Health Education England is establishing the Centre for Advancing Practice to support education and training for advanced practitioners in England through:
- development of agreed national training standards for advanced practice education
- delivery of a programme accreditation process (kitemarking) for training courses for advanced level practice.
HEE has worked extensively with professional bodies and other stakeholders to develop the Centre and is committed to continuing this collaborative approach.
The important role of professional bodies in encouraging excellence in their professions and registering practitioners will continue to be part of the total picture of quality assurance that is necessary for advanced level practice to grow and thrive. HEE is also working towards how the recognition of non-statutorily regulated professions that might also be able to be recognised at advanced and consultant level.
Advanced practitioners come from a range of professional backgrounds such as nursing, pharmacy, paramedics and occupational therapy. They are healthcare professionals educated to Master’s level or equivalent and have developed skills and knowledge to allow them to take on expanded roles caring for patients.
Advanced practitioners are an integral part of the 21st century NHS workforce as new models of care are transforming the way patients are treated. Advanced practitioners offer multiple benefits to the health service and the population. They bring more holistic care to patients, support continuity of care and extend their scope of practice across traditional boundaries. This leads in turn to a greater focus on prevention, more personalised care, a more efficient team, a faster response to patient needs and better outcomes.
Why is HEE accrediting advanced practice programmes?
Following publication of the multi-professional framework for advanced clinical practice in England, we worked with stakeholders, including higher education institutions (HEIs), professional bodies, regulators and patient representatives, to consider and develop ways by which the framework could be consistently rolled out. HEE has been working with key stakeholders to develop a system which ensures standards for advanced practice education can be applied to all professions and which aligns with the existing advanced practice multi-professional framework.
We are keen to recognise education programmes that demonstrate alignment to the multi-professional framework and the Standards for Education and Training (the Standards) that we have developed for education providers delivering advanced practice programmes.
We are encouraging education providers to seek accreditation as this will facilitate the process of recognising those programmes that meet the multi-professional framework requirements and subsequently those individual practitioners that successfully complete such a programme.
It is anticipated that HEE accredited Advanced Practice programmes will become one of the benchmarked routes to recognition for practitioners and will ensure a consistent level of quality improvement in advanced level practice education across England.