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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

AHP practice education

We have a team of practice education staff based within NES and in NHS Boards across Scotland. They develop resources and networks, enhancing the quality and range of practice-based learning for practice educators, pre-registration students and other learners, helping them to provide safe, effective, person-centered quality care.

Our strategy [PDF] describes the way in which we aim to help practitioners, strengthening education where allied health professionals practise.

The practice education family

NES works in partnership with colleagues from practice and education providers to create networks that support AHPs across Scotland. Within the networks there are a number of roles, each with something different to contribute.

Programme lead for AHP practice education

The Programme Lead for AHP Practice Education is Susan Shandley and she is responsible for providing the overall strategic leadership for national practice education initiatives.

AHP practice education co-ordinators (PECs)

There are two practice education coordinators (PECs) working across Scotland, based in NES regional offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh. They provide professional leadership, coordination and support for the development and enhancement of practice-based education, working with strategic Leads for Education in NHS Boards, Further Education Colleges and Universities.

AHP practice education leads (PELs)

Practice Education Leads are there to support AHPs within the health boards to provide high quality practice education experiences to all learners. They work with a wide range of AHPs from health care support workers to senior AHP leads and will help them to develop and access a range of work-based learning opportunities. They also link closely with University Tutors to support Practice Educator Training and to maintain high quality Practice Placement experiences for AHP students. Find your local PEL here.

AHP practice educators

Practice Educators have a role in facilitating teaching and learning. To become a Practice Educator, AHPs need to undertake a recognised practice educator training course provided by Universities in Scotland. Some Practice Educators can become 'accredited' by their professional body and some undertake more extensive postgraduate practice education or teaching qualifications.

Being a practice educator

As part of their training every health care professional needs opportunities and time to practice their skills and build their knowledge in settings outside of the classroom. The time spent gaining hands-on experience is essential for students to build the knowledge, skills, confidence and attitudes and that will help them to become independent practicing Allied Health Professionals.

Most AHP students have to spend up to 1000 hours of their total training in practice education.

Even when someone is qualified, they still need to maintain their learning and education. We think of practice education as describing any teaching and learning that happens in practice or work-based settings.

We use the term 'Practice Educator' to describe those that teach, supervise, assess and support students who are undertaking a formal learning placement in a practice setting e.g. hospital, community, care home, or school setting.

Further information

Meet the AHP practice education network

Practice education lead contacts

To contact your local AHP Practice education lead send an email to and we will be pleased to put you in touch.

Contact us

Last updated: 16/10/2023

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