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Practice based learning

The West Yorkshire and Humber ePAD Project

Dr Sarah Burden talks about the West Yorkshire & Humber ePad project


This project outlines the approach taken by the West Yorkshire & Humber (WY&H) assessment group, a collaboration of five universities- Bradford, Huddersfield, Hull, Leeds, Leeds Beckett, to the development and implementation of a shared Electronic Practice Assessment Document (ePAD) to support competence assessment of undergraduate pre-registration nursing students across all fields of practice (Learning disabilities, mental Health, Child Nursing, Adult Nursing).

Building upon long standing partnership working across the region’s universities and placement providers, the project illustrates how collaboration and use of an e-portfolio platform, in this case Pebblepad, can facilitate and quality assure practice supervision and assessment, in line with the NMC (2018) new standards for education. With a staged implementation from 2017, upwards of 3,000 students, 15,000 mentors and 200 academics will be using the ePAD when fully operational.

Overall project objectives include:

  1. A collaborative regional approach, shaped by key stakeholders (students, mentors, educators) from education and practice, to the development and implementation of a shared ePAD to support competence assessment of undergraduate pre-registration nursing students.

  2. An exploration of pedagogical approaches to promote student and staff engagement with e-portfolio technologies.

  3. A consistent and staged approach to implementation and support for individuals across the region including resources development to support preparation of students, practitioners and educators in use of ePAD.

  4. An evaluation of user perspectives of the developed ePAD and selected e-portfolio platform, to support future working.


Strong partnership working across key stakeholders and acknowledgement of user perspectives is a critical element in the development of an ePAD and associated processes to support practice learning and assessment. Integration of ePortfolios across a whole curriculum can support student and staff development in use of technologies and support implementation of an ePAD, and appears to result in positive experiences of ePAD, including perceptions of future relevance and value. Use of an ePAD provides opportunities for students to integrate learning between university and placement settings and promotes timely and efficient communication around student supervision and assessment. Further details of the project design, development and evaluation can be found here.

Learning and future work:

Learning has identified the role that authentic assessment and familiarization with software plays in enhancing student and staff engagement, theory and practice reflection and feedback. Evaluation of user perspectives and engagement with the developed ePAD has identified strengths and areas for future development around:

  • Accessibility and Support
  • Training and Preparedness
  • Communication and Assessment.

ePad screenshot

Innovations from around the UK

For more information contact:

Sarah Burden
Reader in Learning & Teaching, Leeds Beckett University

Fiona Meth
Senior Lecturer, Academic Practice Lead: Pre-Registration Nursing, Leeds Beckett University

Melanie A Robbins
Professional Lead for Nursing (Child), University of Leeds

Anthony Chambers
Practice Learning Educator / Mobility & Placements Coordinator, University of Hull