Course Outline

HLT204 Clinical Foundations in Orthotics

Course Coordinator:Brian Delaney ( School:School of Health - Public Health

2023Semester 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


Building upon skills introduced in HLT102, this course introduces principles of orthotic treatment of the lower limb and spine in musculoskeletal conditions. You will learn how orthoses are designed, how they interact with the body to control movement, and skills related to the assessment of and manufacture of an orthosis. Projects are centred on enhancing psychomotor skills and familiarity with materials/techniques used in orthotics through the fitting of prefabricated and custom-fabricated orthoses.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Independent structured learning materials 4hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Tutorial/Workshop 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Laboratory 1 – Laboratory 3hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

Module 1: Lower limb orthoses and biomechanics 

Module 2: Musculoskeletal evaluation and conditions

Module 3: Spinal orthoses 

What level is this course?

200 Level (Developing)

Building on and expanding the scope of introductory knowledge and skills, developing breadth or depth and applying knowledge and skills in a new context. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally, undertaken in the second or third full-time year of an undergraduate programs.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Mapping Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming... Professional Standard Mapping * The Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association
1 Describe characteristics of common musculoskeletal aetiologies and discuss common orthotic and related treatment strategies. Knowledgeable
2.1.1, 2.2.1, 2.4.1, 6.1.1, 6.2.1, 6.2.3
2 Describe the relevant factors and evidence for selecting and/or modifying orthotic intervention for the spine and/or lower limb to appropriately manage a client with musculoskeletal impairment. Empowered
2.3.2, 2.3.6, 2.4.1, 2.4.2, 3.1.1, 5.2.1, 5.3.1
3 Critically evaluate the assessment, fit and function of a lower limb or spinal orthosis using professional terminology to inform future performance and practice on yourself and for a peer. Empowered
2.1.3, 2.4.2, 2.4.4, 2.4.5, 3.1.3, 3.2.1, 3.2.2
4 Demonstrate developing technical competence using common techniques in casting and fabrication used to create a thermoplastic lower limb orthosis Engaged
3.1.1, 3.1.2, 3.1.3, 3.2.1, 5.1.1, 5.1.2, 5.2.1, 5.3.1, 5.3.2
5 Demonstrate safe developing competence and professionalism in the physical assessment (including prompt communicative feedback) on a simulated client with musculoskeletal impairment for assessment, measurement, and fitting of a lower limb and/or spinal orthosis. Engaged
1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.1.4, 1.1.5, 1.1.6, 1.1.7, 2.1.3, 3.1.1, 3.2.1

* Competencies by Professional Body

The Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association
1.1.1 Ensures all interactions with the client and/or carer demonstrate respect, honesty, empathy and dignity and are conducted in a culturally appropriate manner
1.1.2 Ensures the client is the focus of the care pathway
1.1.4 Obtains informed consent from the client and/or carer prior to the provision of care
1.1.5 Listens effectively to the client and/or carer
1.1.6 Encourages the client and/or carer to participate and provide feedback
1.1.7 Provides prompt, accurate and comprehensive information in clear terms to enable the client and/or carer to male am informed decision
2.1.1 Identifies subjective and objective information to enable development of an appropriate orthotic/prosthetic care plan
2.2.1 Accesses and utilises evidence to guide clinical decisions
2.4.1 Considers all relevant characteristics of the client during orthosis/prosthesis fitting and review processes
2.3.2 Considers the information obtained, the client and/or carer’s goals and evidence when formulating treatment options
2.3.6 Determines and justifies the design details of the orthosis/prosthesis prescription
2.4.2 Uses appropriate techniques to ensure optimal fit and function of the orthosis/prosthesis
2.1.3 Performs assessment professionally, safely and effectively
2.4.4 Evaluates and monitors treatment outcomes using patient feedback and/or outcome measures
2.4.5 Modifies treatment to ensure best possible outcomes are maintained
3.1.1 Utilises appropriate casting, measuring and/or cast modification techniques to facilitate fabrication
3.1.3 Performs and/or coordinates requires modifications of orthoses/prostheses
3.2.1 Assesses the orthosis/prosthesis for structural safety at appropriate intervals
3.2.2 Ensures the orthosis/prosthesis is compliant with manufacturer guidelines and standards
3.1.2 Fabricates and/or coordinates the optimal fabrication of orthoses/prostheses
5.2.1 Recognises the responsibility to do no harm
5.3.1 Works within professional scope of practice, consent of client and/or carer and authority of employer
5.1.1 Adheres to legislation and workplace guidelines relating to safety
5.1.2 Identifies workplace hazards and acts to eliminate or reduce risks
5.3.2 Seeks assistance or refers on when beyond own level of competence
6.1.1 Undertakes independent learning to further own knowledge and skills on a continuous basis
6.2.1 Assesses and critically analyses sources of evidence
6.2.3 Integrates evidence and new learning into practice to improve health outcomes for clients

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


HLT102 and LFS122 and enrolled in Program SC367 with a Prostehetics and Orthotics Extended Major


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Basic technical skills related to PO and anatomy

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

In week 4, you will receive formative feedback on Task 1 Portfolio to help prepare for future sessions.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Portfolio Individual 30%
1800 words
Week 13 Online ePortfolio Submission
All 2 Report Individual 30%
1500 words
Week 11 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Examination - Centrally Scheduled Individual 40%
120 minutes
Exam Period Exam Venue
All - Assessment Task 1:Practical Competencies Portfolio
This portfolio will allow you to improve the connection of theory learned in class regarding orthotic design, physical evaluation, anatomy, and biomechanics to the performance, as well as develop your ability to critique your own and others work, in the areas of physical assessment, problem solving orthotic fit, and communication skills.
Product: Portfolio
You will complete a series of OSCEs, interactions and reflections, both on campus and via submissions to Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Description of common musculoskeletal aetiologies and orthotic treatment strategies for the spine and/or lower limb
1 2
Critical evaluation of assessment, fit and performance of client simulation
3 5
Demonstration of developing technical competence in fabrication, fitting and evaluation of a lower limb orthosis
3 4
Demonstration of safe developing competence and professionalism in the physical assessment, measurement and fitting of a lower limb or spinal orthosis for a simulated client
All - Assessment Task 2:AFO Tuning Report
The report will provide an opportunity to reinforce skills developed in the first half of the semester in evaluation and fabrication skills and place them within the context of a project looking at the efficacy of AFO management and improving outcomes through AFO tuning concepts, using assessment, fabrication, and design concepts in an applied project.
Product: Report
The report will discuss the results of and implications of design and alignment using real-world applications in P&O completed during lab. The report will require you to discuss, using principles, methods and critique of primary literature, how these elements work together to improve P&O intervention and the implications on future clinical practice and efficacy of AFO management.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstration of technical competence
4 5
Description of current literature relating to aetiologies and orthotic intervention
1 2
Critical evaluation and comprehension of results
Critical discussion of the literature to inform future practice
Demonstration of communication skills to relevant stakeholders
All - Assessment Task 3:Final Exam
The purpose of the final exam is to ensure you understand the theoretical knowledge and terminology related to orthotic care and musculoskeletal disorders presented in online.
Product: Examination - Centrally Scheduled
A 120-minute examination which will consist of a variety of multiple choice, T/F, and fill-in-the-blank questions, short answers and long answer questions.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Description of common musculoskeletal aetiologies and the evidence for selecting orthotic intervention for the spine and/or lower limb
Discussion of common orthotic and related treatment strategies
Critical evaluation of the function of a lower lib or spinal orthosis using professional terminology

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Kevin C. Chui,Sheng-Che Yen,Milagros Jorge,Michelle M. Lusardi 2019 Orthotics and Prosthetics in Rehabilitation n/a Saunders

Specific requirements

You will be required to wear Program polo (available from UniSC Marketing), Student name tag, Student ID, approved pants, and closed toe shoes during client and/or professional encounters.

How are risks managed in this course?

Risk assessments have been performed for all laboratory classes and a moderate level of health and safety risk exists. Moderate risks are those associated with laboratory work such as working with chemicals and hazardous substances. You will be required to undertake laboratory induction training and it is also your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct.

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

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