The Foundation Degree will enable individuals working in a play specialist role within a healthcare setting to develop practical skills and knowledge, leading to registration with the Healthcare Play Specialist Education Trust (HPSET), which is the registration body for the profession of Healthcare Play Specialism.
The course is a two year day release course, linking theory to practice. The emphasis is on the balance between taught elements and facilitated learning within the practitioner’s own workplace.

  • GCSE Maths and English grade A-C or equivalent Level 2 or above in Literacy and Numeracy.
  • Minimum of a full and relevant Level 3 qualification in childcare or a related field.
  • Minimum of two years employment working with children, after gaining the level 3 qualification.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Evidence of continuous professional development.
  • Evidence of current, regular and relevant employment in the sector.
  • Identification of a registered play specialist who agrees to act as a work-based mentor.
  • Commitment to negotiate and complete a 200 hour placement each year, if not already employed in a hospital.

Academic essays, literature reviews, written reports, folder of evidence and exercises though the virtual learning environment. Assessment of practical skills is undertaken in the workplace throughout both Level 4 and Level 5 of the course.

Work Based Competencies

The work based competencies are set out in the Practice Assessment Handbook for each year.

Experienced Qualified Registered HPS

By this we mean someone who has successfully completed the qualification and has two years’ experience in the role. This person will have current registration with HPSET and will be eligible to mentor a student.


This person will have completed the specific mentor training provided by HPSET and the college and is able to commit to the obligation to meet with the student for no less than one hour per week to discuss and record the outcome of each meeting and document it on the proforma provided. Once confident that the student has fully achieved the competency the mentor/assessor is responsible for signing off all competencies in the Practice Assessment Handbook. The mentor can only have one mentee at any one time.

Practice Supervisor

By this we mean a qualified, HPSET registered practitioner who works alongside and supports the student to achieve the work based competencies. This person will carry out the observations of students and providing documented evidence of the outcome and written feedback as to how achievement of the competency could have been improved upon. The student may have more than one supervisor but only one mentor.

Work Place Supervisor

By this we mean someone who is not a qualified registered HPS but one who holds a senior position in the workplace where no qualified HPS practitioners are employed. We see this situation as an exception not the norm. The student working under these terms still require a mentor/assessor.


Colleges are validated to offer the programme. All enquiries relating to entry requirements, recruitment and admission procedures and fees should be addressed direct to the college.