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Advanced Practice Frameworks

Health Education England, in partnership with NHS Improvement and NHS England, has developed a multi-professional framework for advanced clinical practice in England, which includes a national definition and standards to underpin the multi-professional advanced level of practice.

As a result, a national definition and framework of what advanced clinical practice is and what the requirements for entry are. This will ensure that there is national consistency across the role and to ensure that advanced clinical practitioners, colleagues, employers and patients clearly understand the role.

This provides current and future ACPs with guidance and principles that they should follow throughout their professional lives and clearly outlining a career pathway into and through the profession.

The framework draws on and consolidates existing frameworks of advanced clinical practice from across the UK and provides with guidance and principles that they should follow throughout their professional lives.

This resource will facilitate transformation of the workforce by promoting inter-professional working, across traditional professional boundaries.  It will support the delivery of excellent healthcare for local people 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 is now developing core capability frameworks for advanced clinical practitioner roles; the Core Capabilities Framework for Advanced Clinical Practice (Nurses) Working in General Practice / Primary Care in England is available and can be accessed below.

Find out more information on the Skills for Health website.


The development of the Advanced Practice – Mental Health Curriculum & Capability Framework is driven by changing NHS workforce needs which, as described within the Long Term Plan and the People Plan, are required in order to ensure high-quality care that is safe, effective and responsive to peoples’ needs and experience.

This is the first document of its kind that defines advanced level practice for those practising within mental health facing services. As well as enhancing services through utilising and extending existing multi-professional expertise, it provides a clear aspirational career pathway for all registered mental health facing practitioners.

Advanced level practice is defined as:

…delivered by experienced, registered health and care practitioners. It is a level of practice characterised by a high degree of autonomy and complex decision making.

This is underpinned by a master’s level award or equivalent that encompasses the four pillars of clinical practice, leadership and management, education and research, with demonstration of core capabilities and area-specific competence.

Advanced practice embodies the ability to manage clinical care in partnership with individuals, families and carers. It includes the analysis and synthesis of complex problems across a range of settings, enabling innovative solutions to enhance peoples’ experience and improve outcomes (Adapted from HEE 2017).