ePrePP (Preparation for Professional Practice)

Partner Institutions

Project Lead: University College Cork

Project Partners: University of Limerick, Institute of Technology Tralee, University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, National University of Ireland Galway


ePrePP is a collaborative initiative to enhance student learning in practical/clinical placements to ease the transition from student to professional. The project is led by a group consisting of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and pedagogy and has applications for not only other health disciplines but also for the wider student body.

This site offers advice on the use of eportfolios based around competency framework, how to insure placement experience is learner-focused and provides a repository of digital resources and links to educational sites that students can trust. There is material and guidance in setting up meaningful shared inter-professional education.

Featured Resources
Primary Contact(s)

w_rms_blob_commonProf Henry Smithson

University College Cork

Email: henry.smithson@ucc.ie

Detailed Proposal

The ePrePP resource is a student centred e-platform to enhance the transition from student to practitioner in medicine, nursing and pharmacy.

It will do this by identifying the students strengths and gaps from a list of required competencies, recording progress through formative and summative assessment using the e-portfolio and signposting the student to a digital library of resources to enhance the practical placement. This initiative is collaborative and intra-professional, creating rich opportunities for integrative learning.

Three ePrePP components will be developed; a generic pedagogically scaffolded competency framework adaptable to many professional practices; an electronic learning portfolio (e-portfolio) focusing on peer and self-assessed learning and individual feedback; a repository of webinars and a library of interactive digital educational resources for medical, nursing and pharmacy students to augment the regular time limited tutorials delivered in the health service.

To ensure inter-professional collaboration, the components will be developed jointly: pharmacy leading on the common competency framework, nursing leading the design of the e-portfolio, and medicine leading the development of the tutorial platform and digital library.

The undergraduate curricula for health professionals are nationally regulated and include a mix of theory and practice. The signature pedagogy of the health care service includes the enhancement of practical skills of Nurses, Doctors and Pharmacists through several professional practice placements. This exposes students to the reality of their professional field where inter-professional collaborative decision making and action is crucial.

However, the increasing number of healthcare students results in conflicting pressures on the professional work-place tutor. The time spent by the tutor between health care provision and this potentially rich undergraduate teaching, can result in suboptimal student experience and shallow learning. A key part of this project is to assist the students in making the most of being there by supporting both the student and the professional tutor. Exposure to patient facing scenarios will enhance transition into professional practice and develop a more prepared practitioner.

The development of the ePrePP resource will involve academics and practitioners from each profession. The common competency framework and e-portfolio will be developed by overlaying existing professional competencies and learning logs, to establish common core competencies, and refined by the advisory group and focus groups of tutors, practitioners and students.

The tutorial platform will comprise recordings of new and existing webinars and clinical scenarios and a digital library of relevant material. The webinars and scenarios will be used to demonstrate the differing perspectives of medicine, pharmacy and nursing, thereby enhancing inter-professional learning.

The ePrePP will be piloted and refined in selected sites across Ireland. The ePrePP will be improved iteratively by testing in these off-campus teaching sites, by student and tutor evaluation and benchmarked against international good practice. An Executive Group comprising the project leads and a Project Advisory Committee comprising representatives from stakeholders, (professional practitioners, academic and students representatives from collaborating HEIs) will co-ordinate the project. Project monitoring will be undertaken by colleagues from Irish and UK Colleges and boards.

1.    Policies and protocols for the development and use of competency frameworks for pharmacy, nursing and medicine
2.    Policies and protocols for the use of eportfolios for nursing, medicine and pharmacy
3.    Policies and protocols for the use of digital clinical scenarios
4.    Policies and protocols for video conferencing placement based tutorials
5.    Clinical  competency frameworks for undergraduate pharmacy, medical and nursing students
6.    Digital resources to support clinical placement teaching for medical, nursing and pharmacy students