Supporting new graduate professional development: a clinical learning framework

Fitzgerald, Cate, Moores, Alis, Coleman, Allison and Fleming, Jennifer (2015) Supporting new graduate professional development: a clinical learning framework. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 62 1: 13-20. doi:10.1111/1440-1630.12165

Author Fitzgerald, Cate
Moores, Alis
Coleman, Allison
Fleming, Jennifer
Title Supporting new graduate professional development: a clinical learning framework
Journal name Australian Occupational Therapy Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1440-1630
Publication date 2015-02-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1440-1630.12165
Open Access Status
Volume 62
Issue 1
Start page 13
End page 20
Total pages 8
Place of publication Richmond, VIC Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract

New graduate occupational therapists are required to competently deliver health-care practices within complex care environments. An occupational therapy clinical education programme within a large public sector health service sought to investigate methods to support new graduates in their clinical learning and professional development.


Three cycles of an insider action research approach each using the steps of planning, action, critical observation and reflection were undertaken to investigate new graduate learning strategies, develop a learning framework and pilot its utility. Qualitative research methods were used to analyse data gathered during the action research cycles.


Action research identified variations in current practices to support new graduate learning and to the development of the Occupational Therapy Clinical Learning Framework (OTCLF). Investigation into the utility of the OTCLF revealed two themes associated with its implementation namely (i) contribution to learning goal development and (ii) compatibility with existing learning supports.

Conclusions and significance of the study

The action research cycles aimed to review current practices to support new graduate learning. The learning framework developed encourages reflection to identify learning needs and the review, discussion of, and engagement in, goal setting and learning strategies. Preliminary evidence indicates that the OTCLF has potential as an approach to guide new graduate goal development supported by supervision. Future opportunity to implement a similar learning framework in other allied health professions was identified, enabling a continuation of the cyclical nature of enquiry, integral to this research approach within the workplace.
Keyword New graduate
Professional education
Reflective practice
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print 20 Oct 2014

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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