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HEALTH VISITOR EDUCATION: 1965 – 1994 syllabus and regulation
Entry Requirement
Part 1 of the nursing register (RGN)
5 x passes at GCSE, CSE grade 1 or Scottish school leaving certificates; must include English, Welsh or history
Entry from any part of the current nursing register, including second level (enrolled nurses) but not RFN; RM after 2000
5 x passes at GCSE, CSE grade 1 or Scottish school leaving certificates; must include English, Welsh or history (abandoned 2000)
Any part of the current nursing and midwifery register
51 weeks in length
At least 32 weeks; i.e. an academic year or equivalent
May be less with accreditation of prior learning
52 weeks = 45 programmed weeks (i.e., after annual leave;)
May be less with accreditation of prior learning
Social aspects of health and disease Individual in the group (sociology)
Development of the individual (physical and psychological)
Social Policy
Principles and Practice of Health Visiting
Clinical nursing practice
Care and programme management
Clinical practice leadership
Clinical practice development
At least one third in common core with all community nurses; at least one third in specialist area of practice
10 key standards for public health as basis for education
Principles of health visiting redesignated as ‘domains’
Health visiting not mentioned in proficiencies
Academic Level
 Not specified until after the advent of Project 2000; all validated at least to Diploma level after 1988. Wide variation – certificate to post-graduate level before that.
Minimum of degree level
Post-graduate level increasingly common
Minimum of degree level
Post-graduate programmes in place
Theory and Practice
At least one third practice in part one; i.e. a minimum of 13 weeks
Supervised practice period of at least 11 weeks after completion of ‘part one’ of the course; i.e. a total of 24 weeks minimum in practice
 Regulations governing size/type of caseload to ensure practice experience; alternative practice experience encouraged
50% theory and 50% practice, i.e. a minimum of 16 weeks in practice in total
Supervised practice no longer required
No specified type of practice/caseload experience required
At least half in areas of central importance to ‘annotated area of practice’
No specified type of practice/caseload experience required
Must encompass a ‘range of practice and experiences’
50% theory and 50% practice over whole year; consolidated practice of 10 weeks at the end
During part one of the course, the student to be allocated to a qualified community practice teacher; (CPT) one student to one CPT
In supervised practice (part 2) a different assessor; more than one student per CPT allowed
Health visiting courses had to be led by a qualified health visitor tutor
No requirements for practice teacher or supervision; presumption of preceptorship on qualification
Health visitor tutor not required; qualification abandoned
Presumption of adequate specialist skills in teaching team, to be checked at validation
Supervision in practice area by ‘appropriately qualified’ teacher
Health visitor tutor qualification and community practice teacher qualifications subsumed under ‘standards for teachers’; must demonstrate sufficient skills in teaching team.
Statutory position
Training rules in statute. Registered health visitor is a protected title, mentioned in many laws, e.g. Children Act 1989.
Programmes ran as ‘modified courses approved by Council,’ where they did not meet the statutory requirements for standard programmes (e.g., in terms of length and content)
Training rules not updated until 2000, when entry criteria changed; no other changes. Health visiting register remained in situ
 Health visiting register closed August 2004
‘Health visitor’ ceased as a protected title,; it has no legal status, so removed from all laws in which it previously featured.
Health visitors moved to SCPHN register. Protected title is SCPHN ‘
Annotation of area of practice by NMC rules; this arrangement is not in statute, and is under review 2009


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