Voices of our practitioners

Shaping the future of NCT

We had a fantastic response to our call for practitioners to be involved in ourNCTeducation and the next stage of ourNCTservices. Five practitioners on the project teams tell us more about why they applied and what they’re hoping to get out of it.

Rachael Bickley

The education of our practitioners is the foundation of the excellent courses and support we provide for parents. As an antenatal practitioner of four years, I have had the experience of studying with Bedford and Worcester models of education at levels 4 , 5 and 6. I am really pleased to be a part of the ourNCTeducation team as we explore the best of what our education provides and develop it further.

Julie Wall

Having studied at Worcester University since 2016, achieving my FdA degree in Birth and Beyond and now continuing with my BA hons, I bring to the table the most recent training experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed my training, and I am now working in the field too as an antenatal teacher (ANT) and postnatal leader (PNL). When the opportunity came up to be involved with shaping the future of ourNCTeducation I knew I would love to be involved. I’m really looking forward to bringing about change in order to maintain the high quality training our practitioners receive, whilst making it accessible and appealing. I feel truly honoured to be involved in this project and look forward to what the future brings.

This is a photo of me (centre), just before I went into the cathedral for my graduation last November. I love this photo, nervous, but delighted!

Rachael, Julie and Amy working on ourNCTeducation review

Amy Delicate

I am passionate about supporting parents, particularly their emotional needs in the transition to parenthood. Good quality practitioners are key to supporting parents and I am keen to help develop a robust education system that supports the needs of NCT whilst ensuring good parent support.


If you have any questions about ourNCTeducation, please get in touch.


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Lucy Pedder – developing one antenatal course, bringing together the best of Signature and Essentials

I’m really excited and fired up to get started on this project. I really believe in the value of co-production and involving as many stakeholders as possible when designing services. As practitioners we can sometimes feel a little side-lined and it’s really nice to be invited to contribute to this project.

I believe that good antenatal education makes a real and lasting difference to parents in the transition to parenthood. It can be the difference between a new parent starting out feeling confident, empowered and with full self-efficacy, versus fearful, traumatised and insecure. Practitioners know we make a difference but often feel stifled by the constraints imposed by course formats and administrative complexities.

Most parents on my courses have no idea of the difference between Signature and Essentials and book based on dates and location alone (I do ask at the start of each course). This means that there is no real purpose to having two courses apart from distinguishing between practitioners, which feels divisive and unfair. We are aware that the Preparation for Birth and Beyond (PBB) qualification was devised when it was thought that we would be delivering courses under contract to the NHS. Now that this has fallen through it feels like the right time to move on and revert to one, nationally recognised, core antenatal course for the NCT brand. As a practitioner from that “tricky” cohort who are level 5 qualified postnatal practitioner (PNP) but cannot deliver Signature courses, I recognise the frustrations that delivering Essentials brings, when we know we could be doing so much more.

Those of us who are passionate about perinatal support in general and NCT in particular want to help strengthen the charity so it can fulfil its potential. We know that the antenatal courses are key to this and the charity could be doing so much more once the antenatal offering is “fixed” and growing again.

Lucy Pedder and Heather Kale, practitioners on ourNCTservices project teams

Heather Kale – developing a paid 1:1 breastfeeding service

I’m very excited to be part of this small team looking into one-to-one paid for breastfeeding counselling. Although I’ve been a breastfeeding counsellor for 12 years I’ve always kept my head down and just got on with it. When this opportunity came up to consider the future direction of NCT breastfeeding counselling it really resonated with me as an idea and I applied straight away.

I have some experience of being ‘on the other side’ as I have been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) for the past seven years and run a small private practice but my NCT breastfeeding counsellor role is always what I come back to as the foundation of everything I do. There are many things to consider here and I look forward to meeting the rest of the team and us getting our teeth into the nitty-gritty of how such a scheme might work.


If you have any questions about ourNCTservices, please get in touch.


One Reply to “Voices of our practitioners”

  1. I’m really looking forward to working with you all :-). It’s great to have such a team on board to be involved with these projects, to help input in to and shape such critical projects for the future of our charity.

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