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Continuing to Develop Educators for SCPHN and SPQ students

The Institute for Health and Social Care (IHSC) at Buckinghamshire New University (BNU) firmly believes that Specialist Practice Supervisors and Specialist Practice Assessors (previously called Community Practice Teachers), have the expert knowledge and skills that are central to ensuring the development of high-quality specialist practice.

We are committed to ensuring we continue to develop these vital educator roles in order to protect and enhance the health and wellbeing of our communities.

Unfilled Training Needs

Our Practice Teacher course came to the end of its validation period in 2020 in line with our Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (SCPHN) and Specialist Practitioner Qualification (SPQ) students moving onto the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (2018) Standards for student supervision and assessment (SSSA). The introduction of these standards effectively withdrew the Practice Teacher standards and in turn Health Education England (HEE) subsequently no longer supported these educator programmes.

In recognition, our SCPHN and SPQ academic team at BNU, alongside our practice partners and other stakeholders, recognised an important unfilled training need. Although support is provided to newly recognised Specialist Practice Supervisor and Specialist Practice Assessors to enable them to upskill their knowledge base and support SPQ and SCPHN students in practice, there remained a skill gap in teaching, learning and assessment theory.

New Short Course

To address this skill gap, we have developed a new short course. Our 15 credit, Level 7 short course is flexible in design supporting those in full-time practice through an online and independent study delivery model. It also supports our practice partners through competitive pricing. Indicative content includes topics such as roles and responsibilities, student-teacher relationships, inter-professionality, curriculum design, assessment of need and outcome.

Learning is assessed through the development of a Professional e-Portfolio. We are encouraging both Specialist Practice Supervisors and Specialist Practice Assessors to attend.

Please feel free to check out our newly developed Supervising and Assessing Specialist Community Practice course which will be starting in February 2022. If you would like to find out more or wish to apply, please contact our programme leads Carole Trespaderne Carole.Trespaderne@bucks.ac.uk  (SCPHN) or Sarah Thirtle Sarah.Thirtle@bucks.ac.uk (SPQ) who would love to hear from you.

At the IHSC at BNU, we whole-heartedly welcome, support and are honoured to be part of the QNI work in developing new Community Nursing Practice Teacher Standards. We hope this will help recognise and strengthen the Specialist Practice Supervisor and Specialist Practice Assessor role. Here’s the link with all the up-to-date information: https://www.qni.org.uk/nursing-in-the-community/standards/community-nursing-practice-teacher-standards/ .

We would like to take the opportunity to thank all those who are working as Specialist Practice Supervisors and Specialist Practice Assessors. Your dedication and expertise are highly valued in Higher Education, Clinical Practice, and most importantly by those you teach and assess.

Mel is a RN-Child and SCPHN-SN and is currently working as an Associate Professor- Education at the Institute for Health and Social Care at Buckinghamshire New University. She held various acute and community roles in the NHS, including working in safeguarding, before moving to academia where she has held positions including Senior Lecturer and Academic Lead for Retention and Attainment. She is passionate about protecting care quality through the assurance and enhancement of professional health and social care education.

Melanie Hayward @melhayward @BNUInstitute

Melanie.Hayward@Bucks.ac.uk