ASPiH: Gathering Clinical Simulation Communities Together in the UK

Celebrating a decade in 2019, the Association for Simulated Practice in Healthcare (ASPiH) offers forums, a body of knowledge and a voice for all the healthcare simulation community, for the region of the British Islands and beyond. Here, Today’s article was guest author Mr Andrew G. Buttery MSc, DipMedED(Dist), RODP, Regional Simulation & Human Factors Project Lead at Canterbury Christ Church University and ASPiH member writes in to share about this year’s virtual event!

The Association for Simulated Practice in Healthcare – ASPiH – celebrated its tenth birthday at the Annual Conference in Belfast, November 2019, which was attended by almost 500 delegates. A decade ago the new association was formed by bringing together the National Association of Medical Simulators and the Clinical Skills Network.

NAMS had led a major study on the impact of simulation training upon team performance in delivery suites and since then ASPiH has played a part in several key events in the simulation world, not least producing the ASPiH Standards for Simulation in November 2016, and offering accreditation to individuals, programmes and centres.


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As at Healthy Simulation.com, ASPiH recognises the key role of technical staff both in bringing innovative technology to the attention of educators and in finding solutions to evolve an idea into a practicable learning event. Technologists working in simulation are encouraged and supported by ASPiH in achieving membership of the Science Council.

In association with Laerdal and the Science Council, ASPiH delivers three Simulation Technician Education Programme (STEP) modules: STEPuP, STEPouT and STEPoN. STEPoN focuses  on the iRIS online platform for simulation authoring. ASPiH works in partnership with the developers of iRIS, software company TWM E8, to introduce iRIS which supports the development of high -quality content in-line with the latest ASPiH Simulation Based Education Standards.

ASPiH hosts Special Interest Groups including Simulated Patient Organisers & Trainers (SPOTs); Developing Educators for Simulated Practice in Healthcare (DESPiH); Human factors & Ergonomics; Paediatrics; Directors, Managers & Administrators.


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Since November 2014 ASPiH has co-owned the quarterly peer-reviewed Journal British Medical Journal Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning (BMJ STEL),  a research forum to share scholarly practices to advance the use of simulation and technology enhanced learning in the context of health and social care. This includes knowledge translation to improve clinical outcomes, health systems, patient experience and safety.

BMJ STEL seeks to contribute to research, innovation and knowledge translation drawing on diverse disciplines spanning science, technology, engineering and medicine, alongside the arts, humanities and social sciences, and includes various article types on the use of simulation in education, training and professional development as well the increasingly diverse fields of innovative learning technologies: online and distance learning, MOOCs, Web 2.0 and Wikis, mobile learning technologies, serious gaming, podcasts, animation and other multimedia in both virtual and physical learning environments.

In the current issue just the original research articles are published by teams from London, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden involving practitioners from medicine, midwifery, nursing, dietetics, speech & language therapy and physiotherapy. The journal also has a new Editor-in-Chief: Professor Debra Nestel, who has delivered workshops and keynotes at ASPiH conferences and worldwide.

ASPiH has made valuable contributions to the response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, including resources on the website, alongside links to online training including the Health Education England e-Learning for healthcare (e-LfH) catalogue.

ASPiH is currently working in partnership with Health Education England (HEE) to gather information, especially from the Simulation Technician community, on innovative solutions to both the pandemic and also to the recommencement of more “face-to-face” teaching and learning #SimReStart.

In response to the pandemic, ASPiH has taken the step to host a virtual conference, based upon the innovative and user-friendly “Events OnAir” Platform. The virtual conference takes place on 10 – 11 November, with an engaging programme including leading industry exhibitors and enthralling keynote speakers. We hope you can join us.

More About the ASPiH Organization

ASPiH is a not-for-profit membership Association comprising of members drawn from healthcare, education and patient safety backgrounds including researchers, learning technologists, workforce development or education managers, administrators, and healthcare staff and students. All have a genuine interest in new and innovative methods of learning, as well as optimising the use of existing medical simulation resources within their practice. Their membership bridges undergraduate and pre- registration education as well as postgraduate and post registration training and on-going CPD for all of the health and social care workforce.

The current aims of the Association are to:

  • Provide an effective communication network for those involved in simulation and technology enhanced learning across the UK and beyond
  • Provide quality exemplars of best practice in the application of simulated practice to education, training, assessment and research in healthcare
  • Support the expansion and uptake of simulated practice by establishing key benefits and evidence of impact linking simulated practice with improvements in patient safety and quality of care
  • Develop and share key operational and strategic resources for members drawn from experience within the association and from links with relevant educational bodies nationally and internationally
  • Encourage and support scholarly development and recognition of members through wider dissemination of innovative practice at scientific meetings and publications
  • Become the “go to” independent organisation for those looking for expertise, advice and information about healthcare simulation and technology enhanced learning

Learn more about the ASPiH 2020 Virtual Event!


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