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Clinical Placement B1

2014 unit code: PSY80041 (formerly HAYC658)

Please note that unit codes have changed from 2014.
Credit points12.5 Credit Points
Duration1 Semester per placement
Contact hoursAs required

HAYC657 Clinical Placement A2


Related course(s)

A unit in the .

Aims and objectives

The placement units in this degree are integrated into a placement program that runs across the years of the course:

The Postgraduate Clinical Psychology Program at Swinburne University of Technology is designed to meet the growing demand for professionals with a high level of training in clinical skills, and who are trained to provide therapeutic interventions with people suffering from a range of clinical disorders.   The program subscribes to the “scientist-practitioner” model of clinical psychology.  The core features of this model are a respect for evidence and ongoing critical appraisal of one’s own practice.   At Swinburne, we encourage trainees to adopt a broad scholarly definition of what constitutes evidence relevant to clinical practice, an active critical approach to the existing evidence base, and an analytical mind-set in relation their own practice.    Clinical training at Swinburne is based on the problem formulation and hypothesis testing approach.  The emphasis of this approach is on developing an optimal individualized formulation of each client or clinical challenge.  Intervention choices and monitoring strategies flow directly from this formulation, which in turn will explicitly develop as treatment progresses.  Accordingly, graduates of the program will be able to:

·          Reach a detailed program formulation on the basis of both standardized and unstandardised assessments, and

·          Design and conduct appropriate individual, group and family treatment intervention programs, with ongoing monitoring, and revision of problem formulation and interventions where necessary.


Clinical Placement B1 (HAYC658)
 External Placements HAYC658 Clinical Placement B1 and (HAYC659 Clinical Placement B2) are undertaken in external field settings and can only commence after placements A1 and A2 are successfully completed.   This first major external placement in the program requires a greater degree of independence/autonomy from the trainee, and in this sense is a developmental step from the closely monitored activities of the two initial placements at the Swinburne Psychology Clinic (Clinical Placement A1 HAYC656) and the brief Clinical Placement A2 (HAYC657) at a mental health setting.   Trainees will typically be under the direct daily supervision of an on-site psychologist who is eligible for membership of the APS College of Clinical Psychologists, and the internal university placement coordinator will act as an additional supervisor to provide support for the placement experience.   

Clinical Placement B1 can occur at a variety of settings, depending upon the trainee’s experience, skill and interests

and depending on the availability of appropriate supervision on-site and a useful training role in the organisation. 


Teaching methods

The primary teaching method in this unit is direct supervision of the trainee’s clinical activities by an experienced clinician in an appropriate external mental health setting.  Supervision will be conducted in both individual and group formats, and the supervision process will be informed by regular observation of the trainee’s work with clients, as well as review of clinical documents written by the trainee. 


Placements are ungraded subjects. Successful completion of each placement requires satisfactory performance in each of the following:

·       Placement Activities Logbook showing cumulative days, hours and client contact hours accrued. The logbook must be signed by the supervisor.

·       Supervisor’s Report

·       For progress towards registration as a psychologist in Victoria, the Registration Board has a form that must be completed by the supervisor at each placement (Form B – Placement Report Form, see to download a copy of this form).  Note that trainees are responsible for maintaining and submitting these reports to the Board. 

·    Trainee’s Placement Report (500 words for A1 and A2, 1500 words for B1 and B2) on the nature of the work undertaken. This report should:

       (a) describe the type of work the trainee undertook during the period of placement,  

       (b) the personal gains in experience and insight from the placement, including


                (c) the trainee's appraisal of the effectiveness of the services and their delivery.

·       Trainee’s Daily Dairy/Journal of activities, which is a more detailed account of activities undertaken.

·       Psychological Assessment Reports, which must be approved and co-signed by the Supervisor (total of 4 for MPsych trainees and 6 for DPsych trainees across all placements).

·       Across all placements, a total of 10 x Mental State Examinations and 4 x Case History Reports, which must be approved and co-signed by the Supervisor.

·     Psychometric testing: Across the placement program, trainees must demonstrate proficiency in psychometric test administration, interpretation and report writing, across a variety of domains.  Trainees must complete 2 tests selected from 2 of the categories listed in the Board’s supervision regulations (i.e., 4 tests).   In addition, beyond the experience gained in the subject HAY627 Advanced Psychological Assessment, they must complete 3 administrations, interpretations and reports of each of:

o         WAIS-III or WISC-IV

o         MMPI-2

o         WMS-III

·     Psychometric Assessment and interpretative reports must be approved and co-signed by the Supervisor. The trainee is required to keep a record of psychometric testing conducted, which must be co-signed by the supervisor and submitted to the Placement Coordinator.

·      Supervisor Appraisal of Trainee Video / Live Session.

·      Complete 4 x case analysis reports for the Ethics seminars.

HAYC658, Clinical Placement B1
At a subject-by-subject level, performance will be deemed satisfactory (PASS level) upon completion of a series of tasks and assignments tied to each placement. The specific tasks that must be adequately completed in HAYC658, Clinical Placement B1 are:

·          Pre-placement contract

·          Supervisors Report and Board placement report

·          Supervisors Appraisal of Video / Live Session

·          Placement Activities Logbook

·          Daily Diary/ Journal

·          500 word Trainee Placement report

·          4 x written mental state examinations

·          3 x written case histories

·          1 x 2,000 word psychological assessment report

·          Ethics 2 x case analysis


Skill development targets Clinical Placement B1:

·          To be capable of taking a history, conducting a mental status examination, and arriving at a case formulation and diagnosis.

·          To have gained experience in the administration and interpretation of a range of psychological assessment strategies and to be capable of writing psychological reports.

        ·          To be aware of typical courses and prognoses of disorders, and to be capable of developing appropriate 

         treatment and management plans.

        ·         To have gained experience with a variety of intervention strategies, which may include case management, individual therapy, family therapy and/or group interventions, and to be capable of evaluating those interventions.
·          To have gained experience in functioning as an independent clinical psychologist within the facility, although closely supervised by field supervisors.

Generic skills outcomes

Graduates are capable in their chosen professional area:
•      Competence with the management of clients in a professional manner within specialist settings.
•      Advanced skills in customer service.
•      Competence in therapeutic interventions.
•      Ability to conduct psychological assessments concerning personality, intelligence and vocational questions.
•      Therapy skills in working with individual clients.
•      Competence in directing and evaluating group programs.
Graduates are adaptable and work effectively and ethically:
•      Applying the APS Code of Ethics and Guidelines.
Graduates are aware of environments:
•      Respect clients from diverse cultural backgrounds.
•      Understand the impact of culture on therapy.


The placements are measured in both total days (64 days = 512 total hours per placement) and in hours of direct client contact (205). 
Placement hours include client contact hours, group contact hours, supervision hours, plus workshop attendance, time spent reading relevant background literature, writing up client case notes, report writing, assessing individuals for inclusion in group programs, developing group programs and evaluating their effectiveness, administrative duties, and professional development activities.

Reading materials

American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and statistical manual for mental disorders - text revision (DSM-IV-TR), 4th edn, Washington, DC, 2000.
O'Donohue, W & Ferguson, K (eds),
Handbook of professional ethics for psychologists, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, 2003.

Other specified readings as set by the supervisor.

Text books

Australian Psychological Society, Code of ethics, 2003.
Australian Psychological Society,
Ethical guidelines, 5th edn.

Other specified readings as set by the supervisor.