Action learning - a learning and teaching method in the preparation programme for supervisors of midwives
Supervision of midwives is a statutory responsibility which provides a mechanism for support and guidance to every practising midwife in the United Kingdom. To be eligible for appointment as a supervisor, midwives are required to undertake a preparation programme successfully. Because of the changing nature of the professional role and education, the level of the programme of preparation has evolved from an attendance course, to programmes delivered at diploma, degree and, more recently, Masters level. In collaboration with clinical colleagues and the statutory authorities, the University of Hertfordshire has presented a programme of preparation at Masters level since 1997. Revalidation in 2001 provided the opportunity to review the learning and teaching methods, and a decision was made to use Action Learning as an important component of the new programme that commenced in 2002. Alongside the normal university quality assessment mechanisms, a systematic evaluation was undertaken to explore the acceptability and perceived usefulness of Action Learning by the students of the second and third cohorts. This paper presents the findings of this evaluation.