CPD for Support Practitioners

ARC is evolving a CPD Program for Support Practitioners. It focuses on the skills underpinning the HEE/RCSLT Framework. This is about being a confident reflective practitioner, able to lead your own learning and demonstrate competencies.

This focus on an underlying skillset means the CPD program suitable for those working in different specialist areas in SLT – child/ adult/ universal/ educational services.

Currently Training includes a Study Day for Assistants and an E Learning version of this.


During 2021/23 Ruth, who leads ARC, was involved in an RCSLT project as Lead Author. A group of 19 Assistant Practitioners and SLTs worked together to devise a new Framework for supporting the learning and development of assistants in the SLT profession

While working as Lead Author for the RCSLT Framework Project I realised that there were some training options e.g. NVQ and related apprenticeships as health care support workers but the reality was very limited training options for assistants. I also knew from feedback that services were struggling to find resource to support assistants in devising their learning and development plan. The Study Day is set up as an interactive, learning experience for Assistant Practitioners who will leave with a provisional plan of competencies to develop in the workplace. Additionally those attending have access to ARCs CPD Series of Workshops/Seminars for 12 months.

This grew from a 12 week to a 2 year project resulting in a new Learning & Development Framework with an accompanying Toolkit of resources. There are 2 Competency Profiles, the Core and Clinical Competencies. Core Competencies provide a generic, foundation profile based on the HEE* Framework for all AHP support practitioners.

The Clinical Competencies are SLT specific and devised around the skills needed to ‘survive and thrive’ in the role of Assistant Practitioner. This competency profiles and toolkit resources are available on the RCSLT Website.

There is now a dedicated section of the RCSLT Website for Assistants, including information. for those interested in a career as an Assistant Practitioner.

* Health Education England

** AHP Support Worker Competency, Education and Career Development Framework document

The Study Day

The objective of the Study Day is to enable assistant practitioners to be confident about the approach to learning and structure of the new Frameworks which supports development within role. It is about being confident about ‘work based’ and reflective learning. Support around Logging Learning and Reflective Writing is included.

There is awareness that Assistant Practitioners have a wide range of clinical roles; some in clinical areas such as Head and Neck services and others in Universal or Education based services. The course content is not based on knowledge and skills linked to clinical work. The emphasis is on supporting assistant practitioners as learners.

As an Assistant Practitioner you leave the Study Day confident about the learning and development framework and in particular the Clinical (Job Specific) competencies.

In modern healthcare assistant practitioners need to be confident and know their own learning needs and the competencies they are working towards with confidence to negotiate their learning and development with colleagues, while being sensitive to the workload and limitations on resource in services.

What are the Learning Themes of the Study Day?

It has been designed to support the Assistant Practitioner in empowering their learning and development in their role. 

Course Topics/Learning Themes

  • Competencies & Mapping these onto a Framework
  • Work Based Learning
  • Adults as Learners 
  • What makes a successful Assistant Therapy Practitioner?
  • Roles – differences & similarities
  • Developing a Learning Plan
  • The reflective practice cycle
  • Reflective Writing
  • Common Themes & Strategies – conflict resolution, negotiation, stress inoculation, time and energy management, what makes a good day at work.
  • Roles – differences & similarities
  • Developing a Learning Plan
  • Common Themes & Strategies – conflict resolution, negotiation, stress inoculation, resilience.

Access to CPD Study Sessions included

Participants also have access ARCs series of CPD Study Sessions for 12 months.

Option 2 – An E Learning Version of the Study Day

This is a self study option with access to online course materials – videos, audio powerpoint presentations and written material to work through at your own pace. You have access to the online course material for 9 months.

This e learning is offered via a learning platform called Masterstudy, alongside Google Classroom and Teams. 

Participants can also access ARCs series of CPD seminars for 12 months.

This E-Learning course is available from Spring 2023