Preceptorship in the UK

Currently, there is a lot of variation in preceptorship provision throughout the United Kingdom. Some employers have well established, long-standing programmes, whereas others do not provide any support, or it varies between different settings.

To address this, NHS England (formerly known as Health Education England), Capital AHP and NHS Education Scotland (2006) Flying Start have been working to standardise the quality of preceptorship programmes available to AHPs across the country. The HCPC has also developed a set of principles, and further guidance around implementing these programmes. 

What does preceptorship mean for the profession?  

The CSP wants to understand the current landscape of preceptorship programmes for physiotherapy professionals especially since the launch of HCPC preceptorship principles and identifying areas where support may be needed. This includes physiotherapists employed in the NHS, private sector, academic, teaching, research, commercial, voluntary, charitable sectors and self-employed.  

You can contribute to our efforts in the insight work by participating in the Preceptorship insight Project when it is launched corresponding to your role as a physiotherapy lead/service manager, preceptor, or preceptee. 

I would like to implement a preceptorship programme in my trust – where shall I get started? 

Firstly, have a look at the national work listed above to find out more about what work is going on already. You can sign up for updates with HCPC, NHSE and Flying starts. 

The HCPC has launched principles of preceptorship in November 2023 and supporting information to help delivering preceptorship in workplaces and practice.  

NHSE has also created AHP Preceptorship Standards and an Implementation Framework, along with an AHP Preceptorship Toolkit to support the publication of the HCPC Preceptorship Principles.  

Often there is some work going on in local AHP faculties in England. It is worth contacting them to see if there is a preceptorship lead or current project. 

A number of trusts that have implemented AHP preceptorship programmes have worked with nursing colleagues to see where the courses overlap, then created specific contents that are more suitable for AHPs.

Speak to education leads and different AHP leads within your organisation to establish what programmes or structures are in place already and what is needed. 

What can I do if my employer does not have a preceptorship programme? 

We would recommend that you familiarise yourself with preceptorship by completing the NHS England step to work e-module.

It will provide guidance, support, and practical tools to help you reflect on the experiences and knowledge you have already gained to help with future roles 

Where can I find out more?


The regulatory body's set of principles aims to support employers with providing consistently high-quality preceptorship programmes.

NHS England

NHS England has developed a National AHP Preceptorship and Foundation Support programme aimed at standardising the quality of preceptorship programmes and supporting clinicians prior to employment. You can sign up to updates and look at further details of its ongoing work on its website.

NHSE has also developed a step-to-work module on elfh (its e-learning platform) and is developing a learning hub. Take a look at the NHS multi-professional preceptor training e-Compendium.

The NHS has also produced a short video explaining how preceptorship works. 


Capital AHP  

As part of NHS England, Capital AHP a has a preceptorship framework

Flying Start Scotland

This Flying Start programme was developed in 2006 to support newly qualified staff as they transition from students to working clinicians. The organisation works with employers and health boards across Scotland to implement preceptorship programmes for nurses and AHPs.

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