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What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

The NW London AHP Faculty formed at the start of Covid 19 and has served as a vehicle to support the maintenance of clinical placements for AHP students across the sector. The Faculty comprises of representatives from Health and Social Care Providers, Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) and Health Education England (HEE). The pandemic brought into sharp focus the need for authentic partnership working across these sectors, to ensure that clinical placements could continue to be provided, ensuring the continued pipeline of AHPs into the workforce. This partnership created innovative placement models ensuring a large number of AHP students progressed through their programmes and enter the workforce. Our project aims to build on this ethos of partnership and collaboration to continue to seek ways of providing both the necessary quantity of clinical placements, but with a real focus on high quality experience both for the students and practice educators.

What does your project aim to achieve?

This project aims to ensure that there continues to be a pipeline of AHPs coming into the workforce through the provision of a sufficient quantity of high quality clinical placements.

The NW London AHP Faculty will build on the work that was started during Covid 19 looking at new and innovative placement models, but they will expand the scope of their project to focus on the quality and experience of both students and practice educators when delivering clinical placements. The project will seek to evaluate traditional and novel practice education models from the student and educator perspective by exploring and understanding the challenges they face to facilitating these vital learning experiences during the ongoing pandemic and within the changed nature of services that has arisen as a result.  The project will capture these to develop a resource toolkit to support practice educators and teams.

How will the project be delivered?

If successful the funding would be used to provide additional hours to a post which already has a specific focus on AHP pre-registration placements. This post holder will work across the NW London to first understand what the challenges are for practice educators and to develop ideas and strategies for supporting these staff members to feel more confident with supporting clinical placements during the ongoing pandemic.

This work will include staff development opportunities to help challenge assumptions of practice educators about clinical placements and the impact they have on service provision and to provide tools and strategies that enable them to move to a coaching style when supporting placements that places greater responsibility for learning on the student themselves.

PDSA cycles will be used to test these tools and strategies and base line data will be used to measure the impact of these change ideas.

How is your project going to share learning?

The NW London AHP Faculty has access to a large network and will disseminate the results of this project across this network and beyond. Working with our HEI and HEE partners we will present at relevant forums and produce written reports and summaries that can be published as evidence as good practice examples.

We will look to use virtual forums so that we can maximise our reach in terms of sharing learning and we can invite interested parties to our AHP Faculty meetings in lieu of being able to facilitate a site visit because of the pandemic.

How you can contribute

  • The NW London AHP Faculty would like the support of the Q Community to refine our project idea. There has been a large focus on the expansion of clinical placements for AHP students over the last 10 months and this has been largely focused on quantity. We want to move the conversation along to focus on the quality of these placements and to ensure that we are providing the best support possible to practice educators. If you have previous experience of similar projects we would welcome and value your advice.
  • Furthermore, this is a large system wide project so any support from the community about things to consider and any pitfalls to avoid in this context, would be greatly valued.

Plan timeline

16 Sep 2020 April 2021 - post holder starts
16 Sep 2020 April 2021 – Money awarded
16 Sep 2020 January 2022 – Final project report written and dissemination begins
16 Sep 2020 July to September 2021 – PDSA cycles testing the change ideas identified
16 Sep 2020 July to September 2021 – PDSA cycles testing the change ideas identified
16 Sep 2020 June 2021 – Stakeholder events developing change ideas to support practice educators
16 Sep 2020 November to December 2021 – Scale ideas using PDSA cycles measuring impact
16 Sep 2020 October 2021 – Review project so far and identify further change ideas

Project updates


  1. Hi Helen, have you let the 169 people in Q's AHPs in QI SIG know about this project: ?

  2. Hi Gareth, thanks for getting in touch. Yes very happy to share ideas and collaborate. I would be interested to hear more of what you are doing.

  3. We are looking to do similar in South Yorkshire to design and complete an exercise to better understand the challenges, assumptions and biases through the lens of the practice educator. Happy to share design concept ideas and perhaps collaborate through reciprocal 'critical friending'?

    It's a interesting challenge finding the balance between growing quantity and quality.

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