Owing to ongoing changes in the working world and the resulting changing requirements of university graduates, requirements for teachers are continuously changing. Although this is currently being taken into account at universities, there is a need to take action in the area of fieldwork education.
The aim was to create a skill profile for fieldwork educators in occupational therapy, thus providing a basis for fieldwork educators, universities, professional associations, and employers. This reflects on existing measures and generates new measures to facilitate quality improvement in the area of fieldwork education.
Requirements were evaluated in two focus groups with a total of 14 practical training experts. Data were analysed within the scope of a qualitative content analysis and summarized in one profile.
A total of 18 professional, methodical, social, and personal requirements were identified. Fieldwork educators are able to organise, take responsibility, have expertise, and prepare contents adapted to the needs of individual students. They guide, supervise, give feedback to students in a formative way, thereby assessing and supporting their personal development. Moreover, as communicators, they have a stable personality, are open for further development, flexible, and reflective.
In order to meet these requirements, fieldwork educators must be fully committed. Moreover, the professional association needs to create a role model and provide task-specific cross-university training. It also requires the support of universities who are called upon to increase networking and communication with all parties involved and the support of the employers who need to provide additional time resources.
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