Considerable care and effort is needed to ensure quality of training throughout the programme . The following are some ways of keeping the standards high:
Review the quality of training in the department
You could use trainee feedback, peer review, and training outcomes. Take stock of all training schemes operating in the department, and any quality enhancements that can be made which benefit all. Perform a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis. Best practice would be for an external peer to help you in the review. Your professional body may advise – several professional bodies have a regional tutor system. A good opportunity for conducting this review is when you are asked to complete annual monitoring by the School in order to maintain your approved accreditation status. You may well also prepare periodic quality assurance returns for other agencies such as your local HEE (or country equivalent) office.
Maintain the quality of training skills among your staff
Try to ensure relevant staff in the department complete the School’s train the trainer session and cascade the training to others. It is also good for a training department to ensure that any staff who may be involved in coaching, mentoring or training have an opportunity to complete some generic training in this area themselves, through CPPD in the organisation. Consider establishing a teaching observation scheme among trainers (e.g. for case based discussions). Critical reflection is key to professional practice. Be honest with a trainee when you are uncertain about a professional situation and articulate your thought process (what are you weighing up when you consider a difficult situation with a patient or colleague?). If they see that you have to do this, they will be more comfortable about asking and discussing approaches to professional practice. Rather than seeing professional practice competencies as separate from technical competencies, highlight how they are integrated e.g. you must communicate well with your colleagues in order to find the best technical solution to a problem.
There are many NHS courses on change management, clinical and information governance and leadership that you can encourage your trainees to attend. Ask them to evaluate the department’s systems/ approaches against this. Be open to the results.
Follow ‘Good Scientific Practice’
The Academy for Healthcare Science document ‘Good Scientific Practice’ sets out the principles, values and the standards of behaviour and practice for the healthcare science workforce. These standards and values must be achieved and maintained in the delivery of work activities, the provision of care and personal conduct.
Follow good practice advice from professional and regulatory bodies
Although this help book provides some generic good principles, it is not designed to offer advice in specialist areas. Your professional body and regulating body will be the best source of good practice advice. In particular, the professional body may have useful mechanisms for quality assurance, including regional tutors or external visitors. Several also publish guidance on training. Many will provide valuable self-audit or review checklists and pro-formas.
Observe other published standards such as ISO or service accreditation
Where there are published standards from your regulatory body or from other accrediting bodies (for example, any service accreditation you are required to hold) you should keep informed about requirements and observe any associated guidance.
Mid-term review of progression
The mid-term review process is facilitated by the School and serves as a check on a trainees’ progress with their learning and professional development.
The review is based on the following:
- A brief report from the training officer
- A self-assessment from the trainee
- A report from the HEI.
This evidence is reviewed by a team of reviewers, who will reach a judgement about whether the evidence supports or does not support the trainee’s progression to Year 3 of the STP.