From the moment they are registered, practitioners are autonomous and accountable. Preceptorship can be considered as a transition phase for newly registered practitioners when continuing their professional development, building their confidence and further developing competence to practice, and not as a way to meet any shortfall in pre-registration education.
There is consensus then that a preceptorship should be a structured period of transition for any newly qualified staff member. During this time, he or she should be supported by an experienced practitioner, a preceptor, to develop their confidence as an independent professional, and to refine their skills, values and behaviours.
The preceptorship project identified that no single approach will meet the needs of all organisations, professions or individual registrants. There is however a suggested common approach, supported by the resources in the toolkit, which can be used by those updating or developing their own programmes.
This toolkit is a selection of resources that together comprises a framework of best practice. It can be adapted for different professional groups and is based on the programmes from Central Manchester University Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. It provides examples of how the elements of a quality preceptorship programme come together.
A key component to any organisations approach to preceptorship is a policy document. The document should be put together and operationalised within the framework of your organisations governance structure.
Heads of Nursing, professional, and service leads will have overall responsibility for ensuring that the Trust meets its contractual requirements in terms of preceptorship through audit of procedures, processes and compliance with this policy.
The use of key performance indicators (KPIs) support the transition of registered/qualified Nursing and Midwifery, Allied Health Professional, Health Visitor and overseas practitioners who are new or returning to the NHS to develop the competence and confidence to function as an effective independent healthcare professional who is able to deliver high quality evidence based care for patients, clients and service users.
A number of standards, policies, frameworks and skills sets from across England are available for download.
The quick start flowchart provides guidance on how to use the following sections to develop your own policy.
One of the key building blocks for a preceptorship programme is a structured induction and orientation. It is suggested that there should be an initial 7 day induction programme for preceptees.
Case studies will be available soon.
Preceptee’s should keep a portfolio which can be used to evidence achievement of core and other relevant competencies. It should contain a skills log, programme/planner, reflections on learning and self assessment tools.
Monitoring outcomes is an important part of the process in terms of evaluating effectiveness and informing regional and national planning.
Monitoring and evaluation of your preceptorship programme, your preceptors and preceptee’s will be essential to monitoring the effectiveness of your programme at a local level and informing its development.