Supporting the transition from student to new graduate: The development of a New Graduate Support Framework

Ms Kassie Shardlow1, Ms Vikki Schweitzer1

1Queensland Health | Metro South Health, Logan Hospital, Australia

Background: The transition from student to new graduate is challenging.   Currently within the Queensland Public Health Service (QPHS) there is variation in how physiotherapy new graduates (NG) are supported at each facility.  Whilst there are some NG state-wide resources available; NG support mechanisms are largely locally designed and led.  This has resulted in inconsistent delivery of NG support strategies across the state and duplication of effort.

Aim: To support the transition from student to NG by enhancing the access of the QPHS physiotherapy workforce to consistent, high quality new graduate support strategies that can be implemented locally, utilising a standardised approach and flexible delivery options.

Process: A project team was established to develop the Physiotherapy New Graduate Support Framework (the Framework).  Results of previous Queensland Health student to NG transition studies and relevant literature was reviewed, and key stakeholder groups were consulted during Framework development. The Framework was subsequently trialled and finalised, with a state-wide rollout planned in October 2021.

Outcome: The Physiotherapy New Graduate Support Framework (comprised of five key pillars) provides an evidence-based, structured approach to NG support; outlining essential and desirable strategies that, when implemented, assist NGs to transition from student to a valuable member of their healthcare team. Key to the successful implementation of the Framework are the New Graduate Support Plan and the New Graduate Guidebook that allow the NG and NG support staff to track NG engagement with the Framework.

This presentation will provide an overview on the Framework, supporting documents and lessons learned.

Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank the Directors of Physiotherapy Services Queensland for funding this project with support from the Allied Health Professions’ Office of Queensland.  The authors would also like to acknowledge the significant contribution of the project working party, steering committee and trial sites.


As Queensland’s Physiotherapy Clinical Education & Training Program Manager, Kassie provides strategic planning and professional leadership of state-wide clinical education and training initiatives for the Queensland Health Physiotherapy workforce and physiotherapy students.  She’s passionate about the provision of high-quality education that supports the delivery of safe and effective health care.   Kassie has extensive experience in the clinical education and training of physiotherapy students and staff in a variety of clinical areas of physiotherapy.

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