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Workplace Supervision for Advanced Clinical Practice

Workplace Supervision for Advanced Clinical Practice: An integrated multi-professional approach for practitioner development.

The publication sets out seven fundamental considerations which underpin supervision in advanced clinical practice: Practice Context, Competence and Capability, Multiple professional Registrations, Individual Learning Plan, Professional Development and Transition, Integrated Approach, Supervisor Development.

Multi-professional advanced clinical practitioners are a growing part of the modern healthcare workforce. Their contribution to patient care and pathways is recognised in health and care policy (NHS, 2020). They are registered practitioners from a range of professional backgrounds that have advanced level capabilities across the four pillars of clinical, leadership and management, education and research, as set out in The Multi-professional Framework for Advanced Clinical Practice in England.

To develop these capabilities, advanced practitioners undertake a combination of practice-based (workplace) learning and training with academic learning at level 7, (masters).

The supervision of healthcare practitioners through their training and beyond is an established part of healthcare practice, endorsed by professional bodies and regulators as the cornerstone of both professional and public safety. The CQC (2013) have described clinical supervision as:

an opportunity for healthcare practitioners to reflect on and review their clinical practice, discuss individual cases in depth and identify changes or modifications to practice which are required to maintain professional and public safety. It provides an opportunity to identify training and continuing development needs.’  

Currently, supervision has a profession-specific focus and varies greatly within and across professions. Existing workplace supervision practices may not map neatly to the learning needs of developing multi-professional advanced clinical practitioners/trainees. Nor can it be assumed that uni-professional colleagues have an understanding of the professional scope or typical clinical practice profile of developing advanced clinical practitioner/ trainees from different qualifying professions.

This publication draws on these fundamentals to describe what is required to:

  • establish the requirements of multi-professional advanced practitioner supervision
  • establish the training and development of supervisors
  • improve consistency and limit supervision practice variation across the health and care sector through a combination of a Coordinating Education Supervisor and Associate Supervisors matched to specialty knowledge and skills development.
  • ensure supervision with a focus on professional and public safety in advanced clinical practice.  

This publication has been developed collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders from across the field of advanced clinical practice; from primary care to mental health and children’s services to emergency medicine. With advanced clinical practice continuing to develop in rapid and diverse ways, it is anticipated that this is a first iteration of such guidance.

The document provides practical and comprehensive guidance for workplace supervision of individuals undertaking the training journey to becoming an Advanced Practitioner. As such, it draws on a comprehensive array of resources and advice, setting out a clear set of pathways for both the trainee and supervisor. 

The document addresses the issues of multi-profession supervision within the changing and varied environments within which the trainee will be learning. Various definitions and roles are identified; Co-ordinating Education Supervisor and Associate Workplace Supervisors, with clear descriptions of these individual roles. The employers role is also identified with a solution-centric approach to some of the challenges that may occur in relation to providing and supporting workplace supervision. 

The guidance is well laid out which supports it’s use as an 'often to be returned to' source of information. There is a useful glossary, abbreviation and appendixes, references and further reading. 

Health Education England supports the guidance and encourages trainees and supervisors to add a copy to your training  portfolio and to refer to it frequently.

Dr Richard Collier, HEE Lead for Advanced Practice & Lead for Centre for Advancing Practice, Health Education England

This publication aligns to the First Contact Practitioners and Advanced Practitioners in Primary Care: (Musculoskeletal).