AHP leadership placement

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AHPs working in leadership and policy based settings, or as consultants in clinical areas are often excluded from the provision of practice based learning. A team based approach involves all members of the team, and can add value to the team, providing CPD for team members, and for the students.  Taking part in a leadership placement maps onto the 4 pillars of practice, and enables students to develop skills in management and leadership.  In addition, it enables AHP leaders and consultants to support the increased demand for practice based learning, and thus help to grow the workforce.  

Benefits for students:

  • Informing service improvement
  • Understanding the wider role and impact of AHPs
  • Providing the valuable student voice in leader's work
  • understanding the changes in the NHS and other organisations in which we work
  • Understanding policy and political drivers and how these translate into key strategies and objectives 
  • Allows students to put innovative ideas into practice and evaluate new approaches

Students will also develop an understanding for the skills that AHP leaders require including:

  • the importance of collaborative working and effective communication
  • research and design in service delivery
  • accountability
  • problem solving
  • decision making


Placement design can be flexible in it's format, and students should be expected to work at least some of the time independently.  Delivery can also be delivered either virtually or face to face, and could be carried out as part of a shared or interagency placement.  

Considerations for placement

  • If the student is undertaking a project, it needs to be both meaningful and realistic for the timescale of their placement.
  • the students timetable needs to considred - how does this placement fit with the bigger picture?
  • support and supervision for the student - how will this be delivered?  It could be long arm supervision from the PE.
  • access to IT, including provision of a lap top if needed, but also ensuring that students have log ins and  access to information they may need. 

Examples of projects

  • Development of social media communications for a service or cross sector organisation.  Skills developed and learning oucomes around advanced communication, digital innovation and preparation of evidence based material.  
  • Development of health promotion activities for a service eg care home.  This could be profession specific, but could also be an opportunity for interprofessional working.  
  • Audit in a clinical area.