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The Relevance of Vocational Education for Occupational Therapy Support Workers

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This article examines the development of the Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Occupational Therapy Support against the background of recent reforms and changes in health, social and educational arenas. Learning theories relevant to educational initiatives are addressed briefly and a rationale for liberal humanism is proposed. The significance of role clarification, task analysis and skill mixing is highlighted within the context of the drive for effectiveness and efficiency of services.

Eternal shortages of occupational therapists necessitate an increasing use of support staff. It is suggested that their role is now, more than ever, important in terms of client care and raising the profile of the profession, and that support staff may be empowered to become more flexible and reflective practitioners. Employers demand a trained and responsive workforce. Competence-based vocational education, such as the HNC, employs experiential learning programmes to encourage the link between theory and practice, thus encouraging staff to develop and update their knowledge continually.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2012 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 1.096.

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