Support students and colleagues, and boost your own professional development by becoming a practice educator.
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, and by 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. See the CSP Physiotherapy Framework for more on the link between education and physiotherapy practice.
And see CSP key messages and myths around practice-based learning and our dedicated practice-based learning (PrBL) section elsewhere on this website.
Become a practice educator
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
The new CSP Learning Hub provides members with new and updated resources for practice educators.