Your development

We support and encourage learning and development. We are committed to providing a range of training and professional development opportunities to help with your personal development and career progression.

Volunteer training.jpgTraining, CPD, and appraisals

A broad range of training and development opportunities are available throughout your career, with partners such as Bournemouth, Southampton, and Solent universities and some further afield. Through our supportive appraisal process, your key strengths and challenges are identified and an individualised plan, for your development in line with Trust objectives, is created. We have a wide range of courses available both in-house and linked to our partner organisations, via multiple platforms. Our clinical skills and professional development team is a dedicated group of practitioners who provide professional guidance and support to all clinical teams. Its role is to listen and respond to the learning needs of our clinical workforce and provides training and continuing professional development to teams and services.

Reducing restraint 

A dedicated training team will support you through your introduction to working in mental health settings and ensure the safety of you and your clients. Therapeutic engagement training goes hand-in-hand with reducing restraint training to give you the best tools to manage de-escalation in practice. Our Prevention Management of Violence and Aggression (PMVA) team is highly skilled in what they do. You may even bump into them on the units whilst they visit and support you in practice.

Knowledge and Library Services (Horizon scans)

The Dorset NHS Knowledge and Library Service can help you through all parts of your career journey in the NHS, no matter which role or band you are. It supplies up-to-date and accurate information and evidence, but did you know they also focus on your wellbeing?

This is just a handful of services provided:

Student support practitioners/ medical education

A dedicated student pre-registration support team to ensure a great placement and training experience. Whether you come to us from a university placement, or join us through one of our apprenticeship routes, the team is here to support you. Once qualified, they will also train and support you to supervise and assess upcoming students.

One-to-one coaching

A network of trained coaches can support you in reaching your career goals and personal development.

Reciprocal mentoring programme

We offer a six-month mentoring opportunity for junior ethnic minority colleagues to mentor senior colleagues – gain insight into other areas of the organisation, share lived experiences, and deepen knowledge around ethnicity and equality.


Covering both clinical and non-clinical apprenticeship routes, from entry-level up to degree and master’s qualifications, to help you take your career to the next level. Find out more about our apprenticeships


Dorset HealthCare provides a preceptorship programme over your first year, supporting newly qualified practitioners to transition into confident and competent practitioners.

“Knowing I was not alone as a new starter nurse, helped me feel less overwhelmed. It gave me the confidence to speak up about my feelings and be more aware of my self-awareness. Being able to share difficulties with no judgment, and the good support and advice that was given by the staff.

It was useful when external speakers shared their knowledge of their specific areas and built relationships with other preceptees. The support I have received during my preceptorship has enabled me to build my confidence.”

An introduction to the Preceptorship programme - Loretta Allen, Clinical Educator

Support workforce development

The Bands 2-4 development resource serves as a one-stop source for all career-related support. Whether you're aiming to excel in your current role, seeking opportunities for upskilling, or contemplating a shift to a different career path within the trust, this tool is designed to empower you at every step of your professional journey.

Job shadowing

Work alongside a colleague from another area of the organisation to gain experience in a new role.

Work experience

Dorset HealthCare is a large Trust with several hundred sites across Dorset. You can apply directly to the site or department you are interested in. All applicants must be either living or studying in Dorset. Find out more here about work experience opportunities    

Education and training

The training packages and resources developed by Dorset HealthCare are available for purchase by outside organisations. We already work closely with health and social care providers to provide access to online training packages or access to our e-learning platform. Our rates are fair and competitive, and you can be assured of the quality of our training.

Our PMVA training team has recently been awarded the BILD ACT certification making them the go to service for your training needs regarding restraint reduction training standards. The dysphagia team offers a comprehensive training package online for health and social care providers.

Dragons’ Den

Put your ideas into action! Our annual competition for staff to apply and pitch for project funding and project management support to implement their ideas.

Staff recognition/awards

Celebrating outstanding achievements by staff across the organisation, as nominated by colleagues and members of the public. The ‘best of the best’ are shortlisted for our hugely popular annual awards ceremony.

Our offer