Placement support and monitoring
Once a placement is allocated, the clinical tutor will make contact with the supervisor and plan the support for the placement over the following six months. Clinical tutors are responsible not only for supporting the trainee on placement and arranging for any trainee specific needs to be met, but also for liaising between the programme and the supervisor and supporting the supervisor in any of their placement related needs, including planning mid placement visits (MPV) and arranging end of placement reviews. In addition to quality assurance visits, pre-placement or start of placement visits might be offered if the clinical tutor and supervisor agree they would be useful to facilitate preparation of the placement for the trainee (for example, for a trainee with a support plan or other specific support needs).
Start of the Placement
The placement contract should be drawn up between the trainee and the supervisor. This should be sent to the Programme Assistant (Placements) by the end of the first two full weeks of the placement. The establishment of the placement contract is the first priority at the start of any placement. The trainee's clinical tutor will review the contract for appropriateness when it is sent in by the trainee. Supervisors and trainees are also strongly encouraged to form a psychological contract regarding the supervision process at the beginning of the placement. In addition, an appropriate induction to each placement must be carried out, including identifying any risk or safety issues that are specific to the placement and service specific procedures that may be relevant to the trainee's work on the placement. These matters will be subject to individual service policy. However, the placement contract does specifically ask that trainees be made aware of the practice placement provider's extant Equality and Diversity Policy, including how these apply to the trainee and how they will be implemented and monitored (to ensure compliance with the HCPC SET 5.5).
The trainee's designated clinical tutor will arrange the mid-placement visit (MPV) at the start of the placement, along with all the placement support and monitoring, by telephone or e-mail depending on the needs of the placement and trainee (e.g. supervisors new to supervision will be contacted by telephone and when offering a placement for the first time, and/or will be offered a pre-placement visit). MPVs will usually occur around month three on first placements and around months three or four on subsequent placements. Third year mid-placement visits will usually occur in April or June in order to avoid clashing with thesis commitments.
Mid Placement Visit
When placement visits are arranged by the clinical tutor, supervisors will be asked to ensure that they have completed the SAT form in draft form, to be sent to the clinical tutor one week in advance of the arranged MPV date. This draft can then be used by supervisors when completing the SAT form at the end of the placement, adding any elements that had been evidenced in the second half of the placement. For this first draft, ratings (e.g. satisfactory etc.) would not be completed.
Similarly, trainees would be asked to send tutors their draft Placement Audit Forms (PAF) and log books, one week in advance of the MPV. During the meeting itself, these draft documents would inform the respective conversations, as set out in the schedule below.
MPVs will take place at the placement location. Broadly following those procedures outlined in the BPS Guidelines on Clinical Supervision (see appendix), the mid-placement visit will incorporate the following structure:
- Tutor meets trainee (using PAF & Log book)
- Tutor meets supervisor (using SAT & Log book)
- 3-way meeting between tutor, trainee and supervisor, in order to collectively review the trainee's progress, provide feedback to the trainee and the supervisor, and agree appropriate goals for the remainder of the placement
Although the time allocated to meeting with the trainee and supervisor separately and collectively may vary depending upon individual need, it is advisable for supervisors to allow two hours for the visit.
After the placement visit, the tutor will e-mail the supervisor and trainee with any necessary brief notes from the MPV (within, at most, two weeks of the visit). The e-mail can say anything that was agreed at the MPV, but the intention is that it will be brief, on the basis that most useful information will be contained in one of the attached forms. This e-mail will also be sent to the Placement Administrator, along with the draft documents (already submitted) as attachments. This will form the record of the placement visit, and will be stored by programme (as, previously, the MPV forms were stored).
This allows any concerns to be noted and any action plans to address these concerns to be recorded. For example, an opportunity for the achievement of a particular type of learning objective may have been lost on placement, and this record would acknowledge that this learning might need to be replaced by a different, more achievable objective in the placement circumstances.
End of Placement
Whilst the clinical tutor provides the support throughout the placement, further visits or placement reviews with supervisor and/ or trainee are only scheduled should a query or difficulty arise. At the end of placement, the clinical tutor contacts the supervisor by phone to confirm that the trainee's progress on placement has continued as planned, and to respond to any difficulties or queries they have, both generally and specifically in completing the Supervisor's Assessment of Trainee or SAT form. Subsequent to these conversations, a pre-planned training progress review is held with each trainee.