Social Care CLE Guide

What is a clinical learning environment in adult social care?

Clinical learning environments in adult social care:

  • are placesfor learners to enhance and apply their knowledge, skills and values in a safe and supportive environment. 
  • pprovide real-life settings where learners are supported to achieve their educational outcomes and professional behaviors. 
  • ffocus on best practice and put individuals that draw on care and support at the heart of learning, whilst enabling the design, development and delivery of person-centred care. What is person-centred care (Video) SCIE accessed TLAP-Making-it-Real-report.pdf ( accessed 23.8.23
  • enable learners to observe and learn from experienced staff who undertake health and care work. 
  • are very rewarding for the learner, social care setting, and people who use care and support services where the learner can experience holistic care which addresses a wide range of social, psychological and health needs.

An adult social care clinical learning environment must:

  • be a recognised part of the education and training curriculum for the course and approved by the higher education institute (HEI) and the relevant regulatory body, as appropriate.
  • meet the quality standards of the regulator, the commissioner and NHS England 
  • Have access to direct clinical training (including time for clinical exams and study leave) with an agreed programme.
  • have the appropriate clinical and educator support as defined by the relevant regulatory body.
  • have a placement agreement with GMTH, or the higher education institution whose learners will be supported. This will assure quality and enable placement tariff to be paid by NHS England to support the placement provider and learners. Larger placement providers (regional or national organisations) may have their own NHSE CLE Contract in place. For the latest Guidance and Prices/Tariff please see:  Guidance and regulation – GOV.UK (

For more information on the Greater Manchester Health & Care Learning Environment Strategy 2021-2024 and how we are working together across GM,underpinned%20by%20research%20and%20education. Accessed 19/05/23 Download onto our site

Becoming a Clinical Learning Environment (CLE) is easy. 

You can get support from a number of organisations; the GM Training Hub social care team, higher education institutions, or as part of a social care CLE programme or project. 

Greater Manchester Training Hub: Reach out to express an interest to your local team

  • With support from the team, complete the Quality Assurance Education Framework Audit (series of questions, very easy to complete)
  • Complete a placement agreement which will enable you to receive tariff to support the work you undertake with the learners
  • Once completed, work with your local team to receive student support training and decide when, how many and which professional learners you wish to support.

Higher Education Institutions can support you: contact any of the HEI Health and Social Care teams. (link to HEI email addresses on resources page)