At the start of a placement - Orienting students

In this video below, Michael, a clinical education liaison manager at the University of Queensland, discusses orientation requirements for allied health student placements:

Orientation should involve:

  • Explaining placement expectations
  • Discussing goals and opportunities for placement (particularly important when using a learning contract)
  • Clarifying learning needs, learning styles and preferences for feedback
  • Establishing learning experiences
  • Providing an outline of the daily/weekly routines
  • Allocating adequate time to direct the student’s learning and assessment
  • Completing administrative tasks such as gaining a site-specific identification card
  • Collecting any documentation required from the student

Suggestions for developing orientation manual content:

Brainstorm with your colleagues:

  • Look at other student orientation materials from a different profession in your workplace
  • Look at orientation materials for new staff in your workplace
  • Look at student orientation manuals from other workplaces
  • Gather feedback from past or current students on existing orientation materials
  • List resources, readings, guidelines, protocols, forms, handouts, equipment and assessments frequently used

Some examples of orientation manuals are:





Please Note: References remain valid until superseded by later research. The resources referenced here are regularly reviewed and are considered current and relevant to the topics presented.

  • McAllister, L. and Lincoln, M. (2004) Clinical Education in Speech Language Pathology. Whurr: London.
  • Rodger, S., Fitzgerald, C., Davila, W., Millar, F. and Allison, H. (2011), What makes a quality occupational therapy practice placement? Students’ and practice educators’ perspectives. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 58, 195–202. DOI:
  • National Association of Social Workers Association of Social Work Boards. (2013). Best Practice Standards in Social Work Supervision. Washington DC.
  • Pargiter, R. & Coverdale, J. (2007). The Ethical Dimension. In S. Bloch. & B. Singh (Eds.), Foundations of Clinical Psychiatry (2nd ed.) (pp.32-42). Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.
  • Ausmed (2019) Understanding Professional Boundaries.  Accessed May 2021 from:  Understanding Professional Boundaries | Ausmed
  • Mable Technologies Pty Ltd 2015, ‘Whoa! Please mind my boundaries.’, Mable blog, 28 August, viewed 29 August 2019,
  • Relationships Australia n.d., Maintaining Personal and Professional Boundaries, Relationships Australia Victoria, viewed 29 August 2019,


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