Welcome to the SPEF-R Flexible Training Package

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this website and introduce you to the Student Placement Evaluation Form-Revised (SPEF-R). A group of University of Queensland occupational therapy academics, fieldwork team members and project officers have worked solidly over the past 18 months to revise the SPEF and to develop this website for training purposes. With funding from the Australian Awards for University Teaching and a Strategic Teaching and Learning Grant from the University of Queensland, we have been able to undertake a broad ranging national consultation with fieldwork academics, occupational therapists who supervise students on professional practice placements, and occupational therapy students. Since its release in 1998 the SPEF has been licensed to all Universities in Australia with occupational therapy programs, hence a review of its utility was timely. Additionally, the World Federation of Occupational Therapists' Minimum Standards for Occupational Therapy Education released in 2002, called for a shift in curricula and assessment processes from a biopsychosocial to more occupational focus.

In revising the SPEF and developing the SPEF-R, we undertook to accommodate feedback from the extensive number of therapists, academics and students interviewed as well as the new WFOT guidelines, with a view to ensuring the tool would be relevant into the future. One of the key findings from this feedback was that many therapists were using the SPEF without adequate training in its use, frequently in isolation from the accompanying manual, and without any background on its design or use. While this is understandable given the relative isolation of some therapists, use of an assessment without adequate background and access to manuals and training, detracts from the assessment's reliability.

Hence, we set about designing this website as a way of helping therapists across Australia to learn more about the SPEF-R, how to use it, how not to use it, and most importantly how assessment and feedback are intricately linked. In this website we have incorporated both written materials as print outs, frequently asked questions, video vignettes exemplifying feedback principles and practices and comments from professional practice educators themselves about the use of the SPEF-R.

We hope you find this website informative, dynamic, interactive and most of all user-friendly. Like all good teaching and learning processes, we have incorporated a short evaluation about the website. We would encourage you to spend a few minutes providing us with feedback about its content, usability and utility, as feedback is critical to continuous improvement. We value your time and efforts on behalf of our students and your significant input to the professional education of the next generation of occupational therapists

Assoc Professor Sylvia Rodger
Head of Division 
Occupational Therapy
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
The University of Queensland