Implementing a clinical education evaluation model for physiotherapy students and supervisors

Mr Thao Nguyen1

1Melbourne Health, Parkville, Australia

AIM: To implement an evaluation tool for clinical education within a tertiary hospital physiotherapy department; embed a culture of reflection; foster high quality education experiences for students and staff.

METHOD: Process evaluation approach. Paper surveys were provided to students at the completion of each placement and educators completed an electronic survey. Students reported on the learning environment and the supervision received. Staff disclosed satisfaction with supervision and factors that influenced performance. Responses were collected and analysis conducted to identify themes.

RESULTS: 64 student surveys were collected and 60 responses received from staff over a period of four months. The completion rate for students at the acute campus was 91%; at the rehabilitation campus 37%. 60 staff completed their evaluation, 45 were from the acute campus, 8 rehabilitation and 7 unidentified. Students enjoyed structured learning activities but wanted consistency in supervisor and environment, and orientation to key processes. Staff reported satisfaction when supervising motivated students and facilitating their development however staffing shortages and time pressures had major impact. Discrepancies between the campuses in survey response rates were related to staff turnover and the project lead based at the acute campus. More staff were involved in clinical education at the acute campus suggesting greater engagement and established culture for evaluation. Time pressures on staff differed between campuses and require specific solutions.


Evaluation of programs is essential to understand effectiveness, outcomes and impact. This study outlines a process in implementing an evaluation tool and highlights differences between two campuses at one organisation. These cultural differences require local staff to drive implementation and embed practice. Ongoing evaluation will inform how programs are performing and provide solutions to benefit the delivery of clinical education.