Support Worker networks

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We have three key healthcare support worker (HCSW) networks which support our work and give us honest feedback about what is working well or what we need more of in practice.

  1. Healthcare Support Worker Advisory Group
  2. Healthcare Support Worker Education Network
  3. Associate Practice Educator Network
Healthcare Support Worker Advisory Group

Watch the short animation to find out more about the HCSW Advisory Group.


Established in 2015, the HCSW Advisory Group is a multidisciplinary group of support workers from across Scotland. 

Examples of how we work together to overcome barriers to learning at work include developing “My Learning ... My Way” an easy to read information leaflet written by support workers for support workers to raise awareness of NES resources.  


How we work together is collaborative using the four elements of the co-production model:

  • co-assess
  • co-decide
  • co-design
  • co-deliver

You can express interest in joining the group by completing the online form and then having a follow up conversation with one of our members.  Support from your line manager is important to be able to attend four meetings per year (currently virtual meetings via Microsoft Teams).    

HCSW Advisory Group Terms of Reference  

Interesting in joining the HCSW Advisory Group? Please complete the online form 

Healthcare Support Worker Education Network

Established in 2018, this is currently a virtual network via Microsoft Teams which meets three times per year.   

Open to anyone who has responsibility for developing support workers, who delivers learning to support workers or is part of the wider further education community.

This network forms a key channel through which NES can hear the voice of support workers, managers, educators and key partners in relation to the:   

  • learning resources (or infrastructure) which support people to learn at work   
  • learning culture which is needed for everyone to learn and develop 
  • voice of support workers in sharing their experience of learning and developing at work   

The HCSW Education Network provides a forum for discussing and sharing aspects relating to support workers education, role development and learning by:  

  • Identifying gaps in education
  • Sharing examples of good practice in relation to support worker learning and development opportunities, enablers and barriers  
  • Facilitating updates on topical subjects and priorities relating to support workers learning and development   

HCSW Education Network Terms of reference   

If you would like to join the network or would like more information contact us at 

Associate Practice Educator Network
cog with people icon inside

The network was established in 2021 to provide opportunities for those in Associate Practice Educator roles in health boards to: 

  • network with each other and provide peer support
  • share best practice and learning
  • work collaboratively on dynamic cohesive solutions to HCSW education and development.

The network are self-managing with monthly meetings and rotating chair.  NHS Education for Scotland HCSW Team provide light touch administrative support for the network.

Showcasing the impact of the Associate Practice Educator role on HCSW development

Louise discusses the important role the Associate Practice Educator played in her development when joining a new team. Beverly, the Associate Practice Educator outlines her experience working with the Team Lead to shape the training requirements for the role within a new service and explains how rewarding the experience was for her.   

Find out more about Louise and Beverly's story.