Simulation and Quality in Clinical Education

Ann Sunderland1, *, Jane Nicklin2, Andrew Martin1
1 Leeds Beckett University, School of Health and Community Studies, Leeds LS1 3HE, UK
2 SimSupport, York, UK

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Creative Commons License
© 2017 Sunderland et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Director of Clinical Skills and Simulation Leeds Beckett University, School of Health and Community Studies Leeds LS1 3HE, UK, Tel: (+) 44 113 812 4484; E-mail:



Simulation-based education (SBE) has become commonplace in healthcare education within hospitals, higher education institutions, the private healthcare sector, and private education providers. The standards and quality of delivery vary across the UK [1], leading to differing degrees of learning for healthcare professionals. This variance in standards makes research into the impact of SBE on the end user (the patient) difficult to measure.


The delivery of SBE needs to be of a high standard if learning via this pedagogy is to be maximised and benefits to patients are to be accurately assessed. This article aims to summarise the importance of quality within clinical SBE and how it can be achieved and maintained to produce a measurable impact on patient care. The current progress of the implementation of UK national standards for SBE is included to highlight the need for standardisation and guidance to support simulation centres and individuals to benchmark practice and work towards accreditation through quality measurement and monitoring processes. Suggestions are made on how such standards will affect the future of SBE and all those involved.


There is a clear need for the development of national standards for SBE delivery and for a stepped approach [i.e. minimum, intermediate, and advanced standards] depending on the size, capacity, and frequency of SBE education delivery. Considerable financial outlay will be required to monitor standards effectively. The enhanced use of current and future technologies should be considered with regards to monitoring standards as well as data collection for future research opportunities.

Keywords: Simulation, Quality improvement, Educational standards, Patient safety, Diagnostic reasoning, SBE activity.