Practical learning: achieving excellence in the human services

January 23-25 2008 Edinburgh International Conference Centre

Developing a sustainable infrastructure to support learning in the workplace (1)

Keywords: Mentorship, Education support roles, Practice education

Authors: Dr Colette Ferguson (NHS Education for Scotland), Ms Carol Watson (NHS Education for Scotland), Ms Karen Lockhart (Scottish Executive Health Department), Miss Leigh Willocks (NHS Education for Scotland)

A key role of NHS Education for Scotland (NES), as a national organisation, is the ability to broker consensus. In relation to developing a sustainable infrastructure to support learning in the workplace, we will demonstrate how we've managed to engage both service and Higher Education Institution (HEI) partners across Scotland.

This symposium will explore two national initiatives within the NHS in Scotland which have been designed to build a sustainable infrastructure to support education in the workplace. These initiatives were designed to:

  1. create and develop a national approach for the preparation of those who provide support for learning in practice, eg. mentors/assessors
  2. create a new role — that of Practice Education Facilitator — to improve the practice learning environment and support the mentor

The papers will argue that a successful learning organisation requires a sustainable education infrastructure to create a learning environment which maximises both informal and formal learning. In addition, this infrastructure could provide a resource to enable interprofessional and interagency learning to take place and to support emerging communities of practice.

Paper 1

The first paper in this symposium will describe a national approach to the preparation of mentors. In particular, it will focus on:

In conclusion, this paper will provide an opportunity to debate diversity and commonality in the context of inter-professional / inter-agency working and learning.

This presentation will introduce a robust and informed approach to developing roles to support learning in practice. It will draw on best available evidence and demonstrate how to use evidence to inform and implement policy and to integrate such into practice at a national level. The main intended audience will be practitioners, educationalists, policy makers, and researchers.

Paper 2

The second paper in this symposium will describe a national initiative to establish, develop and evaluate the new Practice Education Facilitator role. It will:

In conclusion, the potential multi-professional and multi-agency opportunities, particularly within the context of integrated health and social care, will be discussed and debated.

Date: Friday 25 January 2008,1.30-3.30

Venue: Harris One & Two

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Organised by the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services in association with PEPE (Practical Experiences in Professional Education).