Preceptorship and the four pillars of practice

Preceptorship programmes can be hugely beneficial for individuals settling into a role. You may be involved in preceptorship at different points throughout your career, as you begin a job or as you support new starters. Here we outline how it can support the Four Pillars of Practice.

The term preceptorship is defined as: 'a period of structured transition for the newly registered practitioner during which he or she will be supported by a preceptor, to develop their confidence as an autonomous professional, refine skills, values and behaviours and to continue on their journey of life-long learning.' Department of Health (2010) 

  • The preceptee is described as an individual who receives support and guidance.
  • The preceptor is the individual who provides this support to the preceptee.   

Here are some examples of how the work can support the Four Pillars of Practice.

Preceptee: newly qualified graduate 

Clinical pillar

  • Demonstrated by setting profession-specific learning objectives relevant to your role with a supervisor. i.e  to formulate treatment programmes and rehabilitation goals in conjunction with patients.

Leadership pillar

  • Participating fully in the preceptorship programme by preparing for and attending meetings as scheduled with preceptor 
  • Completing leadership training in preceptorship workshops 

Research pillar

  • Completing quality improvement and research skills training in preceptorship programme.

Education pillar

  • Completing all organisation and local induction, statutory and mandatory training. 
  • Attending study days and training to complete preceptorship programme.
  • Working collaboratively with preceptor to share reflections and identify learning and development needs.  
  • Owning your learning and development plan and completing CPD.
  • Supporting development of others e.g. students. 

 
Preceptor

The role of the preceptor is an integral part of a successful preceptorship programme. They provide guidance by helping the preceptee gain experience, apply learning and understand the scope and boundaries of their roles. This can also provide a developmental opportunity for preceptors across the four pillars of practice as below.

Clinical pillar

  • Using coaching skills to enable the preceptee to develop both clinically and professionally and to develop confidence.

Leadership pillar 

  • Facilitating introductions to colleagues, multidisciplinary staff and others, promoting effective working relationships.

Education pillar

  • Completing preceptor training.
  • Act a guide in assessing learning needs and setting achievable goals with regular and confidential review.
  • Act as a role model a high standard of practice at all times and demonstrate professional values, attitudes and behaviours.

Research pillar

  • Using evidence-based practices to encourage critical thinking, quality improvement.
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