SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMB926061
Module Leader Emma Green
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Occupational Therapy
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Normally successful completion of Year 1 of MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) programme, or equivalent

Summary of Content

This module aims to develop the critical and professional reasoning and decision making skills of learners to facilitate them to develop into future practitioners who can work within the legal and ethical boundaries of the profession. The module supports learners to integrate knowledge, skills and attitudes required of professional practice embedded within the stipulated expectations of the Royal College of Occupational Therapy and Health and Care Professions Council standards. The module will support learners to engage critically with frameworks for professional reasoning, ethical theories and concepts of ethical practice such as professional boundaries, scope of practice, autonomy, human rights etc. In addition, to developing these professional attributes and critique of relevant theories and frameworks, this module will centralise the learners professional reasoning within occupation focused practice to ensure that students learn professional reasoning and decision making that is located within occupational therapies unique contribution to health and wellbeing; occupation. Ultimately, this module will synthesise the knowledge and skills the leaners have acquired to date and combine this with the values, behaviours and knowledge to identify professional and ethical issues to then make justified and evidenced professional decisions. This will facilitate the learners to develop to become ethical, safe and effective occupation focused future occupational therapists.


-360 1. Critique of a range of ethical theories that underpin ethical practice in health and social care 2. Critique of a range of contemporary frameworks for professional reasoning 3. Critical review of RCOT/ HCPC professional standards (RCOT Code of ethics [2015] and HCPC Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics [2016] and HCPC Standards of proficiency for Occupational Therapy [2013]) 4. Critical discussion of evidence informed, occupation focused professional reasoning and decision making 5. Critical engagement in ethical and safe practice concepts such as professional relationships/ boundaries, scope of practice, duty of care, human rights and autonomy 6. Critical review of the impact of culture, attitudes and values on personal and professional development including unconscious bias 7. Ethical dilemmas and critical incidents in health, social care and third sector practice relevant to occupational therapy 8. Critical discussion risk and how this can be enabling and prohibitive Critical discussion of contemporary legal frameworks and how these relate to professional reasoning and decision making within occupational therapy practice.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:Learning outcomes have been mapped to HCPC Standards of Proficiency (2013) in brackets.1. Critically evaluate ethical and safe practice as determined by most current code of ethics and performance (RCOT) and standards of conduct, performance and ethics (HCPC) and standards of proficiency - occupational therapy (HCPC) alongside other relevant codes of ethics and performance which underpin practice (section 1,2,3,4,5,6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15) Essay2. Demonstrate critical thinking and professional reasoning skills to make informed, evidenced and justified occupation focused decisions within professional practice (4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 8.6, 11.1, 11.2, 13.7, 13.10, 14.4, 14.6, 14.8, 14.9, 14.11, 14.12, 14.13, 14.14, 14.15, 14.16, 14.17, 14.18, 14.19, 14.20, 14.24) Essay3. Critically evaluate ethical theories to inform ethical decision making in occupational therapy practice (4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6) Essay4. Critically evaluate the concept of risk and how this informs evidence and justified occupation focused decision making in practice (15.1, 15.2, 15.3, 15.4, 15.5) Essay5. Critically evaluate the legal and ethical boundaries of occupational therapy practice reflecting how this impacts reasoning and decision making (2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3) Essay6. Critically reflect and evaluate culture, attitudes and values of professional and organisational contexts and how this impacts informed, evidenced and justified occupation focused decision making in practice (3.1, 5.1, 5.3, 5.4, 6, 13.6, 14.1) Essay

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module is front loaded prior to PrBL 3 - diverse practice in order to enhance the development of professional reasoning, skill and values to support students apply theory to practice. Seminars will be used to introduce keynote topics and interactive learning activities embedded within and throughout the seminar sessions. This provides a flexible and dynamic learning environment to support students critically engage in theories and concepts within real world case scenarios. The module provides the students with practically orientated learning and teaching activities to simulate decision making and reasoning requirements of occupational therapy practice through use of real world case studies/ simulated scenarios. The virtual learning environment via GCU learn will be used to facilitate and support independent learning and continue the critical debate and thinking via a variety of online medium. The virtual learning environment will provide a range of additional material and resources such as videos, links to websites, reports or scanned book chapters. A variety of formative learning activities will be used to develop a shared understanding of the assessment criteria and to empower students to achieve the learning outcomes in a self-directed manner. The module will have one course work component in the form of a critical essay to engage student in critical discussion regarding ethical theories/ professional frameworks and standards to a learner selected real world practice situation to demonstrate professional reasoning to make an informed, evidenced and justified occupation focused professional decisions.

Indicative Reading

BEAUCHAMP, T.L and CHILDRESS, J. 2013. Principles of Biomedical Ethics 7 th edit. Oxford University, Oxford BUSHBY, K. et al, 2015. Ethical Tension in Occupational Therapy. British Journal of Occupational Therapy [online] 78(4) pp. 212-221 [viewed 13 December 2015] Available from: <> <> COLLEGE OF OCCUAPTIONAL THERAPY 2015. Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct RCOT London CORNING, H. 2005. Ethical issues facing Healthcare Professionals [online] RC Educational Consulting Services, Riverside, CA [viewed 05 January 2016] Available from: <> DELANY, C. & GALVIN, J., 2014. Ethics and shared decision-making in paediatric occupational therapy practice. Developmental Neurorehabilitation. 17 (5), pp347-354. DELULIIS, E., 2017. Professionalism Across Occupational Therapy Practice. Thorofare, NJ: Slack Inc. HANCOCK, J. 2018. 'Professional ethics, regulation and fitness to practice'. In: CLOUSTON, T.J., WESTCOTT, L. & WHITCOMBE, S.W. eds. Transition to practice: Essential concepts for health and social care professions. Keswick: M & K Publishing. pp.3-16. HEALTH AND CARE PROFESSIONS COUNCIL 2013. Occupational Therapy Standards of Proficiency HCPC England -547 HEALTH AND CARE PROFESSIONS COUNCIL 2016. Code of Conduct, Performance and Ethics England HIGGS, J. et al 2018. Clinical Reasoning in the Health Professions Elsevier America JASPER M., ROSSER, M. & MOONEY, G. 2013. Professional Development, Reflection and Decision-Making , [online] 2 nd Edition, Wiley-Blackwell Chichester [viewed 21 January 2016] Available from: <> -547 JONGH, J.C. BRANDT. L. WEGNER L. 2019 Occupational therapy students perspectives of ethics in two contires: South Africa and the United States of America International Journal of Health Sciences 13(4) <> KINSELLA, E.A., PHELAN, S.K., PARK LALA, A. & MOM, V., 2015. An investigation of students' perceptions of ethical practice: engaging a reflective dialogue about ethics education in the health professions. Advances in Health Sciences Education. 20 (3), pp.781-801. MATTINGLY, C. & FLEMING, M.H. 1994. Clinical Reasoning: Forms of Inquiry in a Therapeutic Practice. A Davis Philadelphia Publishers MORRISON, E.E. & FURLONG, B., 2019. Health Care Ethics. 4 th ed. Burlington, MA: Jones & Barlett Learning. -547 PHANG, K. (ed), 2014. 7 Key Ethical Principles of Nursing [online] Nursing Community Journal [Accessed 05/01/16] Available from: <> PURTILO, R. DOHERTY, R. 2016. Ethical Dimensions in the Health Professions Elsevier ROYAL COLLEGE OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY. 2017. Embracing Risk Enabling Choice London SCHELL, B. SCHELL, J.W. 2017. Clinical and Professional Reasoning in Occupational Therapy Wolters Kluwer SEEDHOUSE, D. 2009; Ethics: The Heart of Health Care ; John Wiley and Sons (Ebook) STOLT, M., LEINO-KILPI, H., RUOKONEN, M., REPO, H. & SUHONEN, R., 2018. Ethics interventions for healthcare professionals and students: A systematic review. Nursing Ethics. 25 (2), pp.138-152. STRONG, G., 2018. 'Professionalism: A journey from novice to expert practitioner. In: CLOUSTON, T.J., WESTCOTT, L. & WHITCOMBE, S.W. eds. Transition to practice: Essential concepts for health and social care professionals. Keswick: M & K Publishing. pp.31-44. THOMAS, Y. SEEDHOUSE, D. PEUTHERER, V. LOUGHLIN, M. 2019. An empirical investigation into the role of values in occupational therapy decision-making <> British Journal of Occupational Therapy 82(6) p357-366 TITTERTON, M. 2005. Risk and risk taking in health and social welfare , London: Jessica Kingsley. Available at: VANDERKAAY, S. JUNG, B. LETTS, L. 2019 Continuing competency in ethical decision making: An interpretive description of Occupational therapists' perspectives <> Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy 86(3) p209-219 WAYNE, K., 2019. How Can Ethics Support Innovative Health Care for an Aging population? Ethics and Behavior. 29 (3), pp.227-253.

Transferrable Skills

Increased ability to make decision with complexities of health and social care practice Increase ability to integrate personal values with professional values and behaviour Ability to use evidence to inform practice reasoning and decision making Ability to understand and work within complexities of professional relationship within a workplace

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 99.00
Assessment (FT) 15.00
Seminars (FT) 36.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 50% Critical Essay - 3500 words