What is preceptorship

Preceptorship is a common form of structured support through a period of career transition during which a preceptee is supported by a preceptor to develop their confidence as an autonomous and accountable professional.

Preceptorship and career transition

Periods of career transition can be broadly said to include:

  • Newly-qualified professionals
  • Those returning to practice
  • Internationally educated professionals practising in the UK for the first time
  • Those changing to a significantly different role/environment.

Throughout career transition, individuals may experience challenges or feelings of instability, and preceptorship can be an effective way of accessing support and guidance during such times.

Preceptorships should welcome and integrate a preceptee into their new role and encourage a culture in which support and mentorship are fundamental to aid the continuation on their journey of career-long learning and development.

Royal College guidance on preceptorship

We have produced a preceptorship guidance document to help support new graduates and help them to understand what they should expect from preceptorship, alongside supporting those providing preceptorship.

Download the Preceptorship framework

Login to find out more about preceptorship at RCPod 

Other guidance on preceptorship

NHS preceptorship for podiatrists webinar. 15 November 2023
The NHS England webinar, Preceptorship for podiatrists, included updated HCPC guidance and built on the College's recent work on preceptorships as part of its Workforce and Education Reform Programme. It was chaired by Joanne Casey

Watch the video below. Download the transcript.

Health Education England guidance on preceptorship

Health Education England (HEE) is building an AHP Preceptorship Framework, which will be released later in the year: find out more here.

Read more about the support HEE offer to both new graduates and employers regarding preceptorship here.

NHS England: Multi-professional preceptor e-compendium

NHS England has launched the Multi-Professional Preceptor e-Compendium, where the first sessions are now available to support preceptors across nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions (AHP).

The much-anticipated Multi-Professional Preceptor e-Compendium aims to recognise the needs of preceptors and provides them with the guidance, support and practical tools needed to carry out their vital role. It marks the launch of a modern and cohesive set of resources that are aligned to the Preceptorship Principles and Frameworks across each of the professional groups.

The two sessions now available provide an overview of the preceptor role across each of the professional groups, along with dedicated training on leading and coaching preceptees. These sessions are currently free to access for health and care employees using their work email address to register. People without NHS or GOV email addresses will be able to access the e-Compendium in the future as the training develops, and we will share more information about this when available.

To find out more and access the training, please visit the Multi-professional Preceptor e-Compendium programme page.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council also recommends that all new graduates have a period of preceptorship when commencing employment.

Preceptorships can help newly-graduated podiatrists develop the confidence to practise competently and ensure that they are familiar with and meet the obligations outlined in the HCPC Standards of Proficiency. For those taking up roles in the NHS, this could also include the NHS Values and Principles.

Go to the NHS Employers website to find out more about preceptorships for the newly qualified workforce and the importance of offering quality preceptorships by NHS Employers.

Benefits of preceptorship

Kim Sterling, AHP preceptorship lead writes:

Preceptorship offers numerous benefits for the newly qualified workforce, which enables the development of their confidence whilst they transition into their new work environment. Through preceptorship, preceptees experience positive socialisation in the working environment, which leads to effective teamwork and collaboration. Preceptorship encourages a culture of value, respect, and investment in employees, thus increasing job satisfaction and commitment to the employer and profession. All of these are linked to patient satisfaction, quality of care, retention, and enhanced recruitment.

Preceptorship recognises the challenges a preceptee may encounter during a transition period, and facilitates this transition process, allowing for integration into the workplace. When done well, preceptorship gives a real welcome from the employing organisation, and this can be supported by the development of resources, such as a preceptorship package. Preceptees will feel that they have a real sense of belonging and fit into their organisation. They should feel well-grounded as they have established a solid foundation at the start of the role. By establishing a solid foundation, preceptees feel well-grounded and equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to take control of their life-long learning and professional growth. Some preceptorships offer opportunities for networking with other allied health professionals (AHPs) across the organisation and integrated care systems (ICSs).

As a preceptee, you could be a new graduate, returning to the role after a break, or internationally recruited or educated – all are different backgrounds but similar needs for the transition. Be encouraged to look for job adverts that mention preceptorship as you will know that those organisations have a programme in place to support your best interests.

Preceptorship will help your development, and assist you to grow as a member of your immediate clinical team as well as the AHP family.

Case study

Band 6 podiatrist, Alexia, joined the Oxleas AHP Preceptorship Programme. Read her case study and view her video testimonial below.