Taking the first steps from being a healthcare student to working as a fully-fledged registrant within the National Health Service can be challenging.

So, to help Allied Health professionals as they transition from student to employee academics from the School of Allied and Public Health Professions at Canterbury Christ Church University have joined with NHS England to develop a new standards and framework.

The standards and framework form part of the government’s Long Term Workforce Plan for NHS England which recommends a period of additional support, termed Preceptorship, to help professionals as they start their careers or return to work.

The Allied Health Professional (AHP) Preceptorship Standards and Framework has been endorsed by Professor Suzanne Rastrick OBE, the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer for England.

Led by Professor Christopher R. Burton, Head of the School of Allied and Public Health Professions, and working with Dr Raymond Smith, Research Fellow for the School, a review of research evidence looking at what works best for AHP Preceptorship was undertaken, along with a consultation exercise with a wide variety of stakeholders, including the Health and Care Professions Council. The findings were then used to construct the AHP Preceptorship Standards and Framework.

Professor Burton said: “We are delighted to have worked with colleagues at NHS England Workforce, Training and Education on this important work. We have delivered a substantial programme of research and extensive consultation to ensure that the AHP Preceptorship Standards and Framework reflect the best available evidence and can be implemented widely. As a School we are committed to working with the health service to develop new ways of securing and sustaining the healthcare workforce of the future.”

Helen Marriott, National AHP Preceptorship and Foundation Support Programme Lead for NHS England, said: “Retention of our AHP workforce is paramount to the delivery of the Long Term Workforce Plan. Our newly registered workforce and those transitioning back into the NHS need to feel valued and supported to carry out their career of choice. Publication of the NHS England AHP Preceptorship Standards and Implementation Framework and the collaborative Health and Care Professions Councils Principles for Preceptorship will help ensure that every AHP has access to high-quality preceptorship. We were pleased to work with Canterbury Christ Church University and thank you for delivering the evidence base behind this work through your research and engagement activities.”