Comparing Occupational Therapy Students' Competency Scores: 2:1 versus 1:1 Fieldwork


  • Marisa Short Community Therapists Inc.
  • Candace Letham Fraser Health Authority
  • Leanne Currie University of British Columbia
  • Donna Patricia Drynan University of British Columbioa



clinical competence, competency-based education, fieldwork supervision, occupational therapy, students


Fieldwork is essential to occupational therapy students’ development of professional competencies. Fieldwork models using student-to-fieldwork educator ratios of 1:1 and 2:1 are widely used, however, quantitative research exploring differences in student competencies between these two models is scarce. The objective of this study was to determine if development of student competencies differ between 2:1 and 1:1 fieldwork models during an occupational therapy educational program. A retrospective study using two years of occupational therapy students’ competency ratings by fieldwork supervisors (N = 95 students; N = 355 fieldwork events) was performed. The Competency Based Fieldwork Evaluation for Occupational Therapists tool was used to assess student competencies at each fieldwork rotation (n = 5 placements). Independent samples t-tests were used to compare students’ scores during 1:1 and 2:1 placements. No significant differences were noted in student competencies following participation in 2:1 and 1:1 placements. It was concluded that students are equally well prepared for practice if they have 1:1 or 2:1 fieldwork experiences.

Author Biographies

Leanne Currie, University of British Columbia

Leanne M. Currie, RN, PhD
Associate Professor
UBC School of Nursing
T201-2211 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Donna Patricia Drynan, University of British Columbioa

Donna Drynan, M.Ed., OT(C)
Senior Instructor and Academic Fieldwork Coordinator
Dept of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy
Faculty of Medicine, UBC
T325-2211 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 2B5


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How to Cite

Short, M., Letham, C., Currie, L., & Drynan, D. P. (2017). Comparing Occupational Therapy Students’ Competency Scores: 2:1 versus 1:1 Fieldwork. International Journal of Practice-Based Learning in Health and Social Care, 5(1), 1–11.