Allocation Results 2013
Physiotherapy Allocation in NSW
NSW Physiotherapy Students are taught through clinical education the value of having a public hospital based position for the first year of practice as a registered Physiotherapist. NSW Public Hospitals have the ability to provide an appropriate level of supervision combined with a broad range of experience and locations.
One of the ways in which the physiotherapy profession tries to achieve this is by Allocation. This scheme allows NSW Physiotherapy graduates to be allocated to a NSW Public Hospital for a 12 month contract. Participating hospitals agree to employ the new graduate and provide them a wide range of clinical experience in conjuction with appropriate supervision and encouragement of the development of skills.
Allocation has been around for more than 35 years. It exists to allow new graduates transition from under-graduate status to that of a confident, competent, reliable and public hospital employable physiotherapist.
Originally, Allocation was the concept of Managers of various Physiotherapy Departments. They organized dedicated positions for new graduates in their hospitals. It was expanded and became a formal responsibility when the Registration Act required new graduates to have a year of clinical practice to become registered. When this Act was changed in the mid 1980's and the University course became at first 3.5 then 4 years the 'pre-registration' year was no longer required but Allocation continued. No longer a formal necessity, it is a unique, established, successful, credible, voluntary commitment to new graduates.
The current Allocation system simple stated is a "job lottery based on preferences" - but it is a lottery that has obligations. Those obligations are :-
A lot of time, money and effort that goes into making this 'lottery' the fairest, most transparent system possible. It has been subjected to scrutiny, annual surveys and 'Ministerials' but the conclusion and comments have been the same - positive affirmation that this is a very good idea and the processes are the fairest we can make them.
At this time for 2013 - 2014 it is predicted that there will be more applicants than positions. It is always one of the aims of the Allocation Committee is to increase the number of FYG positions but the current situation is that there are less positions than applicants.
This gives rise to probably the most negative aspect of the Allocation system. People who want to be in Allocation and are not successful in getting a position it is a very negative experience. It is especially difficult when the possible explanation is that they missed out because someone "went into Allocation for a few weeks to tie me over until I get offered a position in a Private Practice".
From the hospital's prospective, offering a FYG position to a person who then does not stay for the 12 months is also a very negative experience. The hospitals take a risk in supporting Allocation and when it backfires there are often long term repercussions, e.g. FYG positions lost. All Hospitals have had a 'less than optimal experience' with Allocation but generally the experience is rewarding - something worth continuing for the next 35 years.
Hospitals have persisted in supporting Allocation and their commitment to the individuals and the profession is to be applauded.
For people who do secure a position in Allocation for their first year it is an excellent start to hopefully a long career. Clinical education is reinforced and enhanced in a supportive environment as well as taking that step from 'student' to 'registered physiotherapist'.
Allocation will only remain a viable option if all the stakeholders are committed to upholding the principles and 'rules'.
From the New graduate: the commitment is to only apply if you will: