Published on February 25, 2014
A New Approach – RMIT Associate Degree in Health Science Diane Bates, Deputy Head of School, Life and Physical Science RMIT University
Learning through practice RMIT emerged from the tradition of the artisan guilds in which excellence in skill and knowledge is measured by its usefulness… RMIT is committed to a form of learning which is connected, engaged and pragmatic, and based on authentic experiences which resonate in the world of work in technology and design… Professor Margaret Gardner, presentation to VETLink, April 2012 “I think you’ll find that many people – not just in trades and other workbased training, but quite generally, learn best from practice Professor Margaret Gardner, launching the RMIT Open Day skills competition, August 2013 RMIT University©2013 Office Director TAFE 2
Rationale – The Why • Global trend of an ageing population • Ageing health workforce • Shortage of health care professionals in public, private and community health facilities • New and emerging roles to meet the changing health workforce • Qualifications above the Cert III level competencies in clinical coding • www.cshisc.com.au/doc/research-reports/environmental_scan_2012/3 • www.health.vic.gov.au/hdss/hiw/ • www.health.vic.gov.au/prevention RMIT University©2013 Office Director TAFE 3
Key RMIT Requirement - is Industry Consultation Examples of the discussion with key industry representatives • Department of Health: Secretary, Fran Thorn; Dan Jefferson, Manager Workforce strategy and Regulation. • Mark Gill and Jennie Shepheard of the Health Information Policy and Standards in the Department of Health. • Denise Laughlin and Vicki Sinnot Policy Officers, Prevention and Population Health Branch , Department of Health • Julie Brophy, Manager, Health Information Workforce Strategy Department of Health • The Health Information Management Association of Australia was contacted. • The Australian Association of Massage Therapy (AAMT) CEO is a member of this committee and supports the idea of an Associate Degree with soft tissue capabilities. RMIT University©2013 School of Life and Physical Sciences 4
Associate degrees at RMIT - what is it As a paraprofessional qualification, the RMIT Associate Degree is based on a combination of high level technical skills with the theoretical knowledge from one or more disciplines. It has a unique curriculum that enables students to develop competency in critical skill areas, a greater capability to apply a depth of knowledge, and breadth of skill to demonstrate initiative, judgement, autonomy, and responsibility. [Statement on associate degrees at RMIT, April 2012] Learning should be based on application to enable concept building from practice-based approaches. It is important to maintain a skills focus – competence builds confidence. Work integrated learning approaches should be designed in consultation with the relevant profession to ensure recognition of the qualification. Include provision for the development of analytical and critical thinking skills and research capabilities. [Workshop report VETLink Forum August 2011] RMIT University©2013 Office Director TAFE 5
The associate degree as an AQF Level 6 qualification Advanced Diploma Associate Degree Bachelor Degree AQF Level 6 AQF Level 6 AQF Level 7 …qualifies individuals who apply specialised knowledge in a range of contexts to undertake advanced skills or paraprofessional work and as a pathway for further learning. … qualifies individuals who apply underpinning technical and theoretical knowledge in a range of contexts to undertake paraprofessional work and as a pathway for further learning … qualifies individuals who apply a broad and coherent body of knowledge in a range of contexts to undertake professional work and as a pathway to further learning i.e. disciplinary knowledge; work competencies/capabilities and academic skill outcomes 6
Defining VET and Higher Education assessment regimes VET: assessment of occupational competency and associated work knowledge Derived from national competency standards and representing the level of performance required in the workplace. Higher education: assessment of disciplinary and professional knowledge Derived from disciplinary theory and professional standards (which may be formally mandated – eg engineering; or a matter of professional consensus/ enterprise practice
(2) The focus of assessment in VET and Higher Education VET: Level of occupational expertise Contextual knowledge Higher education: Disciplinary & professional knowledge Academic skills Substantive core of assessment practice (syntactical) underpinning and enabling content and methods
(3) Therefore… The substantive core of assessment in higher education - disciplinary & professional knowledge – is the focus for assessment in an associate degree. HOWEVER The substantive core of VET assessment - occupational practice to industry standards - can be applied as formative assessment… Certificate IV Clinical Coding Competencies
Associate Degree Health Science – • Provide a sound knowledge base in health sciences – appropriate for a range of roles for graduates – providing flexibility to respond to emerging roles currently and into the future. • Career pathways – health promotion and preventative health – health information management • A two year (four semesters) full time program - 4 courses per semester • Each course has teacher directed learning of 90hrs per course over one semester • Academic year from February to November RMIT University©2013 Office Director TAFE 10
Program overview • Year One Total Credit Points = 96 Course Title Semester One Credit Points New Directions in Australian Health System 12 Health Meaning and Determinants and Actions 12 Multidisciplinary Health Care in Australia 12 Biological Principles 12 Course Title Semester Two Credit Points Law and Ethics in Health 12 Health and Nutrition 12 Anatomy and Physiology 12 Understanding the Psychology of Health 12 RMIT University©2013 Office Director TAFE 11
Program overview • Year Two Total Credit Points = 96 Course Title Semester One Credit Points Evidence Based Health Practice 12 Chronic Disease in Australia 12 Understanding Disease Processes and Treatment 12 Elective (Introduction to Health Promotion or Health Classification and Clinical Coding) 12 Course Title Semester Two Electives streams Credit Points Any University Elective 12 Health Classification and Clinical Coding (general) 12 Health Classification and Clinical Coding (advanced) 12 Management in Health 12 RMIT University©2013 Office Director TAFE 12
Key Challenges – • Emerging Industry roles not clearly defined – • Articulation Pathways with external Universities still to be formulated • Work Integrated Learning – Placement, Coding Clinics, Virtual Lab • Work ready graduates – Coding stream • Clinical coding resources – requirement for real world cases so students can develop the skills in accessing and interpreting information from medical records • Appropriate qualified teachers (coding stream) • Industry recognition of the Qualification RMIT University©2013 Office Director TAFE 13
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