Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association

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Academic and Practice Standards - Health Visiting


QAA consultation: benchmarking academic standards

Form A: Responses to individual subject statements
Please identify the subject to which this response refers Subject
Please provide the following information:
Name of respondent: Jackie Carnell
QAA consultation: benchmarking academic standards
Form A: Responses to individual subject statements
Please identify the subject to which this response refers Subject
Please provide the following information:
Name of respondent: Jackie Carnell
Position/responsibilities: Director
Name of institution/organisation: Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association
Address: 40 Bermondsey St, London, SE1 3UD

Are you responding:

please tick as appropriate

in a personal capacity


on behalf of your:


- HE institution

- professional or statutory body

Professional body

- employer

- In any other capacity (please specify)

General observations about your particular subject benchmark statement
Q1 Overall, to what extent does the statement fulfil its intended purpose?
The statements are well thoughtout and comprehensive and would seem to largely fulfil their purpose
Q2 What are its major strengths as a benchmark statement?
  • Sets a standard
  • Sets priorities for effective practice
  • Detailed
  • Responds to the expected future agenda for health visiting
  • Clear presentation
  • Emphasises the importance of effective communication as a basic skill
Q3 What shortcomings, if any, are there?
We suggest some additions:
  • P3, A2 – ‘utilise the most effective means of communication for a particular purpose’
  • P3, A3 – ‘understand and acknowledge personal professional limitations
  • P3, A4 – ‘maintain a personal professional profile and utilises it as a tool for reflective practice’
  • P4, B1 – ‘recognise gaps in knowledge and highlight these so that research can be undertaken’
  • P4, B2 – ‘recognise when they need to consult colleagues with more expertise before an effective intervention should be planned’
  • P4, B3 – ‘understand the different cultural requirements of the populations he/she may work with and know how to mobilise resources to ensure effective cross cultural communication’
  • P5, C1 – ‘research and evidence based practice’
Q4 Which aspects require further clarification/modification? - please give details
Specific comments on the subject benchmark statement
Q5 How well does the statement describe the nature of the subject/profession?
Reasonably accurate but need to emphasise the holistic approach of health visiting particularly the relevance made in health visiting practice of the need for good mental and social health to achieve full health. Social and physical factors affecting health are alluded to more specifically than are mental.
Q6 To what extent are the attributes and capabilities that a graduate in the subject might be expected to demonstrate described adequately and appropriately?
Quite fully however few graduates will be able to effectively demonstrate all these attributes and capabilities immediately following training especially if their training only covers 34 weeks. A period of practice consolidation with supervision of at least one year is necessary for newly qualified health visitors if they are to maximise such training and be able to respond effectively to the professional requirements of their new role.

Q7 What, if any, aspects of an appropriate statement have been omitted? - please give details

Suggested additions:‘be able to:

  • P10, A3 – ‘assess mental health status of children and adults’, this is absolutely critical to effective health visiting and is acknowledged in their work with postnatal depression and behavioural management.
  • P10, A3 – ‘act as a clinical leader’, motivating her team and working autonomously to meet the needs of her client population.’
  • P10, A2 – ‘be skilled in active listening’
  • P.10, A2 – we suggest last statement should read ‘consult’ not ‘involve users
  • P.11, BI – ‘undertake a holistic assessment of physical, mental and social factors influencing health status’
  • P11, B3 – ‘promote the mental health of children and adults and mobilise health and community resources to support the individual when it breaks down’
  • P11, B3 – ‘utilise groups effectively as a means of promoting health’
  • P11, B3 – ‘utilise behavioural management techniques to help parents manage difficulties they may be having with their children’
Q8 What, if any, aspects of the statement appear to be superfluous? - please give details.
Some repetition but nothing superfluous.
Q9 Is the threshold standard for the award in the subject defined suitably? If no, please elaborate.
It is important that there is sufficient emphasis on the communication, mental health and public health skills required by health visitors as their use is core to so many interventions. Improved skills in leadership will be necessary to drive the new agenda.
Q10 Other comments
Congratulations on a very detailed and useful piece of work. Our comments are relevant to the present and future role of health visiting as it is currently developing and we trust will be found helpful by the working party.
If you require further clarification please contact

Professional Officer, CPHVA.

Tel. 01243 430 418