Learning structures outside formal teaching

Supervision & learning on practice placements

Trainees must spend a minimum of 50 per cent of their time on clinical placement(usually between 50-60%), and are actively guided in their clinical learning and practice by their practice placement supervisors. The focus of the learning to take place is specified in the placement contract agreed between trainee and supervisor(s) at the beginning of the placement and submitted to the programme. Contracts are written using a proforma that is structured using the programme's learning objectives; see the appendix for the form.

Oversight of academic work - 2018 intake onwards

For 'Broad Focus' assignments (Self-Assessment Exercise, Thesis Preparation Assignment and Service Evaluation Project) no draft reads are conducted by the programme team. Instead, trainees can submit an assignment for formative marking prior to the main summative submission. Fully drafted assignments will be marked at this stage, and detailed feedback provided. If the assignment reaches an acceptable standard in all domains, the result will be converted to a summative pass without the trainee needing to do further work on the assignment (subject to any external moderation). However, if the trainee falls short in any required areas, they will receive feedback and have the opportunity to revise and make a fresh submission by the summative deadline. In essence this means that trainees will be permitted three attempts at the broadly focused assignments.

The 'Live Skills-focus' assignments comprise three Placement Assignments and the Service Improvement Poster Project exercise. Trainees are permitted one draft read of the written sections only of their first placement assignment prior to submission. No draft reads are provided by the programme team for any other submissions. Trainees are permitted two attempts to pass each of the 'Live Skills-focus' assignments.

Oversight of academic work - 2017 intake and earlier

For the PIA, Systematic Literature Review and written components of the DACS-PP1 assignments, trainees are offered the opportunity to have a draft of their work read and commented upon prior to submission. For the thesis and SRP each trainee is usually allocated both an academic supervisor (usually a member of the programme team) and a field supervisor (who is usually a clinician in the field) who provides support to the trainee on a negotiated basis in relation to the piece of work. The programme's research consistency framework outlines the typical level of support a trainee can expect from the academic supervisor. The specific levels of support and responsibilities of the trainee and supervisors is agreed in a meeting between the parties where a contract and action plan is drawn up.

In addition, all trainees are allocated an individual clinical tutor and individual research tutor soon after the start of training who are available as a point of contact to discuss assignment preparation issues. The individual research tutor will normally be the trainee's SRP supervisor, and this will change to their thesis supervisor after submission of the SRP.

Peer support and discussion groups

The programme encourages trainees to meet in self-directed groups (which can be facilitated or un-facilitated) around specific issues such as analysis methods in research. Whilst trainees arrange such meetings, the programme is able to book rooms, provide any necessary resources and offer facilitation for such meetings on request.

General learning & pastoral support

In addition to the structures directly designed to support learning, the programme makes available to trainees a number of other more general support process to assist in their progress on the programme. These include a system of independent mentors, a 'buddy' system and facilitating access to the faculty's student learning advisor who offers clinics and one-to-one session to help students develop generic academic skills. These processes are overseen by the programme's Pastoral Policy Implementation Group.

Placement contract