This paper is based on a presentation delivered by the Special Interest Group for Education and Training (SIGET) at the annual Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association (CPHVA) conference. Service user and carer involvement in all aspects of health care delivery, including the educational process, is a key element of the government's modernisation programme. This paper considers the policy context that requires nurse educationalists to seek the views of service users and carers in planning quality healthcare education programmes. It identifies issues and challenges for those working in higher education establishments based on evidence from the literature and the experiences of the authors. Principles of good practice are suggested which value and respect the views of those who are recipients of healthcare delivery.