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Practice Teacher Award

About the Course
Post Graduate Level 7, Post Registration
NMC validated
The course usually runs from February - September and consists of 30 protected learning days to include 9 taught days at University, 12 days in practice and a selection of other activities which contribute to learning and development for post registration Health Visitors and School Nurses.



The Practice Teacher Award is designed to prepare NMC registered nurses and midwives who are currently employed as Health Visitors or School Nurses and are planning to develop their careers in teaching and learning. Applicants should be able to demonstrate innovative professional practice in their specialist field in order to be exemplary role models of practice development.  

The Health Visitor Implementation Plan: a ‘Call to Action’ (March 2011) has set an ambitious plan to increase the number of Health Visitors by 50%; 6,000 by 2015. This strategy has already led to a growth in the number of training places for Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) students and an increase in demand for practice placements. Those Health Visitors who have been away from practice or who have lapsed registration are also being encouraged to return to practice, and will require highly motivated Practice Teachers to facilitate learning in the practice placements for all these students.

Student Practice Teachers will be prepared for teaching and assessing learning in practice for students on the Specialist Community Public Health Nursing programme (Health Visitor or School Nurse pathway). Applicants will be involved in the development of the practice placement as an effective learning environment for all the team and will have experience as a mentor to pre-registration and other students and community teams.

Content and Structure

The Practice Teacher Award usually runs from February to September and builds on previous learning and teaching qualifications developed for pre registration nurse teaching and learning such as Preparing Facilitators of Learning in Practice or Mentoring courses.

The course prepares the students to achieve the NMC Standards for Teaching and Learning in Practice (NMC 2008) and consists of the following commitment;

  • 9 days taught content in University
  • 12 days working with an experienced  Practice Teacher Supervisor and student
  •  A further 9 days observing inter professional practice teaching with for example social workers or GP trainers and other SCPHN programme linked teaching and learning activities. 

Assessment is based on reflective portfolio of evidence (4,000 words)

Practical experience

Practical experience is integrated with the theoretical components of the programme in order to facilitate the transfer of theory into a reflective practice model and is supported by an experienced practice teacher supervisor. Students will have access to students studying on the SCPHN programme to support their learning and practice competencies.


Students are usually sponsored by an NHS Trust.

Selection Criteria

All experienced Health Visitors and School Nurses who are currently registered on part 3 of the NMC register are eligible to apply. The applications should be accompanied by a reference from a peer and or manager. Ideally the applicants will have had an annual appraisal where their learning and development needs have been identified. Applicants, who are shortlisted, will be invited to an interview held by the Trusts; a short presentation on a relevant topic maybe part of this process. It is a prerequisite of the course that applicants hold a recognised mentoring teaching qualification or equivalent.

What next

On successful completion of the programme students will be able to register with the employing Trust as a Practice Teacher (non-sign off) and allocated a SCPHN student. They will be supported during the following year by an experienced PT in their assessment decisions and on observing further student ‘sign off’ will be able to enter the PT register as a Sign off PT.

Further Information

Following discussion with their Line Manager students should apply to:

Susannah Russell

Programme Administrator MSc Advanced Practice
Department of Nursing and Applied Clinical Studies
Canterbury Christ Church University
North Holmes Road

Faculty of Health and Social Care Website