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SIPCEP Frequently Asked Questions



Frequently Asked Questions

Please Note: We are continuously updating this page. If you have any questions which are not covered here, please get in touch at


Questions and answers are listed under the following categories.


General Information about the Pathway

What is the Scottish Infection Prevention and Control Education Pathway?

The pathway provides flexible access to national HAI learning materials for students and staff as appropriate to their role and adopts a modular structure, with content that is contemporary and suitable for wide multi-professional clinical and non-clinical audiences, in all health and social care settings.

The pathway comprises three layers – foundation, intermediate and improvement, providing a progression pathway from novice to expert for all health and social care staff. You may find support tools and resources on the Promotion Tools webpage helpful in answering your queries.

What do each of the layers in the pathway represent?

Pathway diagram

Foundation Layer: designed to develop underpinning knowledge and core behaviours across Standard Infection Control Precautions (SICPs). Learning materials in this layer cover Standard Infection Control Precautions (SICPs) and the Chain of Infection. These link in with national occupational standards and form the basis for further learning.

Intermediate Layer: the principles in this layer relate to the application of knowledge into practice and motivation of staff. It is this layer that provides further learning for staff (including existing Cleanliness Champions), the building blocks for them to progress and enhance their knowledge and skills and champion good practice locally and nationally as they join the pathway.

Suggested themes include:

  • Enhancement of ‘clinical’ or ‘practical’ skills. This will include antimicrobial stewardship, aseptic technique procedures and surgical site infections.
  • Use of decision making and clinical reasoning. This will include outbreak management, making audit meaningful and reflective practice.
  • Interpersonal skills. This will include communication skills; negotiation skills; managing conflict or difficult conversations.

Improvement Layer:  is designed for those who wish to develop a deeper level of knowledge and skills in relation to IPC and QI and lead or actively participate in   an IPC improvement project in their place of work.   This layer incorporates QI programmes currently offered by NES at lead and practitioner level. It will build on knowledge and skills in the application of the science of improvement that will, in turn, complement this specific area of specialisation.

What specifically is covered in the foundation layer resources and are there learning outcomes available?

The topic list for the foundation layer resources can be found on the foundation layer web page along with details of the learning outcomes for each of the resources.

What are the benefits of the new pathway?

Learners (with their line manager) can create a personalised learning pathway to continuously improve their knowledge and skills around infection prevention and control. The pathway provides a flexible delivery model, with modules self-selected and completed in line with the specifics of the learner’s role, at the time of learning need.  You may find the video message from the Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Scottish Government of interest - watch the video at

Where can I get more information on the pathway?

Check the web page of the Healthcare Associated Infections team at NHS Education for Scotland or contact the NES HAI Team:

Is there an overall certificate available for a layer within the pathway?

No, there will be individual certificates for each part/module which you can print via the learnPro Certificate function, once you have successfully passed the assessment.

Is there a certificate for each of the modules within the pathway and if so, how do I get a certificate?

Yes, there are individual certificates for each part/module you can print via the learnPro Certificate function, once you have successfully passed the assessment.

Does everyone have to complete all the modules in the Foundation layer?

No. You should only complete the modules which are appropriate for your role. For example, dental staff would not be expected to complete the Safe Management of Linen module if it does not relate to their specific role.  Your line manager or course instructor/tutor will advise you which modules you should complete. Examples of the pathway foundation modules that NES recommend should be taken as a minimum by different staff groups has been developed. Download the modules by staff group matrix document.

How do I know which layer of the pathway and which modules I should complete?

Please contact your line manager or your course instructor/tutor to discuss.  Information for line managers is provided via a Guide for Line Managers on the NES website - see the Support Materials webpage.

Will there still be a clinical and non-clinical induction?

No. The foundation modules of the SIPCEP, especially those covering the topics “Why Infection Prevention and Control Matters”, “The Chain of Infection” and those covering the Standard Infection Control Precautions (SICPs) will replace the NES HAI clinical and non-clinical inductions and the Cleanliness Champions modules.

Clinical and non-clinical staff can complete different groups of the SIPCEP foundation modules, depending on their role. HAI inductions should take part locally and cover topics like local contacts and local policies for Infection Prevention and Control.

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Timings and Access to the Pathway

When will the pathway be available?

The foundation layer of the pathway to be available from 21st June 2017. The intermediate and improvement layers will be phased in during Summer 2018.

How is the pathway delivered?

The core materials of the pathway have been developed to be delivered by e-learning and will be available for self-selection via learnPro NHS (for NHS staff) and learnPro Community (for non-NHS staff and students). A guide to the learnpro set up of the foundation layer is available. Download the learnPro set up guide.

However, for those who do not have access to a computer, an Open and Distance Learning (ODL) package is available for the foundation layer, which can be printed locally or used for face-to-face delivery of local training. Supporting learning materials like videos and worksheets will be added over time. The pdf version of the modules can be accessed on the Support Materials webpage.

Who will be able to access the pathway?

All Scottish health and social care staff and all students enrolled in Scottish colleges or universities will be able to access the pathway learning materials.

Do I need to register for the pathway?

No, there is no registration process. All materials will be freely available. A learnPro account will be required. To create an account please use the links below:

NHS users:
Non-NHS users:

Student access: How will the administration of the Scottish Infection Prevention & Control Education Pathway be handled? At the moment students self-register for Cleanliness Champions and access is through the NHS learnPro Community website. Will there still be local administrators in the colleges and universities?

Yes, we proposed that the local admins remain in place to help students locally and they will also be able to run reports (e.g. completion or non-completion) from learnPro.

Do I need to complete modules within the pathway in a sequential order?

No. The pathway is designed to be flexible so learners only complete the modules relevant to their role and they can complete them when the learning is needed. Some modules will require a previous completion of other modules though, for example of Hand Hygiene and Personal Protective Equipment. We will publish additional information about this. 

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Using the pathway

Where do I find the pathway on learnPro?

Once you have signed into learnPro you can find the Pathway by typing IPC Education Pathway into the search box next to “My Learning”.  The title is NES: Scottish IPC Education Pathway – Foundation.  Simply select this and click ‘ADD’ to add this to your list of courses.

Where can I find the individual certificate for a module?

Individual certificates are available in learnPro for each course (e.g. NES: Hand Hygiene), once all modules within a course have been completed. Most courses consist of a module and a separate assessment. Example: to access the certificate for Hand Hygiene, once the module and assessment have been completed Click on the “Hand Hygiene” topic. Click on “Modules”. There should then be a button “View Course Certificate” above the module list, next to the button “View Assessment Results”.  Individual certificates can be printed or – IT permitting – printed to a PDF file.

Why are “NES: Hand Hygiene” and “NES: Prevention and Management of Occ. Exposure” marked as completed, when I access the Foundation Layer for the first time?

These two modules replace previously existing modules, and the completion of the old modules was mapped on to the new modules in order to preserve completion records for revalidation periods in different locations. So, if you are required to complete a module every three years and you have just completed the old module a year ago, you will still be asked to complete the new module in two years time

How do I create and run reports to check completions on different courses that form part of the SIPCEP foundation layer?

NES have produced a step-by-step instructions guide for creating reports on different courses that make up the SIPCEP foundation layer within learnPro. Download the Guide for creating reports on different courses (pdf)

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