Deciding to offer a clinical education placement

Thinking of offering a student placement for the first time?  In this video below, Ruth and Lucy, clinical education liaison managers at the University of Queensland, reflect on the different motivators and the initial planning involved in hosting a student placement:

As you have seen, there are varied motivators for offering a student placement, and careful planning is required to ensure a positive learning environment can be created. 

Benefits of student supervision

Many health professional association’s view student supervision as a professional responsibility that ensures the continued education of the allied health workforce.  Thus, many health professionals take on the role of student supervisor.  Becoming a student supervisor provides several benefits:

Benefits to the clients
  • Students may offer a fresh/different/evidence-based perspective that informs client care.
  • Students may bring greater diversity and representation to the treating team.
    Students may offer additional services or allow for more intensive interventions.
  • Consumers, families, and carers may benefit from sharing their lived experience to inform student perceptions and assist to shape the future health workforce.
Benefits to you (supervisor)
  • Further development of personal clinical/clinical reasoning, communication, supervision, and leadership skills.
  • Personal satisfaction with educating the future health workforce.
  • May assist with career progression through the demonstration of higher-level knowledge and skills.
  • May assist in keeping you up to date with the latest evidence-based practice and facilitate your own professional development.
Benefits to your team
  • Students may undertake projects, quality assurance activities or research, that can value add to the team.
  • Students may be involved in developing and updating resources.
  • Students may bring new energy to the team.
  • Student supervision maintains a relationship with the university, which may involve access to professional development and the library, participation in on-campus teaching and involvement in research.
  • Student placements can enable an evaluation of the suitability of students for future employment in the team or organisation.  When recent students are employed at one of their placement sites, they can often ‘hit the ground running’.
  • Students may enhance staff collaborative teamwork within and across the profession.


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.

  • Bay, U. and Courtney, M. (2013). You become the supervisor. In K. Stagnitti, A. Schoo, & D. Welch (Eds.), Clinical and fieldwork placements in the health professions(2nd ed) (pp. 355-347). Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press
  • James Cook University (2011). Workplace Educators Resource Package.
  • McAllister, L. and Lincoln, M. (2004). Clinical Education in Speech Language Pathology. Whurr: London.
  • Occupational Therapy Practice Education Collaborative - Queensland (2017). Why supervise a student?.
  • Speech Pathology Australia (2010). Code of Ethics.
  • Speech Pathology Australia (2005). Position Statement Clinical Education - The importance and value for the speech pathology profession.
  • Thomas, Y.,  Dickson, D., Broadbridge, J., Hopper, L., Hawkins, R., Edwards, A. and McBryde, C. (2007). Benefits and challenges of supervising occupational therapy fieldwork students: Supervisors’ perspectives. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 54, S2-S12.


Was the information on this page helpful?