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Preparing Clinical Instructors

How do you know when a clinician is ready to be a CI?

While there are currently no prerequisites to become a CI, here a few guidelines to help you know when someone might be ready:

  • The clinician must be a licensed PT or PTA

    • A PT student can only be supervised by a PT, not a PTA

    • A PTA student can be supervised by a PT or a PTA

  • The clinician should have at least 1 year of clinical experience

  • The clinician should have an interest in teaching or mentoring a student


How do you prepare a CI for a specific student experience?

A CI should have advanced notice that s/he will be having a student and time to prepare for the learning experience.  Here are some tips to help:

  • Share the school’s information packet with the CI in advance

  • Make sure the CI completes PT CPI training in advance

  • Additional resources for the PT CPI Web can be found by clicking here

  • Spend some time with the CI to discuss the process of the clinical experience including:

    • What to discuss during the initial meeting

    • Ask how the student likes to be supervised/how they learn/want feedback

    • What are the student’s perceived strengths and areas to improve

    • How to develop weekly goals with the student

    • How to structure student expectations based upon level of experience and number of weeks in the experience. 

  • Develop a structure for your CIs to follow to organize a clinical experience – this should be specific to your facility specific and may be included in your facility’s clinical education handbook


How do you mentor a clinician to become a CI?

There are several resources available to develop skills as a clinical instructor.  Here are some things you may consider at your facility:

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