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Curriculum Consultation Update. Heather Wanstall. Two events and an on-line consultation have been held regarding the implementation of the BDA Curriculum framework 2008. We have looked at placement structure, learning outcomes and assessment processes.

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Two events and an on-line consultation have been held regarding the implementation of the BDA Curriculum framework 2008.

We have looked at placement structure, learning outcomes and assessment processes.

A separate scoping exercise has looked at how best to incorporate Public Health Dietetics in a more significant way.

65 responses (equivalent to one large department)
  • Up to 30 people skipped at least one question (equivalent to half of them not answering).
  • Overall consensus – none!
80% of respondents felt that the day placement could cease to exist, with their learning outcomes being incorporated in to academic modules.
  • This will probably happen over the next couple of years.
  • Day placements will still be needed for 2011.
Feeling that 2 week block should be used for skill development or public health.
  • 80% agreed it should include a “care” component. Concern that if students were put in to NH’s or busy wards, they may be neglected and not have a very productive time.
  • Concern that introduction to catering should not be lost.
  • Majority felt that it should introduce the student to the whole care process.
PH scoping exercise indicated a lack of sufficient PH dietitians in London to accommodate students for separate PH placements.

Significant disquiet about placements that have a block spent elsewhere in the middle.

HEI’s need to agree how best to use the 2 week A block as well as how to incorporate PH in a more meaningful way.

Different placement models ( 4 options given e.g. 6 wks acute/ 6 weeks community, 3 days acute/ 2 days community, 4/1:
  • Fairly even split across the different models. 55% in favour of 4 placements.
  • 48% felt at least part of C placement should be in acute setting.
  • 15% in favour of introducing some PAL C placements

However………from the answers to later questions there is clearly some confusion about what PAL is!


Bearing in mind we have been teaching PAL pretty relentlessly for the last 3 years.

4 Trusts are running PAL B placements and over 60 students have passed through this system in the last 3 years.

AND only the most engaged PEs will have completed the on-line consultation.

46/65 answered the question asking how peer assisted learning could be used on C placement. Of those, at least 21 showed some confusion regarding PAL.

So when the changes to the curriculum are finalised, how do we disseminate them most effectively to ALL dietitians involved in training?
Consolidation for C in the community.
  • Many people felt that this would be possible with careful planning.
  • Concerns over limiting job opportunities if student wishes to work in the acute sector.
  • Many like shared placements but expressed concern over “blocks”

HEI’s need to consider how to take this forward

Almost everybody felt they could apply the proposed learning outcomes in their area of work.
  • The majority agreed that it was reasonable to expect Dietitians to be familiar with the standards that are referred to as they govern our everyday practice. It was suggested that a short guide could be attached to save time for those that are not familiar with them.
Most people agreed that not including examples to avoid them becoming tick box lists again worked well. However, some suggested that there was nothing wrong with a few tick box lists appropriately used.
  • There was overwhelming support for the development of evidence grids, benchmarks and definition of standards for the end of each placement – this is something that student leads could probably undertake.
Methods of Assessment:
  • 41% of respondents were in favour of abolishing assessment tools as we know them.
  • One respondent was strongly in favour of keeping them.
  • 78% of respondents were in favour of developing a weekly reflective review form that supports the plotting of


Another job for student leads?

  • Majority of people in favour of moving to e-portfolios.
  • Main concern about lack of PC access.
  • Difficulty including some kinds of evidence expressed.
  • Lots of food for thought.
  • Some aspects to be worked on further by HEI’s
  • Some resources to be developed by student leads
  • Large dissemination/ education activity will be required