The major recommendations regarding clinical education and research, and Universities Australia's initial comments, are listed below.
- A higher proportion of clinical education places should be allocated to rural and remote areas (p.235)
Universities Australia supports this recommendation. Universities have been struggling to find sufficient placements in these areas in recent years, and agree that giving students rural experience is an important aspect of clinical education and training.
- A one-year dental education and residency program should be established (p.268) Universities Australia supports this recommendation. Such a program would build upon the foundations provided by the new graduates' previous study.
- A competency-based training framework should be implemented, leading to more health-care professionals having skills that cross current professional boundaries (p.25)
Universities Australia does not support a proposal for a tick-box competency-based system of ensuring quality graduates. It is recognised that competency-based training frameworks can be effective for certain types of work in the health system which are easily assessed from a technical perspective, however it is not an effective way to assess the problem-solving skills, professionalism, ethics and other higher order skills that are just as important as technical abilities to the clinical practice of many health professionals. These cannot readily be measured as discrete "competencies". These higher-order skills are a vital component of current university health curricula, and must not be lost through the introduction of a more technically-oriented training framework.To read the full submission, download the PDF below.