Supporting Dietitians in Scotland: How NHS Education for Scotland can support CPD and career development.

dietitians week logoby Susan Shandley, Programme Lead, AHP Practice Education Programme

Who are we?

NHS Education for Scotland (NES) is an education and training body and a special health board with responsibility for providing education, training and development for those who work in and with NHSScotland.

How can we help you in your role? 

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the way in which you continue to learn and develop throughout your career and is important to deliver safe, effective and person centred care and is a requirement, for qualified AHPs, to maintain registration with HCPC.

NES supports staff no matter what job role or level of practice you are working at.

Are you a qualified practitioner? How do you decide what CPD to focus on?

PilarsFirstly, it is important you think broader than just CPD for developing your clinical practice. CPD also covers facilitation of learning, leadership and evidence, research and development. These are commonly referred to as the four pillars of practice.

The knowledge and skills supported within each pillar are:

Clinical  – Safe, effective and person centred care along with professional judgement and decision making

Facilitation of learning – Creation of a positive learning environment and learning, teaching and assessment

Leadership – Professional and organisational leadership and effective team working

Evidence, research and development  – Evidence into practice

Secondly, you need to identify the level of practice you are working at or aspiring to on the career framework

Whether you are a newly qualified or highly experienced practitioner, the  post registration career development framework will help you identify both your level of practice and the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected at your level within all four pillars of practice.

In addition, this web based framework also signposts you to resources relevant to your development within each pillar.

Are you a support worker?

Band 3Healthcare Support Workers in NHSScotland play an increasingly important role in health and social care teams.  NES has developed Support Worker Central as a one-stop shop for information and HCSW Learning Framework, based on the four pillars of practice which recognises how complex HCSW roles are becoming. For example, all Band 3 roles will have aspects of clinical skills, facilitating learning, leadership and service improvement.

Our Qualifications Search helps people find the right learning or course for them, we also have a dedicated HCSW Advisory Group, a dedicated HCSW Twitter account @NES_hcsw and an annual learning event for support workers across clinical, business and admin and estates and facilities roles.  For more information contact HCSW Team

Are you involved in Dietetic practice placements?

NES have a crucial role in ensuring the quality of the learning environment for a positive student experience. The Quality Standards for Practice Placements (QSPP) audit tool, developed by NES, enables practitioners achieve this.

How else has NES supported learning and development for Dietitians?

NMAHP ehealth leadership programme

This programme supports ambitious, experienced nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and healthcare scientists to influence eHealth and demonstrate innovation and creativity in leading change for the benefit of patients.

As part of this programme David, a Paediatric Dietitian in Glasgow undertook a project to design the nutrition and weaning element of the 0-5 years developmental timeline for a digital platform, which should be rolled out later this year. David is also active on social media as part of his networking and CPD.

Follow @TheDietLama and look out for his blog later on this week.

For further information contact

Find out more information and apply for a place in 2017/18.

Effective Practitioner (EP)

The Effective Practitioner  web resource supports NMAHP to self-assess their learning and development needs, undertake work based learning and record their reflections.

Using a range of EP resources and quality improvement methodologies, Sophia, a Community Dietitian in Grampian, was funded to undertake a project to pilot the use of Counterweight Plus to improve accessibility of weight management services for housebound patients. This is a programme for management of severe and complicated obesity which is also endorsed by the Association of UK Dietitians.

For further information contact

AHP Careers Fellowship Scheme

This is a funding source to support learning and development for the AHP workforce across the public sector in Scotland.

This scheme is open now for applications (until 26 July 2017)

Diane a Community Dietetic Assistant in Forth Valley was supported to apply for a level 3 Award in Nutrition for healthier foods and special diets. Diane attended a three-day accredited course delivered by The Royal Society of Public Health. This course increased her knowledge of nutrition and its effects on health and health outcomes and has made her feel more confident in providing accurate and consistent information to weight management patients and provide an improved patient experience.

For further information contact


Spotlight on new resources to be launched soon.

The following three new e-learning modules, developed by NES, will be launching over the summer.

Writing great applications for learning and development opportunities

Writing ApplicationsThis module will help you develop the skills and confidence to write high quality applications when applying for learning and development opportunities such as the AHP Career Fellowship Scheme and the NMAHP ehealth leadership programme.

Identifying your learning needs for Continuing Professional Development(CPD) and Career Development

CPDThis module will practically take you through the journey of using the post registration career development framework to identify your level of practice and learning needs across the four pillars of Practice to help you develop your personal development plan.

Developing and maintaining clinical skills in the practice setting

Clinical PracticeThis module will help you identify the clinical skills you use, across the four pillars of practice, identify any learning requirements you have and find the right learning to support you in your role.

Who can you contact for further CPD and career development guidance?

Within NES  – The AHP Practice Education Team:

Our national AHP Practice Education Programme supports the facilitation of learning  of the AHP workforce within the practice setting.

Programme Director:

Programme Lead, AHP Practice Education Programme:

AHP Practice Education Co-ordinators (PECs): and

Within your board areas – The AHP Practice Education Leads

We have an established network of Practice Education Leads (PELs) across Scotland.

CoPPELs 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 universities to support Pract ice Educator training and maintain high quality practice placement experiences for AHP students.

You may already know who your PEL is within your Board area, if not our Community of Practice has all the information and contact details you need.


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