Supporting practice development with updated AHP principles

Radiographers seeking to support the development of high-quality practice placements should read the updated AHP principles

Published: 08 December 2023 Career & Role Development

The collaborative Allied Health Professionals ‘principles of practice-based learning – working together to develop our future workforce’ has been released, in order to help members with HCPC renewal, and is aimed at those supporting students in a range of settings.

Dr Amy Robertson, professional officer for education and accreditation, shares how the updated collaborative principles can help anyone involved in practice-based learning to both support the development of quality, sustainable practice placements, and create a meaningful piece of CPD evidence in preparation for HCPC renewal.

HCPC Renewal and CPD Audit

Whilst we prepare for the festive season another deadline is fast approaching - the time for radiographers to renew their registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Whenever you renew your registration with HCPC, you will be asked to sign a form to confirm that you continue to meet the standards of the HCPC, one of which is the standard for continuing professional development. 

When each profession renews, the HCPC randomly selects 2.5 per cent of registrants from that profession and asks them to submit their CPD profile. This is the CPD audit. If you are picked for an audit, you need to complete a CPD profile by the deadline and provide supporting evidence that shows how the activities you have carried out meet the standards and the dates they were undertaken. 

AHP principles

The College of Radiographers has been collaborating with nine other professional bodies to co-badge the set of seven principles, first launched by the CSP and RCOT in 2022, which can be used by everyone involved in practice-based learning: students, apprentices, university representatives, practice educators, service leads and many more. We recognise that many of the challenges and opportunities of practice-based learning are common across many AHP professions. 

By working together with clear and consistent messaging, there is a collective opportunity to better shape and support the provision of practice-based learning for our future workforce. 

The seven principles are contextualised for the reader and interwoven with reflection and action activities to capture, benchmark and evidence the efficacy of your practice with learners. It can be challenging for those working to support the learner journey to engage in meaningful professional development activity – these principles offer a structured framework to consider and evaluate your learning support activity. 


Using the practice-based principles as a practitioner 

The principles start with you and your practice for learners. There is a helpful terminology explainer to support you to understand the language of practice-based learning and to provide clarity and delineation in what is an often changeable narrative. The principles use the term ‘Practice Educator’. Using this term reinforces to all involved that placements can and do happen across all pillars of practice, not just one as in the case of a clinical educator. 

You can also update your understanding of the capabilities of a practice educator by visiting our recently launched Education and Career Framework (4th Edition)

As a practitioner working with learners you can use the principles to help you to reflect upon your own or group actions against practice in your area of work. There is an online workbook to accompany the principles which can be used to capture and share your reflections. You can also upload these findings into CPDNow, our professional development platform. 

These principles and other resources are available via our professional development platform CPDNow members can access this as part of the member benefit package here: CPD resources | SoR

Figure 1: The 7 AHP principles of practice-based learning working together to develop our future workforce

Using the principles as an employer 

If you are a service lead you can use the principles to ensure that your service provides a quality learning environment, and to inspire a collegial community of learning. You can use the findings from reflection against the principles to support a targeted needs analysis or surface educational resourcing gaps. Service leads can highlight the principles to their practice educators and encourage them to undertake a review against the principles, and use the findings for their professional development. 

Investing in employee CPD helps ensure that your employees are keeping up with clinical developments, are providing an up-to-date service and, crucially, that they feel engaged and happier in their work. Employers can improve the impact of CPD with strong leadership and a positive workplace culture. Employers can build in protected time for staff CPD as part of Specified Professional Activities in job plans. 

Using the principles as part of the wider system 

There has been a seismic shift in the delivery and access to pre-registration learning over the last decade with both the volume of programmes and variety of delivery modes expanded to provide equitable access to the profession. University partners with CoR approved programmes will be asked to report against each of the seven principles to surface the collegial approach to practise education within their programmes. 

Education providers can use this document as a basis for a team discussion, a CPD workshop for educators or to drive conversations with others involved across both the practice and university setting. By understanding different perspectives and identifying areas for more conjoined working both within and across AHP professions, impactful change and innovation in practice learning can be achieved. 

Where can I find out more?

Read the full publication ‘AHP principles of practice-based learning – working together to develop our future workforce’ on our website here.

Use the CoR Education and Career Framework to conduct a learning needs analysis using the knowledge, skills and attributes alongside the principles. You can access the document on our website here: the Education and Career Framework (4th Edition).

To find out more about HCPC renewal and CPD audit visit here, and when to renew here.