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Two major organisations for occupational therapists (OTs) and physiotherapists (PTs) are working together to produce a series of principles for practice-based learning.

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) and Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) will provide a set of principles that offers a clear direction for creating quality, practice-based placements for both physiotherapy and occupational therapy learners (students and apprentices).

RCOT Pre-registration Education Manager Carolyn Hay said: “We are delighted to be working with the CSP to develop and support embedding these placement principles across pre-registration education.

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“We believe that quality, sustainable practice-based learning opportunities are a key element of pre-registration studies. The placement principles will be a valuable resource to support the continued development of learning opportunities across our professions.”

The principles are due to launch later in 2022.

CSP Education Adviser Tamsin Baird added: “We are delighted to be working with RCOT on these principles. By having clear and consistent messages across our professions, there is collective opportunity to better shape and support quality placements.

“There are lots of different people involved in creating placements, all with a common goal of developing the future workforce. The placement principles aim to speak to everyone involved – students, practice educators, practice teams, universities and placement host organisations.

“They will be highly practical, bringing together the current evidence base and incorporating a short five-minute task to bring each principle to life.”

She added that, among other things, the principles will cover models of supervision, the co-design of placements that both add value to practice and enable learning opportunities, the creation of inclusive environments, and capturing data to measure impact.

Over the next few months, RCOT and the CSP will be letting members know how to get involved in shaping the principles.

The development of these practice-based learning principles follows recent research from RCOT, which revealed that there has been a staggering 82 percent increase in demand for OT-led rehabilitation services in the last six months alone. 71 percent of study respondents believe there are not enough OTs to meet demand.

Given this major surge in demand for occupational therapy services, by developing principles for practice-based learning, it could help to bring more PTs and OTs into the professions through education.

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