A Prospective Audit of Allied Health Student Supervisor Activity at Western Health

Dr Laura Browning1, Ms Angela Mucic1, Ms Prue Deckert1, Ms Anna Nethercote1

1Western Health, St Albans, Australia


Aim: The primary aim of this audit was to quantify the time spent by Western Health Allied Health staff facilitating student learning during clinical placement. Secondary aims included identification of differences and similarities in student learning facilitation practices between Allied Health disciplines.

Method: This was a prospective audit reviewing current practice for Allied Health staff involved in the supervision of professional entry students. Participating supervisors collected daily data over a one week period at varying intervals throughout the year. Data were recorded using a standardised form which included time spent facilitating learning via orientation, tutorials, feedback, assessment, monitoring, liaison and planning. Supervisor, student and placement specific information was also documented.

Results: A total of 54 student supervisors from eight different professions collected data for 49 students, with activity over 456 clinical placement days recorded. The total median time spent facilitating learning per day was 147.5 minutes (IQR 90.0 – 240.0), with feedback (n=358, 78.5%) and monitoring performance (n=315, 69.1%) being the most frequent activities reported by supervisors. Learning facilitation time varied between disciplines and individuals, with Social Work (270.0 minutes, IQR 270.0 – 292.5) and Dietetics (240.0 minutes, IQR 150.0 – 300.0) recording the highest median values and Podiatry (67.5 minutes, IQR 30.0 – 142.50) and Psychology (75.0 minutes, IQR 60.0 – 120.0) recording the lowest.

Significance of the findings to allied health: This audit provides information about the time commitment required of staff when supervising students and may guide decision making regarding resource allocation.


Dr Laura Browning is the Allied Health Tertiary Education Lead at Western Health. Laura has a background as a Physiotherapist, academic and researcher with a particular interest in acute care and student education.