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Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions on advanced practice and the Centre for Advancing Practice that HEE is establishing to accredit advanced practice education and training programmes. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions on programme accreditation.
We will be reviewing and adding to these FAQs over time and if you have a question that is not addressed below please let us know via email email@example.com and we will endeavour to answer and add to the list. If you have any specific questions on programme accreditation you would like answering please contact us via: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q1 What are Advanced Practitioners?
Advanced practitioners are experienced clinicians who demonstrate significant expertise in their area of practice. In most cases, they will also be expected to provide leadership, mentoring and wider clinical judgment to a multi-disciplinary team. There are lots of jobs with this title, but, until now, there hasn’t necessarily been consistency across the country on what the job entails.
So, HEE’s Centre for Advancing Practice will do two things:
- set agreed national training standards across England for advanced level practice
- kitemark training courses for advanced level practice
Q2 Which professions can be Advanced Practitioners?
Certain health and care professionals including nurses, pharmacists, radiographers, dieticians, paramedics, art therapists, and healthcare scientists can become advanced practitioners, providing they meet the requirements outlined in the multi-professional framework for advanced clinical practice in England.
Individuals from other professional groups, such as non-statutorily registered professions, are seeking to become recognised as advanced practitioners. Health Education England is working with them to see how this might be possible.
Q3 Why are Advanced Practitioners good for patients?
Patients often tell the health service that they want a quicker, more responsive service that treats them as an individual, not as a combination of different health conditions. They also want different parts of the health service to work better together.
Advanced practitioners are highly skilled in their chosen profession and are also trained to think about a person’s total health needs and to work with multiple different professionals. Advanced practitioners have responsibilities that often exceed those of their professional peers and take a lead in the overall care and decision making in the care pathway analysis, using critical thinking skills and making judgments based on accrued knowledge and contemporary research. There are already many examples of advanced practitioners working in this way
Q4 Why does the NHS need Advanced Practitioners?
Advanced Practitioners are at the heart of the Long-Term Plan and People Plan which will deliver more treatments in multi-disciplinary community teams with a focus on personalised care and prevention.
Advanced practitioners will have the leadership, education and research training to make the clinical team deliver better, more responsive care for patients and the population. They have advanced training in clinical techniques and are often able to step in to deliver treatments and advice that were previously the domain of particular professionals, such as prescribing.
Q5 Why does the NHS need Advanced Practitioners?
Advanced practitioners are at the heart of the Long-Term Plan and People Plan which will deliver more treatments in multi-disciplinary community teams with a focus on personalised care and prevention.
Advanced practitioners will have the leadership, education and research training to make the clinical team deliver better, more responsive care for patients and the population. They have advanced training in clinical techniques and are often able to step in to deliver treatments and advice that were previously solely the domain of one professional, such as prescribing.
Q6 Why is HEE doing this instead of the individual regulators, employers and professional bodies?
HEE’s focus is the health workforce. Our vision is to support the delivery of excellent healthcare and health improvement to the patients and public of England by ensuring that the workforce of today and tomorrow has the right numbers, skills, values and behaviours, at the right time and in the right place.
HEE has the influence, objectivity and impartiality to bring together the many interested parties to ensure that advanced level practice is underpinned by a rigorous quality assurance system.
The Advanced Practice workforce is multi-professional, so all those professional bodies need to work together to make a quality assurance system for advanced practice education work effectively. However, the system also needs a single ‘broker’ to ensure that it is fit for purpose for employers, for all professions and, primarily, for patients. HEE has the remit, the governance and the national positioning to take on this role.
Q7 Advanced Practitioners have existed for a long time. Why do we need a quality-assurance centre?
Healthcare is changing. The way that health practitioners want to work with patients is changing. And yet, training and registration is often based on old models. HEE is supporting health educators, trainers, regulators and professional bodies to train people for the 21st century and recognise people for the full set of skills that they have and need to deliver high-quality patient care.
Whether you are, for example, a registered nurse, occupational therapist or pharmacist, the advanced level practice qualifications from an accredited programme will show that you have the skills necessary to work in new ways in multi-disciplinary teams and in new settings. The Centre for Advancing Practice will set standards for training and education and accredit education programmes.
Q8 Who are Advanced Practitioners registered with?
This is an important question. Most professions have a regulator that regulates clinicians and is partially responsible for ‘fitness to practise’ issues. For example, a pharmacist can only practise if they are registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council. This will not change. However, there is a growing need for people who can operate at an advanced level, and for the qualifications of those individuals to be recognised so that employers know how to employ them and roster them into their teams. The Centre intends to operate several ways by which individual’s knowledge and understanding can be recognised.
Programme Accreditation FAQs
Q1 Does an education provider need to book more than one submission slot for multiple Advanced Practice programmes that share modules?
Given that HEE accreditation is programme/pathway specific and not awarded to an institution, then separate submissions are required for apprenticeship and non-apprenticeship programme/s. If an MSc is accredited and there is a PGDip programme that shares modules with the MSc programme, accreditation is for the MSc only unless a separate accreditation submission has been made for a PGDip programme.
Q2 Will the Centre accept new programmes or a programme that has undergone a recent major modification?
The Centre will not accept submissions for new programmes in the initial programme accreditation phase in 2020. Any programme with major modifications would probably be in a similar position but a revalidation with minor modifications could be considered.
Q3 Will the Centre accredit Exit Awards?
The Centre does not accredit exit awards.
Q4 Will the Centre accredit a programme that does not include a clinical component that contributes to the final award?
Each Advanced Practice programme submitted for accreditation must include a work-based component with a summative assessment that contributes to the final award. It must not be possible to condone the work-based component.
Q5 What are the options for submitting evidence to accompany a submission for Programme Accreditation?
Evidence can be submitted as an email attachment or can be shared using SharePoint.
Q6 When will new Advanced Practice Programmes have the opportunity to apply for accreditation?
The Centre has begun to work through how the process for accreditation of new Advanced Practice programmes will differ from accreditation of existing programmes and will publish this information early in 2021.