2.1 Educational audit
Your role in evaluating practice learning in your area will include some involvement with educational audit. This is a process that is required by the regulating body (the NMC) to assure standards are met in relation to student learning in practice. Education providers are responsible for organising and completing annual audits of all placement areas used for student clinical placements. This is done in partnership with placement providers and will involve link tutors, clinical education leads and facilitators, healthcare managers, practice teachers, mentors, and students. Each education provider will have its own format, criteria, and audit process, so it is important that you are familiar with these and have sight of the most current audit for your practice area, what are the areas of good practice, and what needs improving. In some areas of the UK, higher education institutes will work together to share educational audit assessment. The following activity relates to a potential scenario in practice.
Activity 3 Case study: strategies for improvement
You have commenced a new position within a health care organisation and feel confident in mentoring students, as the practice area is similar to where you have previously worked. You access the most recent educational audit and notice identified areas for improvements relating to three areas:
- induction information
- educational and learning materials for students
- inter-professional learning opportunities.
You ascertain that no improvements have been discussed or implemented at this time and have been asked to take a lead on this.
List possible strategies for improvement you would consider for each area.
You may have identified strategies drawing from your learning in Week 5 in relation to facilitating a practice learning environment. It is important that you recognise your leadership role in this process in addressing the areas for improvement in the above case study. You would need to discuss these areas with the practice team and associated personnel such as the educational lead, link tutor and your manager, to take suggestions and ideas forward that are agreed and owned by all stakeholders.
Resources would need to be secured and this may involve seeking financial support through appropriate departments or your line manager. Inter-professional learning opportunities would need to be negotiated across disciplines and reciprocal arrangements may need to be agreed. This may also be an opportunity to explore how practice education and mentorship can be standing items on team meeting agendas. Sharing information with other placement areas may also give ideas on how to improve student induction information, alongside suggestions from the link tutor or educational lead. The currency of evidence-based literature and resources relating to your area of practice should be maintained and owned by all team members to ensure that students can access appropriate educational materials to improve their knowledge and understanding.