Converting Willingness to Engagement: A UoN Innovation project

Tracey Redwood, Tracey Ali, Alison Ward, Cindy ODell, Claire Poole, Denisa Rebaudo

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned Report


Converting Willingness to Engagement is a University of Northampton Innovation project developed to enhance learning and teaching within the university. This project explored workforce development, clinical service leads and advanced practitioners’ requirements relating to postgraduate education within healthcare. Healthcare professionals are legislated to engage with postgraduate requirements. While healthcare professionals are willing and committed to Continuous Practice Development (CPD) activities they encounter difficulties with engagement. These difficulties include the challenges of full-time employment often combined with rotational antisocial shift patterns, unclear career advice, confusing postgraduate courses, cost implications and most recently, the Covid 19 pandemic.

Converting Willingness to Engagement involved partnership working to address relevant workforce needs and involved the following three phases:

Phase 1: A series of marketed online (virtual) drop-in focus group discussions targeted at clinical service leads, advanced practitioners, matrons and work force development.
Phase 2: A series of marketed “Career clinics” targeted to address the needs of postgraduate health professionals held at linked hospitals (x5) within Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire.
Phase 3: An evaluation form at the induction of programme/module/study day addressing the applicants’ journey to enrolment which included career advice, marketing roles, administration support and timeframes.

A desktop competitor review of 29 universities and private sector educators was also undertaken to explore the market provision for healthcare postgraduate provision.

Seven recommendations were developed from the results of the three phases and these are:

Recommendation 1: develop a plan for regular career clinics at an appropriately identified time and day to suit both shift and office-based healthcare professionals. This would be envisaged in place of staff time at open days as this was identified as a more accessible form of engagement.

Recommendation 2: develop a key point of contact within the university FHES for the Trusts, so that they have a key person or correspondence route with teams to streamline engagement with the University. At present Trusts are accessing several faculty staff in a variety of differing subject areas.

Recommendation 3: develop shorter courses/CPD, with a focus on practical skills, that could build into a programme of study.

Recommendation 4: market courses/module/CPD so that this information is clearly presented to focus on the benefits for both the Trusts and the individual practitioner.

Recommendation 5: explore areas for potential development in apprenticeships, clinical academic careers and the opportunity for bite sized learning that feeds into modules and then programmes of study.

Recommendation 6: review the postgraduate website to have easy navigation to Level 7, Level 6 top up, and CPD course information, with greater emphasis on the career development potential of these courses/modules/CPD, and providing clear information on costs, potential for modules to build into a programme of study, length of course and practice implications.

Recommendation 7: review the registration and enrolment process for applicants to reduce the duplication of information required, provide a greater distinction between the registration and pre-enrolment forms/processes, and develop the navigation capabilities of the forms.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Northampton
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2021


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