Supporting new graduate professional development: A clinical learning framework Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.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.

publication date

  • 2015