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Practice Educators Resources

The Practice Educator’s role is to provide physiotherapy students with a learning experience within their specialty area, encourage and support student's learning, and assess each students's competency within their area.

Practice Educators have responsibility for assessing each student's level of clinical & professional competence. Practice Educators fulfill their role in partnership with, and with the support of, the Practice Education Team.

The students' level of competence is determined by the appropriate Common Assessment Form (CAF)

Level 1 (P1) (PDF 185 kB)

Level 2 (P2 & P3) (PDF 165 kB)

Level 3 (P4) (PDF 169 kB)

Level 3 (P5 & P6) (PDF 168 kB)

Learning Outcomes and the marking criteria are the same at each level of the CAF. However, the behaviours expected to achieve the learning outcomes become more complex as students progress through the course.

A list of the other documentation which should be completed for each placement is available here.

The curriculum outline gives an indication of the modules taught in each year of the undergraduate Physiotherapy degree.

The Discipline of Physiotherapy supports physiotherapists in developing their role as Practice Educators through provision of annual training days, on-site practice Tutors, site visits from Regional Placement Facilitators (RPF) and/or the Practice Education Co-ordinator (PEC). Practice Educators new to assessing students should consult with a member of the Practice Education Team when marking the CAF.

The HSE Therapy Project Office has developed Guidelines for Good Practice in Practice Education (PDF 384 kB) and both Practice Education Competencies (PDF 229 kB) and Physiotherapy Competencies (PDF 276kB) framework documents which are useful references for Practice Educators

Practice Education Study Days are run annually in conjunction with the other Dublin Schools of Physiotherapy (University College Dublin (UCD), and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)).

The aim of these study days is to address the learning needs of Practice Educators- both those new to student supervision and those who have been supervising physiotherapy students for some time.

Read more about topics covered in these study days:

Creating a Positive Learning Environment (.mov 142 MB)

Making Your Feedback Work (PDF 666 kB)

Introduction to using the Common Assessment Form (PDF 304 kB)

Assessing and Teaching On the Run (.mov 287 MB)

Exploring Quality Feedback in Practice Education (.mov 605 MB)

Responding to Students in Distress (.mov 955 MB)

Other resources used that can be used by Practice Educators as they support under-performing students include:

Treatment Plan Template (PDF 32 kB)

Daily Timetable Template (PDF 28 kB)

Risk of Failure (MS Word 49 kB)

Risk of Failure Log (MS Word 38 kB)

Introduction to Peer Learning (PDF 1034 kB)

TCD Peer Learning Model (Firsthand 2015) (PDF 61 kB)

Time Management on Placement (PDF 612 kB)

Supporting Students with Disabilities (CSP)

Disability Awareness Pack (PDF 106 kB)

Online modules for the education of practice educators have been developed for the HSE and are available on www.HSELand.ie . Once logged into HSEland, click on the ‘Health & Social Care’ Hub, and then onto the ‘Working with Students’ tab. Choose ‘Practice Educator’, where online training modules are available

Practice Educators and/or Practice Education Sites are encouraged to utilise a Site Audit Tool (PDF 113 kB) when preparing for Student Placements. Identified gaps can be bridged with the support of the Practice Education Team and the Discipline of Physiotherapy.

Practice Educators who have any queries regarding facilitation of student placements and student learning should contact their on-site Practice Tutor, RPF or PEC as appropriate.

A number of supervision models exist in the clinical setting including the 2:1 supervision model where two students are supervised by one educator. The Discipline of Physiotherapy practice education team developed and implemented a new 2:1 supervision framework and model in 2014. Please clink into this link for an education session on the framework and model used in TCD.

Practice Education Research & Development Initiatives undertaken by the Practice Tutors include

  • Peer Learning Research
  • International Placement
  • Practice Educators Audit
  • Standardisation of feedback form for all clinical sites
  • Patient satisfaction with student care
  • Students Perception of Practice Educators
  • Planning Introduction week for P1
  • Student lead fracture clinic
  • Practice education website/E-learning platform
  • Study day organisation
  • Emerge and update practice education Handbook

Further Practice Education training opportunities for Practice Tutors include CAPSL courses London Deanery modules and the ISCP Conference.