Orthotics Immobilisation Course


Headshot BREDY - BGR Headshot CLARK - BGR Headshot JAMES - BGR

Terra Bredy

Accredited Hand Therapist

Tracey Clark

Accredited Hand Therapist

Melissa James

Accredited Hand Therapist


Dave Parsons

Accredited Hand Therapist

Helen Fitzgerald

Accredited Hand Therapist

Barb Hall

Accredited Hand Therapist

Course type

This course is an AHTA Elective course.

Elective courses are suitable for practitioners:

  • that are experienced and wish to upskill or revise current best-practice
  • wishing to gain greater knowledge in a specific area of hand therapy
  • wanting continued professional learning (CPD hours)
  • undertaking to complete the Accredited Hand Therapist credential.

Refer Course types.


AHTA courses meet Australian Quality Framework (AQF) Level 8 standards.

Course presenters are Accredited Hand Therapists and they have undertaken a four-stage presenter training program.


Participants must be a graduate Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist.

Course content

This course focuses on the design and fabrication of immobilisation orthoses. A dynamic format using lectures, case studies, demonstrations and hands-on practical activities will help participants to improve their splinting quality and efficiency and take the fear factor out of splinting. Participants in our immobilisation course will learn principles underpinning clinical reasoning for designing and prescribing immobilisation orthoses for the fingers, thumb and wrist. Learn to make patterns and master various splinting materials to fabricate professional-looking, comfortable splints to meet your patient’s needs. 

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this course, therapists will have:

  • Detailed knowledge of the theoretical basis of orthotic design for immobilisation of the upper limb
  • Detailed knowledge of the properties of thermoplastic materials and products 
  • An ability to apply knowledge of anatomy, histology and pathology of the musculoskeletal system or neurological dysfunction to the design and fabrication of upper limb immobilisation orthoses 
  • An understanding of orthotic fabrication as a therapeutic modality within the treatment regime for patients
  • An ability to fabricate orthoses for the immobilisation of the upper limb using a variety of thermoplastic materials
  • An ability to analyse the quality of a fabricated orthosis specific to a patient’s clinical and functional requirements. 

Refer to the Immobilisation Participant Manual found under My Documents in your AHTA portal. 

Participants may choose to undertake the assessment.

Completing and passing the assessment is a requirement for those wishing to apply to become an Accredited Hand Therapist.

The course has 3 assessment components:

  1. Practical demonstration of orthosis fabrication: completion of all orthoses and evidence of competence in orthotic fabrication during the course
  2. Examination: 1 hr exam, 65% required to pass
  3. Case study: Submission of a case study using evidenced-based practise decision making and application of clinical knowledge submitted 4 weeks after the course.

Further details regarding assessment can be located in the Participant Manual, located in your account portal approximately five weeks prior to course.

Participants who cannot complete the exam as scheduled and advertised will forfeit the option of a Certificate of Attainment. A Certificate of Attendance will be provided.


This course is 20 CPD hours for attendance only.

Participants will receive 50 CPD hours if they complete and pass the assessment. 


Member discount

Discounts apply for Associates and Accredited Hand Therapists.

To become a member of the association, please click here

To book

To book your place:

Login or create an account

Go to the Course & event registration and click purchase event. 


Non-Member $1430.00 inc GST

Associate $929.50 inc GST

Accredited Hand Therapist $858.00 inc GST

To become a member of the Association please click here


We endeavour to run all courses as scheduled however, at times, our courses do not meet the required minimum numbers to go ahead. Therefore, we advise that you DO NOT book flights and/or accommodation until the registration closing date (one month before the course), at which time we will notify you if the course does not proceed. Please Contact us for advice if you wish to book flights earlier.

Please read the Course Cancellation Policy before registering for our courses. 


The AHTA has a standard for course times as follows:

Face-to-face courses are held from 9.00 am – 5.30 pm local time.

Online courses are held from 9.00 am – 5.30 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).

Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)* is from 2.00 am on the first Sunday in April to 2.00 am on the first Sunday in October. 

Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)+ is from 2.00 am on the first Sunday in October to 2.00 am on the first Sunday in April. 

*Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) is local time for VIC, NSW, ACT, QLD and TAS. 

If you are in SA, WA, or NT you must check the time difference.

+Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) is local time for VIC, NSW, ACT and TAS.

If you are in QLD, WA, SA or NT you must check the time difference.

If you are not certain, use this website to convert: 


Before you attend


Pre-learning for this course will be available in a portal, accessed using your login and can be located under My Documents four weeks before the course. We recommend you commence the pre-learning as soon as it is available.

The pre-learning for this course includes the mandatory theory videos and quizzes:

Orthotic Fabrication Immobilisation Course Resources – Pre-learning Modules: Step 1 Videos

Orthotic Fabrication Immobilisation Course Resources – Pre-learning Modules: Step 2 Quizzes

Please view the video* before completing the assessment:

  1. Pre-learning Module: Session 1 (60 mins to view, 30-min quiz)
  2. Pre-learning Module: Session 2 (80 mins to view, 30-min quiz)

Quiz information: please refer to the schedule on the relevant course registration page for the due date (no extensions will be granted, and access to videos and the assessments will no longer be active after the closing date).

You have 30 minutes to complete the quiz comprising multiple-choice and true/false questions.

You have only ONE ATTEMPT, please do not navigate away from the browser once you have started, as your attempt will be closed.

You can review and amend your answers before completion if you wish by using the navigation buttons within the program.

Please ensure you access these resources prior to the quiz deadline. We recommend you do this at your earliest convenience.

* VIDEO DISCLAIMER: The primary purpose of these videos is to educate and inform.  This video does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services and is available only for private, non-commercial use.  Advertising which is incorporated into, placed in association with or targeted toward the content of this video without the express approval and knowledge of the AHTA is strictly forbidden.  You may not edit, modify or redistribute this video.  The developers of this video and the AHTA assume no liability for any activities in connection with this video or for the use of this video in connection with any other website, computer or playing device.  Please contact the AHTA if you have any questions or concerns.

Portal access

All information regarding this course is located in a portal on our website. To access please follow the steps below. 

  1. Go to our website ahta.com.au
  2. Click on Login, located in the top right-hand corner
  3. Enter your username and password and click Login
  4. Go to the My Documents tab
  5. Click on the"[COURSE NAME] Resources" to access the course materials.
  6. Click on the Events tab to download your tax invoice.

The workbook for this course will be available for you at the venue.

What to bring

Essential Items:

  • Pen for adding notes to your course workbook which will be provided at the course
  • Sharp Scissors for cutting heated thermoplastic
  • Shears to cut cold thermoplastic materials
  • Smooth Roll Bandage (width 7.5cm)
  • Small Towel
  • Chinagraph pencil/splint markers

Desirable Items:

  • Electric Frying Pan**
  • Heat Gun**

**Whilst every attempt is made by the AHTA to run the course at venues able to supply these items, some venues may not be able to cater these items for the full group. If this is the case for your course the AHTA office will inform participants via email.


Photography and filming

Images taken at our workshops may be used for promotion and evaluation, including press releases, publicity materials, newsletters, eNews, social media, presentations and our website. Images will not be accompanied by names or other details that could identify individuals. If you DO NOT consent to be filmed or photographed during an AHTA course, you must Contact us and advise the presenter on the first day of the course.

Previous participant feedback

Helen did a great job of presenting the material and explaining concepts clearly. I really enjoyed the items she brought for demonstration e.g elbow skeleton, elbow braces etc.

The course was very informative and I felt Helen moved through all the theory at a good pace. The manual was very comprehensive so easy to go back and check information if needed.

Great presenter, very knowledgeable and calm speaker.

Intellectual property disclaimer

By registering for this course you agree that during the course, any contributions verbally or in writing which you make in regard to improving, altering or amending the content of the course, may be used by the AHTA in subsequent courses and will become the intellectual property of AHTA


Contact us.

Presenter bios  

Barb Hall

Barb is an Occupational Therapist with over 20 years of experience in hand therapy in the UK, USA and Australia. She has a Master of Health Science degree from the University of Indianapolis and completed the Certification in Hand Therapy in the USA (HTCC) in the 1990s, where she developed her passion for rehabilitation of the hand and upper limb.  She has had many teachers and mentors:  Physio, OTs, surgeons and orthotists.

Barb’s interests include hand trauma, research and teaching.  Barb has been involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching at Curtin University.  She has published research in conjunction with therapists from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital on ‘Extensor Tendon Rehabilitation’ and ‘Carpal Tunnel Syndrome’.

She currently lives and works as a Senior Occupational Therapist in beautiful southwest of WA.

Helen Fitzgerald

Helen graduated from university in 2000. Initially working in the public sector, she worked in Rheumatology, Burns and Plastics; and Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation for 18 months before developing her Hand Therapy skills during locum work in the UK. On her return to Perth, she worked as a Senior Therapist in the Hand & Upper Limb Clinic at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital for 8 years before devoting her time as a Director and Principal Therapist at InHand Occupational Therapy. She is an active member of the AHTA and has been involved in membership and education for the past nine years. She was co-author of a research publication on the effectiveness of wrist splinting and education in the treatment of Carpal Tunnel syndrome in 2013.  Clinically Helen has a particular interest in acute trauma, tendon rehabilitation and Rheumatology. She has a flare for splint fabrication and is passionate about the ongoing development and mastery of this unique skill in hand therapists across Australia.

Terra Bredy

In 1996, Terra graduated with a degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Since that time, she has worked in a variety of public and private therapy clinics throughout Canada and the United States, and in 2002, she obtained a certification in Hand Therapy. She became a full member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA) in 2009 and served as the Queensland Divisional Representative in 2013. During a brief stint in California from 2014 to 2017, Terra was an Adjunct Professor at Stanbridge University, where she lectured at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and also served as a postgraduate research advisor on projects focused on Yoga as a therapeutic modality for CRPS and goniometric measurement techniques for wrist flexion/extension. Terra is an Accredited Hand Therapist with the AHTA and a Certified Hand Therapist with the HTCC. She is based in Brisbane, where she works as a Clinic Coordinator with EKCO Hand Therapy and as the owner/operator of LeatherWorks Splinting, fabricating custom leather orthotics.

Tracey Clark

Tracey has been a full member of the AHTA since 1997. She has worked in the public and private sectors and has recently opened her private practice – North West Hand Therapy, in suburban Sydney. Tracey has contributed significantly to the AHTA's growth and development as a volunteer on the Research Committee for four years, as President and on the Credentialing Council for five years. Tracey is interested in evidence-based practice and wants to improve members’ access to research to assist in clinical decision-making. Tracey has an MSc(Hand & UL Rehab) from Curtin University and has studied the relationship between sensibility and dexterity following digital nerve injury.

Melissa James

Melissa has worked in hand therapy for over 25 years.  She graduated from the University of  Queensland in 1991 with honours and a university medal.  She completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Hand and Upper Limb Rehabilitation (Curtin University) in 1997.  She has been a full member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association since 1996, including serving as Queensland State Representative.

Melissa has worked in both the public and private sectors and now has her private practice, Bayside Hand Therapy, in Brisbane.  Her teaching experience includes teaching splinting/orthotics to undergraduate occupational therapy students at the University of Queensland for several years, as well as running many courses on other hand therapy-related topics.  Melissa has been a presenter of the AHTA orthotic fabrication courses since 2006.

David Parsons

Dave graduated from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy in 2006. During his career, he has worked in private and public sectors, before moving into a role at Curtin University teaching hand and upper limb rehabilitation, including orthoses fabrication. Dave completed a PhD and conducted research. He has a keen interest in acute trauma and managing sporting injuries. Dave is currently on the AHTA Board of Directors.