AHP project based placement

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 A ‘project placement’ is a placement (or practice based learning experience) where a student or group of students are given time to work on a meaningful project for a service. For example, developing and /or evaluating a service plan, new group or a resource.

Project work may take place within a traditional or non-traditional setting, with or without onsite profession-specific supervision (but with onsite supervision by a staff member of the service).

Project placements may be a good option for settings where there is not a steady ‘caseload’ of service users a student can work with, but can be adopted in any setting.

Projects placements bring benefits to all those involved.

Benefits to practice educators

  • Flexible to allow practice educators working in both traditional and less traditional roles such as, health promotion services, case management and consultant roles to meet HCPC requirements for supporting students
  • You can allow a student to spend time working independently – so is well suited for part-time practice educators or those with very heavy work and time demands, enabling them to meet HCPC requirements for supporting students
  • Can be part of a shared, role-emerging or inter-agency placement - again suiting part-time practice educators
  • Student can develop valuable resources and contribute to quality assurance activities and processes in your service
  • An opportunity to put ideas into practice and evaluate new approaches to an area of identified need in your service rather than trying to also do this yourself
  • If a student is outside your organisation working on the project, it is an opportunity to strengthen relationships and partnerships other services
  • If you have two or more students working together, they are likely to feel more supported
  • Project work can be completed virtually

Benefits to service users

  • Services that develop and evaluate are more likely to deliver quality services and experiences to their users. Students can contribute to this active and evolving service
  • If a student is working in a new setting on a project, it might be the first time they have had access to a particular professional group
  • Good relationships built between organisations will improve the quality and communication between services to the benefit of their users as well as benefits to services
  • Selecting meaningful projects means the outcome will benefit the service and the organisation
  • If a setting has not had a particular profession before – they can gain first hand experience of what this may offer, gain evidence of needs that are not currently met or are under-serviced, that could support development of a new post

Benefits students

  • A broader range of placement experiences and learning opportunities
  • A different and equally valuable skills set including project management skills, interdisciplinary team work, strategic communication etc…
  • Gain skills across the 4 pillars of practice e.g leadership and evidence research and development
  • Demonstrate applied knowledge and understanding of quality improvement and service evaluation in processes
  • Pro active way of demonstrating applied knowledge and understanding of monitoring, review and evaluation
Project placement resources

A guide for AHP practice educators