In Pursuit of Excellence

The Pursuit of Excellence Preceptorship Programme is a unique programme designed to support you through your first twelve months as a newly qualified professional. It is underpinned by the Trust Preceptorship Policy. It will enable you to gain experience in a supportive environment whilst developing your confidence as you settle into your role.

The Pursuit of Excellence Preceptorship Programme combines structured learning, role and Trust specific competencies, reflections, and your own learning plan.

Structured Learning and induction

Learning Plan



The Pursuit of Excellence Preceptorship Programme utilises a collaborative approach led by yourself and supported by your Preceptor, and the wider support network (your Line Manager, colleagues and the Trust Preceptorship Lead). As a professional it is your responsibility to ensure that you attend and engage with the opportunities the programme offers so that we can support you in your endeavours to achieve and deliver safe and effective person-centred care.

The programme aims to empower you to develop as an autonomous healthcare professional equipped to take on the challenges of providing excellent and compassionate care. It has been developed in line with both Health Education England Northwest Preceptorship Standards and a review of the evidence base demonstrating current best practice across the UK.

The key characteristics of the Pursuit of Excellence Preceptorship Programme are:  

Period of Supernumerary Status

You will have an initial four-week period where you are classed as supernumerary and, although actively contributing to care, you will not be included in the safer staffing numbers.

This time will give you the opportunity to:

  • Complete the Trust and local induction
  • Undertake mandatory training
  • Undertake specific e-learning packs that link to your role
  • Have initial Preceptor and Line Manager meetings
  • Develop your individual learning plan.

During this initial 4-week supernumerary period you will work shifts, be a member of the team and start to work towards achieving your competencies.  

Structured Preceptor Support

As part of this programme, in support of your development, you will work closely with a named Preceptor. The Preceptor is an experienced practitioner who will develop your confidence as an independent professional and support you as you refine their skills, values and behaviours.

The expectations of you and the Preceptor are set out as:

Preceptees responsibility

Preceptor responsibility

Ensure that you are aware of your role and responsibility within the preceptorship programme and engage fully in the process

Provide guidance and support to the Preceptee

Identify your personal learning needs to meet the outcomes of relevant competencies and/or domains of learning

Identify potential learning opportunities for the Preceptee

Arrange regular meetings with your Preceptor and ensure attendance

Ensure that the initial meeting takes place within the first week of employment (following induction). Ensure subsequent meetings are arranged and attended

Be proactive in achieving your learning outcomes/competencies, and completion of relevant documentation

Support the Preceptees in identifying learning needs to meet the outcomes of their role, producing action plans to ensure these needs are met.

Demonstrate commitment to your development through attendance and participation in preceptorship learning opportunities and planned events

Ensure that the Preceptee has the opportunity to work with them and a range of healthcare professionals to support their development needs.

Access support and guidance if you are concerned that the preceptorship programme standards are not being met

Attend the structured Preceptor listening and learning events

Ensure that relevant documentation is available to your Preceptor and that your progress is clearly documented. This will contribute to, and inform, your PACE documentation.  

Review formal records of the Preceptees progress and feedback to line manager; to inform PDR process

Where applicable, discuss with Preceptor/Line Manager the need for extra support

Ensure any issues are discussed with Preceptee in a timely manner and are escalated and supported accordingly. Line manager must be informed.

Attend all compulsory preceptorship events

Ensure Preceptee attends all compulsory preceptorship events

Complete all mandatory and essential training

Discuss and support Preceptee with any concerns regarding mandatory and essential training

Engage in management and clinical supervision as stipulated in the Trust policy.

Support Preceptee with identifying a Clinical Supervisor and, if relevant, escalate any concerns


Structured support and learning

As a part of your preceptorship programme, you will be required to participate in shared group learning and development days. These will include a bespoke 3-day induction and a monthly development session. The monthly session will either focus upon Trust wide issues, Service/Division issues or profession specific issues. These sessions will be an opportunity to both develop your own knowledge and to share and explore your experiences with other Preceptees. You can discuss your learning plan with your Preceptor regarding further training and developments needs that are specific to you, your division or your discipline.

Mandatory training will also form part of the Preceptorship Programme. As part of the 3-day induction, you will have received information regarding what you are required to complete and how to access this training. You should keep a record of your personal mandatory training to ensure you complete this when you are required to, and before any training expires. Expired training increases risk to both our patients and other staff members; it may also affect your pay if you are due to receive increments.


Working with staff from across the organisation and representatives from each of the professions we have developed a set of competencies that relate to your role in the Trust. The competencies MUST be completed over the 12-month period. These competencies build upon the skills and knowledge developed in your pre-registration programme of study with the specific aim of enabling you to apply, and evidence, this knowledge into your practice.  The minimum level of achievement for the Pursuit of Excellence Preceptorship Programme will be the competencies that you ‘must’ know.  However, our Pursuit of Excellence Preceptorship Programme framework allows for flexibility in achieving further competencies that have been identified as those you ‘should’ or ‘could’ know, thus facilitating ‘stretch’ goals that can be both stimulating and rewarding.

As a starting point take time to consider each competency and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I confident and competent in this competency?
  • What are my strengths in relation to this competency?
  • What are my learning needs?
  • What opportunities will help me to develop my competency?
  • What could hinder/threaten my development of this competency?
  • When would I realistically want to evidence my competency by?

In answering these questions, you will have completed a SLOT analysis for each competency. This analysis reflects upon your strengths, learning, opportunities, and any potential threats. Reviewing and reflecting upon these will enable you to develop a meaningful Learning/Development Plan to share with your Preceptor.  

Remember that you should aim to evidence achievement of competencies at a pace that is appropriate to you over the 12 months. As you evidence completion of your competencies you will integrate the competency into your everyday practice.

In completing the process and review of competencies your Preceptor will work with you to develop and challenge your practice in order to identify further competencies that will enhance your practice. This approach will support you to both develop your approach to lifelong learning, and prepare you in your PACE discussions, as well as helping you to identify future professional development needs.

Achievement of the competencies will be recorded within your Preceptorship Portfolio.

Career conversations

In addition to evidencing your learning in practice, we aim to support you in your career development and to realise your potential as a practitioner. For this reason, all Preceptees will be invited to have career conversations during the preceptorship period. This will be facilitated by a senior member of staff and it will be an opportunity for you to begin to think about your career pathway within Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.

We aim to have this discussion with you at 6 months and again at 12 months within the programme. These will be confidential conversations where we hope you can have an honest professional conversation.

Portfolio of evidence

The portfolio of evidence is the core document where you share evidence of achievement of the competencies. Your evidence can include reflections on practice, formal learning achievements, testimonies from staff and feedback from service users. The evidence will be shared with your Preceptor, and useful for your future professional revalidation.   

The portfolio will provide a central repository for your SLOT analysis, Learning Plan and record of your meetings with your Preceptor. It will be a central point where you can evidence and demonstrate your achievements and celebrate your successes.