Ahpra and National Boards including the Dental Board, along with the Department of Health and Health Professions Accreditation Collaborative Forum, have set out proposed national principles for student clinical education during the COVID-19 pandemic response to help guide the decisions of professions, accreditation authorities, education providers and health services.
The national principles, borne out of a recognition that the pandemic is posing unprecedented challenges to the health sector, have been developed in response to the possibility that students, including those engaged in dental study, may be needed as part of the surge workforce if the pandemic worsens.
Given that registration as a health practitioner is granted on the basis that “a student has the necessary knowledge, clinical skills and capabilities to start as a beginner practitioner” and that supervised clinical placements are a key part of developing this capability, it has been recognised that the future of Australia’s health workforce is predicated on students continuing to have access to these opportunities.
While continuing these placements is inherently challenging during COVID-19, “the Australian Government, through the Health and Education portfolios, and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra), national boards and accreditation authorities, want to encourage student placements to continue where this is safe and possible”.
This story first appeared on the ADA website.