Supporting AHP Students: a resource for non-registered AHP support staff


Practice placement education (PPE) is a key component of healthcare training and therefore it’s essential that PPE provides a supportive and safe learning environment for students (HCPC 2017). In searching for innovative ways to increase our practice learning experience and capacity for PPE and from student feedback we identified the significant role our non-qualified workforce play in PPE, not only in improving the quality and pastoral support for students but also as role models with a wealth of knowledge and skills to share. Therefore a 1 day course was created to provide our non-qualified workforce with the skills to directly support PPE and work alongside clinical educators (CEs). Through this we aim to enhance our placement quality, capacity and productivity. Purpose and Aims The purpose of this course was to equip our Allied Health Professional (AHP) assistant workforce with additional skills relevant to PPE to support our CEs. Aims:

· To improve understanding of the diverse learning needs of students

· To develop observational, interpersonal, communication and teaching skills

· To learn how to recognise appropriate student performance and competence

· Develop skills in providing constructive feedback and supporting the CE with underperforming students

Delegates scored 4.84 out of 5
for satisfaction and quality of the course and reported an increased understanding of the student journey


The course was produced in collaboration with AHP Placement and Education Providers. The course delegates comprised of Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Operating Department Practitioners, Radiography, Radiotherapy and Dietetic assistants. Teaching methods included taught sessions (produced and delivered in partnership by University tutors, Practice Placement Facilitators and CEs), interactive workshops and case studies/shared experiences. An interprofessional learning approach was used to broaden the learning experience, enhance knowledge and share expertise in the context of student education (Barr and Low 2013).


Results: Delegates scored 4.84 out of 5 for satisfaction and quality of the course and reported an increased understanding of the student journey, why students may struggle on placement, increased confidence in involvement in PPE and felt better equipped to support the CE in providing positive and constructive feedback on student performance.

Conclusion(s): The AHP Assistant Educator course has proved very popular and received excellent feedback, with delegates pledging to put their learning into practice to improve the student experience. Moving forward, the course will include wider AHPs with input from their affiliated Universities. It is hoped that by consolidating the skills and expertise of the assistant workforce in supporting students on placement that this will have a positive impact on AHP PPE at the University Hospitals Derby and Burton.

Cost and savings

No further data. 


Our band 3 and 4 staff have been involved in student induction and training during placement. They have fed back that this has given them the confidence to play more of a role within the student placement experience, and ease the pressure on the educator. In turn, this has lead to an increase in student capacity within the trus

Top three learning points

No further data 

Funding acknowledgements

This work was not funded and used staff from the trust and local HEIs to deliver the teaching sessions