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Growth-based career planning

Supporting recruitment and retention of the health and care workforce continues to be a strategic and operational priority. On this page you will find a range of resources to support growth-based (Kawa) career planning. 

People choose to leave the AHP professions for many reasons including the lack of career development opportunities. In addition, we know that the idea of climbing the career ladder is not for everyone.

Focusing career conversations on growth supports us to think about and explore diverse AHP career opportunities. Growth includes vertical moves (e.g., promotions), lateral moves (e.g., across departments or moving into education, research and leadership roles) and growing our capabilities to add breadth and depth to grow and stay in one place.

To deliver the growth-based career planning concept, we are working with the Kawa research community. Kawa is Japanese for river.  We want to invite people to think about our careers as individual rivers to understand the past, the present and the future.

We want to be part of conversations that value, encourage and celebrate individual career choices, knowing that individual rivers form part of the broader health and care ecosystem.

The Application of the Kawa (River) Model to support Career Development in the Allied Health Professions - A Public Scholarship Report

This report was commissioned by NHSE Workforce, Training and Education to introduce the Kawa approach, aimed at supporting the Allied Health Professions (AHP) workforce in the growth and development of their career journeys. ‘Kawa’ is a Japanese term meaning river, and this approach is derived from the Kawa Model (Iwama, 2006; Teoh and Iwama, 2015), a conceptual model developed from clinical occupational therapy practice. This model has gained significant traction in coaching, professional development, and career planning in recent years.

This report reviews current challenges faced by the Allied Health Professions (AHP) workforce in health and social care in the United Kingdom (UK) context; as well as examine their impact on career transitions and factors which influence career decision-making.

Watch our videos to find out more on the Kawa model

Why are we doing this work?

Dr Stephanie Tempest

What is the Kawa approach?

Jou Yin Teoh

How can you apply the Kawa approach to career planning? 

Dr Kee Hean Lim