To provide a critically reflective account of clinical educators’ experiences of the Accreditation of Clinical Educators (ACE) scheme, launched by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in 2004, and its impact on practice.
A qualitative methodology with three elements: focus group interviews during the accreditation process, and completion of a questionnaire at its conclusion and 6 months following completion. All data were transcribed and analysed using the constant comparative method.
Seventeen participants provided initial feedback through focus group interviews. Thirteen participants completed all three phases of the inquiry. The sample was purposive.
Three main themes emerged: getting to grips with reflection: a benefit for CPD; the relationship between professional recognition, competence and confidence; and perceived impact within the educators’ scope of influence.
This small-scale study of the outcomes of clinical educators’ engagement with the ACE process suggests that it contributes to their personal and professional development by helping them to gain experience of portfolio building and reflective writing, and increasing confidence in their own competence through providing acknowledgment of having achieved a recognised standard. The ACE scheme appears to impact positively on clinical educators’ approaches to supporting students on clinical placement. However, positive effects also extend to colleagues and clients.
Impact of the Accreditation of Clinical Educators Scheme: reflections from one higher education institution Julie Sellars, Lynn Clouder
Physiotherapy - December 2011 (Vol. 97, Issue 4, Pages 339-344, DOI: 10.1016/j.physio.2010.11.005)