaluation: Data collected in the last 2 years has been evaluated. Analysis and visual comparators informs stakeholders through the provision of reports, forums and presentations. In addition, this data is used to target and align with health workforce priority agendas. The success of the CAP has been well received by stakeholders and is used to provide a model for other professions in exploring their professional practice capacity. In addition the model has generated national interest throughout Australia. Conclusions: This presentation outlines the development of the state-wide central allocation process from inception to future directions. The model continues to evolve as limitations are identified in response to the stakeholders needs. The presentation explores lessons learned, strategies adopted and implications for future management of this process. Implications: Predictability of the capacity of organisations to sustainably provide professional practice opportunities is essential to future planning of physiotherapy education. Data obtained from the work of the PCEWP can inform academic institutions, health workforce agendas and professional accreditation bodies on the future profile of the professional practice demands for students. Key-words: 1. Practice Education 2. Capacity 3. Sustainability Funding acknowledgements: This process is does not have designated funding.

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