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Evidence, Research and Development

An effective practitioner is expected to provide care and services that are evidence based. Using evidence and research to inform your practice requires a number of specific research skills as well as other core skills including IT, written and oral communication and project planning skills. Using this wide range of skills will help to ensure any new projects you initiate achieve the results you want.

You may also want to identify how local and national guidelines and protocols are being used and to find out if there are any studies, audits, evaluations that you could get involved in to develop your practice.

If you wish to develop your own project e.g. an audit, evaluation, service improvement or research-related activity, it's important to be aware of local ethics and research governance processes, the skills required to gather evidence, accessing online databases and utilising qualitative and/or quantitative data gathering techniques.

It is important to consider sharing findings, impacts and improvement so others may benefit. This could be in written form (e.g. local or national publications, social media), in house workshops and/or poster and conference presentation.

Within this section you will find information on funding opportunities, projects and improvement methodologies.

Click through the pages below for information and resources relating to this pilar of practice:

  • Learning Activities

    Identify an aspect of your professional practice that you regularly undertake in your current role and think about the following:

    • can you offer a sound evidence base for this aspect of your practice?
    • where could you find an evidence base for this aspect of your practice?
    • is this readily available in your clinical area?
    • how recently did you access the available evidence?
    • how effective do you feel at appraising the available evidence?

    KSF Core Dimensions: Health, Safety & Security; Quality

    Identify an initiative that is driving quality improvement in your area of practice and access the data on which this is based. Select a small sample of this data

    • what quality improvement was anticipated as a result of this data collection?
    • was the data collected reliable?
    • was the data accessible and relevant to the improvement?
    • how was the data used?
    • to what extent did this drive quality improvement.? 

    KSF Core Dimensions: Health, Safety & Security; Quality

    Consider the care that is currently provided in your area of clinical practice.

    • identify any areas of care that you feel would benefit from more robust evidence to base practice on.
    • individually, ask other members of your multidisciplinary team to do the same.
    • are there any areas of commonality?
    • explore whether there is evidence available to guide practice in these areas or whether there is no/limited existing evidence.
    • what can you do if there is no existing evidence base?

    KSF Core Dimensions:  Health, Safety & Security; Quality


    Reflect on an incident from practice where you have been involved in providing care to a patient but did not have an evidence base to justify that care.

    • what was the context in which the incident took place?
    • why did this specific incident have significance for you?
    • what were your concerns at the time?
    • what were you thinking as the incident happened?
    • what were you feeling during and after the incident?
    • what aspect of the incident did you find most difficult?
    • what, with hindsight, might you have done differently if you available evidence?

    KSF Core Dimensions: Health, Safety & Security; Quality