Preceptor Programme Goal

Aim: The aim of the Preceptorship Programme is to provide a programme for newly qualified Healthcare Science Practitioners (HSP) to have an opportunity to consolidate their knowledge, gain confidence and experience when entering an autonomous HSP role in the workplace.

Preceptor Programme

After careful consideration of the training development structures available to other professions, SCST has developed a preceptorship programme, which is designed to guide the Healthcare Science Practitioner (HSP) through their first few years as an autonomous healthcare professional.  Completion of the preceptorship allows the HSP to apply for the SCST Certificate of Proficiency in Healthcare Science (Cardiac Physiology).  This certificate allows managers and employers to identify HSPs who have undertaken the preceptorship programme which acts as a benchmark of quality for the profession.

The preceptorship is not currently mandatory, but will be a useful tool for assimilating newly qualified staff into the working environment by consolidating the professional qualities required of this workforce.  It is aimed at the postgraduate so will not affect banding, which should be 5.  As it is not mandatory, it is not essential for progressing up the bands.  Many. if not all, cardiac investigation departments would have a process of ensuring that new members of staff have the necessary skills to perform their job role at whichever level they are employed.

The experience gained by students across the country is varied – no two individuals gain precisely the same experience, this is simply not possible.  The preceptorship serves to provide equity in the postgraduate training structure across the UK for new graduates in any site that chooses to utilise it.  Moving from student to practitioner is not a small step and the preceptorship is designed to ease the newly qualified practitioner into the working environment where they assume full responsibility for the work they do.

Preceptors must be an AHCS / HCPC / RCCP registered cardiac physiologist or cardiac clinical scientist who has been given formal responsibility by their employer to support newly qualified HSPs through preceptorship.  While it is not essential that the preceptor is a member of SCST, it is highly recommended.

Preceptor Programme Documents

1. Programme Framework

With recognition that the future of healthcare provision requires an independent, autonomous and innovative practitioner to meet the changing requirement of cardiac science, the Society for Cardiological Science and Technology has developed a preceptorship programme. A preceptorship programme is central to consolidating the professional qualities required of this workforce, and to enable the newly registered Healthcare Science Practitioner (HSP) to take responsibility for their own career and professional development.

This framework is a guide and resource for all organisations with responsibility for managing and developing newly qualified, registered HSPs in cardiac science. It will also be of use to managers in providing guidance to preceptors within their institution and for preceptors in their role of supporting newly qualified HSPs through the preceptorship programme.

2. Guidance for Healthcare Science Practitioners

The requirement for a national preceptorship programme is detailed in the ‘Preceptorship Programme Framework’. The purpose of this document is to highlight the key aspects of the preceptorship programme most relevant to Healthcare Science Practitioners (HSPs). This document will be of interest to qualified HSPs to provide a structure to preceptorship, which can aid the management and completion of the programme.

This document describes the key elements of good preceptorship, and provides guidance to ensure that preceptorship meets the needs of newly registered HSPs whilst supporting the delivery of high-quality care. Through this document the HSP can ensure they receive preceptorship of an equitable standard. This document should be used in conjunction with the ‘Preceptorship Programme Framework’.

3. Guidance For Preceptor’s Managers & Employers

The requirement for a national preceptorship programme is detailed in the ‘Preceptorship Programme Framework’. The purpose of this document is to highlight the key aspects of the preceptorship programme most relevant to preceptors, managers and employers.

This document describes the key elements of good preceptorship, and suggests outcome measures to ensure that preceptorship meets individual HSPs needs and supports the delivery of high-quality care.

The purpose of this document is to outline the preceptorship programme to preceptors, managers and employers and should be used in conjunction with the ‘Preceptorship Programme Framework’ and ‘Preceptorship Programme Guidance for Healthcare Science Practitioners’ documents.

Preceptorship Programme FAQ’s

Who is the Preceptorship Programme for?

The Preceptorship Programme has been designed for recently qualified Healthcare Science Practitioners who have completed a Practitioner Training Programme degree. They must be registered with RCCP or AHCS and be a member of the SCST to undertake the post-graduate Preceptorship Programme.

What does the Healthcare Science (HSP) gain by completing this programme?
On successful completion of the programme the HSP will be awarded a Certificate of Proficiency in Healthcare Science (Cardiac Physiology). This certificate from the professional body demonstrates an advanced level of competency in the skills learned through the degree programme.
I’ve already completed the degree, why am I also expected to do this extra work?

Firstly the Preceptorship Programme is not mandatory; however the SCST expects that over time the majority of employers will encourage their HSPs to complete the programme to demonstrate continuing professional development (CPD). CPD is a fundamental part of working in the healthcare service and this Preceptorship Programme is the post-graduate CPD recommended by SCST for HSPs to complete.

The Preceptorship Programme is not just a measure of the HSPs clinical practice, but evaluates and helps to develop communication skills, behaviour and attitude, health and safety, enhancing patient experience and professionalism which are all crucial skills for the workplace.

Post-graduate professional development demonstrates an interest in your profession, commitment to learn and self-development that employers are likely to consider as a desired criteria when recruiting HSPs.

What does the Preceptorship Programme involve?

Your manager will need to allocate you to a Preceptor. Your named Preceptor will work with you to evaluate your practice and will use the evaluations that you will be familiar with having undertaken as part of your PTP degree. These include Observed Clinical Events (OCEs), Case based Discussions (CbD), and Critical Reflection (CR).

You will need to collect a portfolio of evidence that should include:

  • 12-lead ECGs
  • Ambulatory ECG
  • Resting BP and Ambulatory ECG
  • Provocative ECG
  • Diagnostic Cath Lab
  • Pacing Implantation

These investigations should be carried out on a range of patients with a range of pathophysiologies.
Alongside this your Preceptor will perform OCEs, CbD and ask you to perform CR to support your clinical competency. You will have regular Review Meetings during the Preceptorship Programme where your Preceptor will score your proficiency in the following areas:

  • Behaviour and Attitude
  • Communication
  • Health and Safety
  • Clinical Practice
  • Patient Experience
  • Professionalism

You are also encouraged to collect other experiential learning which support your ongoing CPD. Examples of these can be found in the Preceptorship Programme Guidance for Healthcare Science Practitioners which is available on the SCST website.

How long does the Preceptorship Programme take?
The Preceptorship Programme is designed to allow individual HSPs to work at a pace of which they are comfortable and capable. This will vary depending on experience and training that the HSP has had to date. Some individuals enter the PTP degree with previous experience in healthcare professions, for others this will be their first ever job.

As such we allow the programme to take a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 2 years. The Preceptorship Programme can only officially start once the SCST has received the ‘Preceptorship Agreement’ documentation. An HSP is only eligible to apply to the SCST for the Certificate in Healthcare Science (Cardiac Physiology) when the HSP, their Preceptor and manager are ready to declare the ‘Agreement of Proficiency’.

When will my Preceptor, Manager and me be able to declare the ‘Agreement of Proficiency’?
Once you have discussed the Preceptorship Programme with your manager, you will have to complete the Preceptorship Programme Agreement, found in the Preceptorship Programme Guidance for Healthcare Science Practitioners. This agreement is a signed documentation that the Preceptorship Programme will be undertaken and date stamps the beginning of the process, which must take between 6 months and 2 years. The Preceptorship Programme Agreement is submitted to SCST who monitor the programme to ensure it is completed in time.
How much does it cost?

Payment is made at the point at which the SCST evaluates the Preceptorship Evidence Record (PER). The cost is £175 for electronic submission.

What do I have to submit to the Society in order to achieve the SCST Certificate of Proficiency of Healthcare Science (Cardiac Physiology)?

The items that need to be submitted in your Preceptorship Evidence Record (PER) are:

  • All your review meeting documentation
  • The Agreement of Proficiency
  • PER Checklist
  • 1 x OCE, 1 x CbD & 1 x CR for each clinical discipline (12-lead Resting ECG, Resting &
    Ambulatory BP, Ambulatory ECG, Provocative ECG, Diagnostic Cath Lab, Pacing
    Implantation)
  • 10 pieces of Experiential Learning
I am not a ‘recently qualified’ Healthcare Science Practitioner; I qualified from the PTP a while ago and am already independent in my role. I would like to have the SCST Certificate of Proficiency in Healthcare Science (Cardiac Physiology). Am I allowed to do the Preceptorship Programme?

The aim of the Preceptorship Programme is to provide a programme for newly qualified HSPs to gain confidence when entering an autonomous HSP role in the workplace.

If you graduated from the PTP degree a while back and are already autonomous in your role it may be unnecessary to perform the Preceptorship Programme. However, if you wish to, or your employer encourages you to then you can.

I graduated from my PTP degree before the Preceptorship Programme was published by SCST. Am I able to use retrospective pieces of work to submit in my PER?
For the PER; only OCEs, CbD, CR and Experiential Learning completed AFTER the SCST has received the ‘Preceptorship Agreement’ form can be submitted. This form declares to the SCST that a mutual decision has been made between the HSP, Preceptor and Manager that the Preceptorship Programme will be undertaken in accordance with the framework.

Any work that has been collected prior to the ‘Preceptorship Agreement’ form submission can be used and kept within the Preceptorship Portfolio, but cannot be submitted in the PER.

Can an individual do the Preceptorship Programme if they have not graduated from the PTP degree?
No. This Preceptorship Programme is exclusively for qualified PTP graduates employed as Healthcare Science Practitioners.
Can I use the Preceptorship Programme to grow-my-own physiologists who otherwise do not meet the RCCP/AHCS registration requirements?
No.

To undertake the Preceptorship Programme the HSP must be qualified from the PTP degree and registered with RCCP or AHCS.

If you have ‘grow-your-own’ staff they will need to undergo the Practitioner Equivalence process with AHCS. If these staff members do not have the relevant academic qualifications for equivalence the AHCS will make recommendations as to what modules or qualifications need to be undertaken to gain equivalence.