Practice educators facilitate, support and assess physiotherapy student learning on practice placements. They also support the work-based learning of peers, work colleagues and other professionals, as well as patients and their families.
Support for physiotherapy student placements
Physiotherapy students on practice placement need to accrue 1,000 hours in the workplace. To develop a broad range of skills, this is best achieved in a wide range of settings and contexts, working with and learning from staff at all levels.
Students require a named practice educator (a registered health professional) at every placement to guide and support their period of learning. The educator will facilitate learning opportunities, coordinate periods of supervision with other team members, as well as provide feedback and assessment.
While practice educators have the primary instructive role, all physiotherapists are expected to play a part in supporting students on placement. And this idea - why education needs to be seen as a core physiotherapy skill - is explored more in the CSP Physiotherapy Framework.
Become a practice educator
CSP members can see key messages and myths around practice-based learning (PrBL) further down this page. You will need to be logged in to this website to access them.
Are you interested in becoming a practice educator and doing more to help students on their placements?
It's probably best to start by having a discussion about possible options with your line manager. They may well then suggest contacting the link tutor of the higher education institution (HEI) that has placements in your service. Don’t be put off if you work on a part-time basis or non-traditional hours. Placements may be offered jointly with other practice educators, either within the same sector or across different sectors. A student can benefit greatly from a well-coordinated placement with more than one practice educator.
The HEI(s) you link with will provide you with information on the range of activities and training they offer to prepare and support your practice educator role. Learning activities for practice educators don't just enhance the quality of student practice education. They also have wider benefits for individual practitioners' professional development and contribute to overall service delivery.
Find out more
The CSP offers two main networking routes for practice educators:
- sign up to both the 'Practice Educator' and 'Learning & Development' networks on iCSP
- join in face-to-face and online national network meetings, learning and development sessions at Physiotherapy UK and education-relevant webinars
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more these opportunities.
Please also note that later on in 2017, the new CSP Virtual Learning Environment will provide members with new and updated resources for practice educators. In the meantime, use the suggestions below for interim help and guidance:
- Department of Health (2013): Introduction of Tariffs for Education and Training.
- Guidance for CSP members on professional and public liability insurance and related issues
- NHS Education for Scotland : AHP Practice Education: Supporting education in the workplace
- ‘Practice makes perfect: Learning from student practice education, Frontline, 19 February 2014
- CPD and student practice education, Frontline, 5 March 2014
- Advice Line: Lessons from Practice, Frontline, 1 October 2014