HEALINT – Supporting Internationalisation of Traineeships in the Healthcare Sector

In healthcare studies which include professional regulation, student learning in clinical practice is an essential part of the curriculum. Curricula are designed with close input from the national health services, and on graduation, students are expected to have sufficient experience to practice independently within their profession.

Simultaneously, a shortage of healthcare professionals in certain countries (e.g. in 2012, WHO estimated that the UK alone required an influx of around 40,000 nurses) is stimulating mobility. In these cases, healthcare professionals who trained within the system they intend to work in, are able to immediately integrate to deliver care, unlike other professionals coming from abroad, who require extra time and resources to integrate them with national specificities of the health system.

Currently, the supply of these traineeships is lower than it should be due to:
• complexity in meeting National and EU professional regulatory criteria for traineeship placement recognition and transfer instruments to allow for periods of training
abroad to be validated and recognised for purposes of credentialisation
• insufficient information on availability of cross-border traineeships (both on how to offer them and how to subscribe to them in regulated professions)
• perceived difficulties on the side of students and of staff in participating and facilitating such traineeships

To address these issues, HEALINT will develop:
• a protocol for certification of hospitals to receive trainees which will allow for the creation of a standing-list of suitable institutions qualified to work with Erasmus Charter Higher Education Institutions in the provision of traineeships
• guidelines for evaluation of cross-border student traineeships which will specify a European standard for documenting, assessing and recognising credit acquired in training experiences abroad

In addition, by authoring a monograph on transferability we will compile the lessons learned of the project and target decision makers in Higher Education as a whole, with the aim of facilitating their own introduction of similar schemes.