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How to become an AHP practice educator

If you’re a registered allied health professional (AHP), you can become a practice educator to support and inspire the future AHP workforce. Learn how to start your journey to AHP practice education.

What is AHP practice education?

Practice education is the provision of student placements supervised by registered AHPs. It gives students the opportunity to apply their academic learning in practice. 

It is essential as our AHP workforce needs to grow to keep up with future care demands.

To support workforce growth, we’re building a sustainable model that shapes the future of AHP career pathways. It will enable AHP students and educators to have long and exciting careers in the NHS. 

Consensus statements 

Stakeholders in AHP practice-based learning (PrBL) have agreed upon the following 4 consensus statements, which outline the aims of AHP placement provision in Scotland.  


All AHPs have a responsibility to support practice-based learning regardless of their grade, occupational role, practice setting, or specialism. 


Practice-based learning can occur in any environment, setting or specialism. 

All ways 

A wide range of student supervision models can be used to deliver and support practice-based learning. 


Importance of robust infrastructure and availability of resources to support practice-based learning that is embedded in service plans and to meet the needs of everyone involved. 

Supporting AHP students on placement

All registered AHPs are expected to support students on placement and become practice educators as part of their professional responsibilities and career development.  

As an AHP practice educator, you’ll provide training opportunities and support the learning, supervision, and assessment of students. Creating practice-based learning experiences allows students to practice their skills and build on existing knowledge in a range of environments outside the classroom. 

A team approach to placement delivery gives other team and service members the opportunity to contribute to supporting students. It also makes sure that students are exposed to a wide range of experiences that enhance their learning. 

Benefits of becoming an AHP practice educator or contributing to placement delivery

It’s important to consider the benefits and how they’ll help you meet your career goals. Here are 6 top reasons to become an AHP practice educator: 

  • Support learning and development through continuing professional development (CPD) activities. This includes re-registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). 
  • Access to local and national networking and collaboration opportunities. 
  • Flexibility to support student placement delivery. 
  • Shared learning with AHP students and practitioners. 
  • Opportunity to contribute to shaping the future of AHP education in Scotland. 
  • Opportunity to support students on placement from other professions. 

Our learning site provides more information about becoming an AHP practice educator.

Career development and CPD

Professional learning and development opportunities should be taken by all AHPs across the four pillars of practice. Supporting and working with students aligns with the Facilitating Learning pillar. It demonstrates the knowledge, skills, and behaviours you’ll need to enable effective learning in the workplace. 

Find out more about the four pillars of practice

Ready to start your AHP practice education journey?

You should follow these 6 steps to become an AHP practice educator in the NHS. 

Identify your practice education learning needs in professional development and appraisal conversations with your manager. Look out for a practice educator development framework coming soon.

You can learn to be a practice educator whilst supporting placement delivery in your service. You can build on your knowledge and experience by: 

  • offering student shadowing opportunities 
  • delivering a subject-specific master class for students 
  • supporting students in project delivery 
  • enabling students to join Near Me consultations 

There are lots more opportunities to learn while you work. We encourage you to discuss your ideas with practice education colleagues. 

Contact any university that delivers AHP degree programmes. You can ask about their practice education development opportunities.  

Discover a range of upcoming practice educator preparation and development opportunities in Scotland

An AHP practice education lead (PEL) can help with any specific questions you may have about developing a new placement within your service or team. They are also a source of support and guidance if supporting students on placement is new to your service or team.  

Find out who your local PEL is

Discover a range of resources that will help build your knowledge and skills when supporting AHP students on placement. 

Find out more on the Allied health professions (AHP) learning site.

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Get in touch

We’d be delighted to support your career and education journey to becoming a practice educator.

For more information, please complete this form to contact the NHS Education for Scotland Practice Education team.

AHP practice educator toolkit

AHP practice educator toolkit

Our toolkit promotes career development opportunities and will support you on your journey to becoming an AHP practice educator.

Download toolkit

Join our community of practice

For more help and support, please join the Scottish AHP practice-based learning virtual community on Microsoft Teams.

Join our virtual community