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Staff development

Belfast Trust is committed to building the capacity of its workforce through education, learning and development – from induction programmes to continuous development programmes and a range of clinical and leadership opportunities.

We aim to provide high quality services through appropriate training, research and support.

Assistance to study

The Assistance to Study Policy is available from HR. It sets out how we support staff development by providing study time and a financial contribution.

Professional development

When you join the Trust as a health or social care professional, you can expect development opportunities. Professional development is offered in line with patient and service needs, and also the requirements of The CPD Certification Service and your registering body.

Workforce education

We aim to deliver the highest standards of patient care. The Trust has strong links with Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University and The Open University to ensure that medical, dental, nursing and midwifery staff receive the specialised training and support they need.

  • Medical and dental placements

    Belfast Trust works closely with Queen’s University School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences. We provide clinical placements to undergraduate medical and dental students. Our Medical and Dental Education Department coordinates these placements.

    Queen's University Belfast School of Medicine logo

    Undergraduate students attend the Trust’s hospitals from the beginning of their Bachelor of Medicine (MB), Bachelor of Surgery (BCh) or Bachelor of Obstetrics (BAO) degree course. Students are placed in the clinical areas most relevant to the modules they are studying.

    From year three of their course, students spend the majority of their time in hospital placements where they observe patient care and are taught by Trust staff of all grades. Staff also evaluate the students and provide this information to the university as part of the students’ assessment.

    We also welcome medical students from medical schools outside Northern Ireland for elective summer placements in our hospitals.

  • Nursing and midwifery placements (pre-registration)

    Belfast Trust also works closely with Queen’s University School of Nursing and Midwifery, Ulster University School of Nursing and The Open University to provide pre-registration nursing and midwifery placements.

    Our Nursing Practice Education Team coordinates these placements. The team provides a safe learning environment and equips student nurses and midwives with the knowledge and skills required for registration.

  • Nursing and midwifery placements (post-registration)

    A variety of learning and development opportunities are available for our nurses and midwives to help them meet the challenges of changing service requirements.

    Induction: All newly appointed nurses and midwives are provided with an induction programme relevant to their role. The induction programme is managed, delivered and evaluated by nursing and midwifery staff. It also has contributions from other professions and specialties within the Trust.

    Preceptorship: A preceptor is ‘an experienced colleague who provides support and guidance to enable new registrants to make the transition from student to accountable practitioner’ (NMC, 2006). This programme provides the opportunity to deliver safe and effective nursing care in a supportive environment.

    Formal education: Programmes may be accessed through Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University and The Open University, as well as the Trust itself.

    These include specialist practice programmes, short courses, standalone modules and work-based in-service modules.

    Other providers: Nurses and midwives can also access learning and development activities from other providers such as:


    In-house: A range of learning and development opportunities are available that are delivered by Trust staff.