Resources for AHP Practice Educators

Quality Education Equals Quality Care

I would like to:

Muscloskeletal physiotherapist using balance ball with female patient

Frequently asked questions for those supporting Allied Health Professional students in practice

 A 'Practice Educator' is defined as a person who is responsible for the learner's education during their practice-based learning (HCPC, 2017). 

To become a Practice Educator you will need to:

  • Gain one year's clinical experience as a registered practitioner

  • Read the HCPC's Standards of Education and Training

  • You will need to agree with your line manager that you are ready to attend the Introduction to Practice Education training

  • You can then apply for the Introduction to Practice Education training, which is run by the University of Southampton.  For information about this course, including the dates and venue you can visit their webpage

  • The University and Learning Environment Team will arrange bi-annual audits with the placement coordinators to ensure your setting is meeting the requirements for taking students.

  • Once you have completed the Introduction to Practice Education training, as best practice you should attend a Practice Educator Update every three years.  These updates are usually held at the University; For information, including the dates and venues of these updates visit the Universities webpage. Link for Southampton’s  or Winchester Webpage.  

  • From time to time the Trust holds in-houses Practice Educator updates, these can be booked on the LEaD website 

  • Students are expected to contact you in advance of their placement to introduce themselves and to discuss the expectations of their placements such as what uniform they should wear, what time and where they should attend on their first day, and any recommended reading

  • In some cases, for example OT students starting their first placement, they are encouraged by the University to complete two half day or one whole day pre-placement visit.  During this time they will be expected to meet with their Practice Educator and familiarise themselves with the learning and clinical environment.  Please try to support this within your busy schedule to be flexible to reduce the risk of students missing lectures

  • The Learning Environment team will send an email with induction information about the trust and how to get a RiO smartcard

    • Both Southampton and Winchester University use a paper grading system.  Southampton University will send this out with the student details when they make contact with the student details.  Winchester’s is available via their Portal and can be printed or completed online.  You may like to familiarise yourself with the paperwork prior to the student arriving. 

    • Students are allocated to your team in the summer to allow plenty of time for placement coordinators to assign fairly and to plan around them.  If you have time away from clinical practice booked when a student is due on placement within your team - please make satisfactory arrangements for the student to spend time with other professionals which will increase their understanding of the MDT

    • If your student requires computer access you will need to request a Network Account via the LogIT+ facility.  Remember to put an end date on the form.

  • The students are given RIO training by SHFT in advance of the placement.  The IT training team have a linked system with the University Portal that enables them to identify the students who will be coming into SHFT on placement and identify those who will require smart cards/RIO access, and training.
  • The IT training team then contact the student directly and arrange this.  The smart cards will be sent to the placement area for the student to pick up.
  • It is worth checking with the student when they make their pre-placement contact that they have received contact from the IT team.
  • It is expected that if you wear a uniform then they should, so if you wear a tunic or polo shirt then the students should too
  • If you do not wear a uniform, as is the case in many of our Mental Health and Learning Disability environments, then the student does not have to wear a uniform
  • Students should dress in accordance with the Trust Uniform policy and also their local University dress code policy
  • The student should wear their ID badges at all times

  • If the concern is something that you feel you cannot manage independently, and you would like support and/or advice please contact the learning environment team either via email or telephone: 02380 475799

  • You can also contact the student’s link tutor, information of how to contact them should be on the student’s documentation

It is expected that once you have been qualified for over a year you will support our future workforce in their training.  Please refer to the standard operating procedure for supporting pre-registration students in practice areas for more information

Please remember that the students you support in practice are our workforce for the future and it would be rewarding to see these students return to the trust to work once qualified.  Although circumstances may occur in a work place setting that cause unsettlement, please remain professional at all times and promote SHFT as a future for them.