Training, education and development

Helping you to reach your potential

It is very important to us that you are well prepared and supported in your role, which is why we have a comprehensive training and education package designed to ensure you’re confident and safe while caring for our patients.

University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) is recognised as one of the leading NHS foundation trusts in the UK, as well as the leading university teaching hospital in the region. We have strong links to universities so we can offer a diverse career pathway with opportunities to progress in specialist areas, research, professional development, clinical education and transplantation.

Your development

The Trust prides itself on its training and development for all nursing staff. 

In addition to a range of comprehensive courses aimed at developing both clinical skills and leadership qualities, we also have close links with local universities offering various specialist courses.

You will have regular contact with our Professional Development Nurses (PDN) who will offer support and provide on-the-job training and education.

We recognise the importance of developing skills and knowledge in all aspects of your career. Therefore, should you want to discuss other learning opportunities such as courses and qualifications outside the Trust’s portfolio, please discuss these with your line manager or the professional development nurses.

Career prospects

The Trust also encourages promotion and career progression.

There are three distinct career pathways available, each leading to a variety of roles:

  1. The clinical expert route – from Band 5 to specialist practitioner or clinical nurse specialist
  2. The operational management route – working towards senior sister/charge nurse or theatre team leader, and on to matron or an operational manager role
  3. The education and research route – leading to opportunities in training/education, teaching or lecturing roles, research nurse roles or working in a dual education/clinical role

Healthcare Practitioner Induction Programme (HPIP)

All staff will undertake corporate induction when they join UHB. The purpose of this induction is to welcome you to the team and to introduce you to our way of working. It's for newly appointed nursing staff and some allied health professional staff who are new to the Trust. The HPIP is facilitated by the Clinical Education team.

New starters must attend a week-long induction program that includes most of their mandatory training.

Days 1 and 2 All staff bands attend
Days 3, 4 and 5

Bands 2 - 4 will attend:

  • Assistants Training Programme
  • Patient Observations
  • Hospital Life Support

Band 5 and above will attend:

  • Medical Devices
  • Hospital Life Support
  • Prescribing Information and Communications System (PICS)
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Blood Glucose

Once you’ve accepted a position with us, you will have a period of supernumerary practice while you develop your competencies. The exact period of this training will depend on your previous experience and will be adapted for each individual. To help you get up to speed with our ways of working, UHB has its own professional development nurses and a bespoke education programme.

Assistants Training Programme (ATP)

The ATP is run through days 4 and 5 of the HPIP. It's mandatory training for new assistants to the Trust. This is not exclusive to nursing assistants; it includes all healthcare support workers (HCSWs), as identified by the Care Certificate, such as physiotherapy, occupational health, occupational therapy, imaging and dietetic assistant staff.

The programme incorporates the following topics:

  • Patient observations and Prescribing Information and Communications System (PICS)
  • Hospital life support
  • The role of the assistant
  • Standards of behaviour/attendance/sickness
  • Accountability/responsibility
  • Dignity in care/six Cs
  • Taking a handover, abbreviations
  • Removal of a peripheral venous cannula (PVC)
  • Hand hygiene
  • Introduction of the care certificate
  • Patient hygiene, including wash in bed, catheter care and oral hygiene

Care Certificate

The Care Certificate comprises 15 standards of care, as required by the Department of Health and Skills for Health, which all Band 2 – 4 healthcare support workers (HCSWs) must meet, along with a Code of Conduct for HCSWs and adult social care workers in England.

All newly-appointed Band 2 – 4 HCSWs – including nursing, physiotherapy, imaging and occupational therapist assistants – must complete Care Certificate training within their first three months as part of their induction. (Bank staff have up to six months to complete the training.)

HPIP lays the foundation for a large part of the Care Certificate.

For the standards that are not covered on the HPIP, there are an additional two study days provided ("supplementary days"), which are in the weeks following HPIP. The HCSW is informed of the days during the HPIP week, and their line manager is emailed to request that they are given study days to attend.

As part of the course there is a workbook for the HCSW to work through. This involves working with a mentor, who will observe clinical practice and talk through elements of practice. The HCSW will then reflect on each standard as a whole by undertaking a piece of reflection about something related to that standard.

The Care Certificate is mandatory, along with the associated study days. It has now been incorporated into all Band 2 job descriptions and contracts; failure to complete the certificate is considered a performance management issue.

Nursing Assistant Development Programme

Following completion of the Care Certificate, nursing assistants attend seven study days over eight months. This programme is linked to the achievement of competencies and completion of activities, as outlined below:

  • Communication
  • Documentation – end of life/bereavement care
  • Tissue viability
  • Infection control
  • Safe performance of patient observations
  • Dignity in care
  • Nutrition/hydration
  • Customer care and complaints
  • Mental health awareness/making specialling special
  • ECG and blood glucose monitoring
  • Continence/catheter care


Following qualification as a registered nurse or allied health professional, we offer all our newly qualified nurses a 12-month preceptorship programme supported by the Clinical Education team.

The preceptorship training programme at QEHB spans the first year post-qualification and incorporates:

  • 4-day Preceptorship Development Programme – this will cover various essential topics that will help the preceptee in the early stages of their career
  • Preceptorship Workbook
  • Six competencies to be completed alongside e-learning and theory components
  • An allocated preceptor in the clinical area who will offer guidance and support and provide adequate supervision during the 12-month period
  • Support from a clinical educator
  • Support from Divisional Clinical Educator

Preceptees must complete:

  • drug theory workbook
  • oral drug assessment
  • controlled drug assessment
  • sub-cut drug assessment
  • aseptic non-touch technique assessment
  • diabetes e-learning and competency assessment
  • managing a group of patients assessment (if applicable)
  • IV drug calculations, training and assessment
  • Glasgow coma score simulated assessment
  • pressure ulcer competencies
  • SimMan study day
  • Managing a clinical shift programme

Managing a Clinical Shift Programme (MACS)

The aim of this programme is to prepare junior nurses to take charge of a clinical shift in a ward environment, while enhancing their leadership abilities in line with recent government recommendations.

The MACS programme is now a mandatory requirement for all newly qualified nurses who have successfully completed the first eight months of their preceptorship programme and are ready to take on the role of being in charge of a clinical shift.

The preceptee will have been qualified for 12 months and must start the programme during this period, unless deemed not ready for the programme by their ward manager or professional development nurse (PDN).

In order to be eligible for a place on the course, each preceptee must have successfully completed all seven assessments as part of preceptorship and have had their preceptorship book signed and completed. The line manager and PDN will have the final say on whether a nurse is ready for the programme.

  • Two classroom-based study days
  • Shadow shift and practice shifts
  • Practical clinical assessment of being in charge of a clinical shift

Aspiring Band 6 Programme

This development course is for nurses, operating department practitioners (ODPs) and allied health professionals (AHPs) who have been qualified for more than 18 months. The course is a five-day programme over six months.

The aim of the programme is to facilitate further development of staff working in a Band 5 role, to encourage influential teamwork and leadership, and enhance professional potential with a view to a Band 6 post.

Course content:

  • Introduction to change management
  • Implementing changes in the clinical area
  • Evidence-based practice/research
  • Risk management and critical incidents
  • Customer care and complaints
  • Audit (including undertaking an audit)
  • Leadership
  • Presentation skills

At the end of the programme each candidate must present a 10-minute presentation to their peers on their change management subject.

Band 6 Development Programme

This course is suitable for Band 6 nurses, operating department practitioners and allied health professionals who wish to increase their knowledge and skills in management and leadership while gaining the confidence to fulfill their managerial role to its full potential.

The course is suitable for staff who are either new to the Band 6 role or have been in the role for a number of years and want to update their skills.

At the end of the programme each candidate must present a 10-minute presentation to their peers on what they believe they have learned from attending the programme and how the course has influenced their subsequent practice as a manager.

Aspiring Ward Managers Programme

The Aspiring Ward Managers (AWM) Programme is a programme aimed at ward-based Band 6 nurses who are looking to progress further into a ward management role. It has a specific focus on providing the knowledge and skills required to become a successful ward manager.

The course will run over an eight-month period and comprises a total of 14 study days. The first is the assessment centre day where your suitability to continue on the programme will be determined following a number of desktop management exercises.

Action Centred Leadership (ACL®)

UHB has a number of accredited ACL® trainers who hold a series of two-day team leadership programmes.

The course is suitable for group managers, ward managers, nurses, team leaders or any other health professional and will provide a breadth of understanding plus the practical tools needed to understand and implement ACL®.

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