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AHP Support Worker Competency, Education and Career Development Framework

This framework enables employers, networks, integrated care systems (ICSs) and services effectively plan, develop, and deploy their AHP support workforce. It provides guidance on training, education and competencies for AHP support workers and demonstrates a clear pathway for recruitment and progression, with common and transferrable skills across eight domains.

AHP Support Worker Competency, Education and Career Development Framework

Implementing the framework

Implementation of the framework by employers will ensure that AHP support workers can achieve standardised levels of competency and access relevant training and development. Their roles will then become more consistent across England, ensuring that service users receive high quality care.

Over the next 12 months we will be running a series of national webinars to support this work.

All NHS trusts have been offered a one-off financial support for the first phase of the implementation of the framework as part of the national roll out.

The first phase of implementation requires trusts to:

  • scope their current workforce supporting AHP services
  • map this workforce against the education recommendations in the framework
  • carry out a gap analysis and training needs assessment
  • support data and evidence for further national priorities and activity through use of the readiness toolkit
  • participate in regular webinars/community of practice events.

We have also provided funding to AHP Faculties in 2021/22 to support the implantation of the framework, including:

  • use the readiness toolkit to review and develop associated action plans
  • engage with AHP support workers across faculty workstreams
  • map relevant local further and higher education provision
  • support NHS trusts, for example through local workshops and events
  • identify and develop a minimum of 5 exemplar case studies within the ICS
  • engage with wider ICS plans for Grow Your Own and healthcare support workers.

We have published and curated several resources to support the implementation of the framework.

We have also launched a nationally-led procurement process, focusing on the Level 3 Senior Healthcare Support Worker and Level 5 Assistant Practitioner apprenticeships for the AHP support workforce.

How the framework was developed

The framework was developed by King’s College London, working with HEE and AHP professional bodies. Support worker job descriptions and person specifications from across the professions were gathered via the NHS Jobs website and systematically reviewed. Alongside this, existing education, competency and qualification frameworks, codes and standards were also reviewed. These included relevant apprenticeship standards, Health Technical Levels, professional body standards, the Core Competences of Healthcare Assistants in the European Union project outputs, Care Certificate, Skills for Health Career Framework, and NHS National Job Profiles.

A national consultation was carried out over the summer and nearly 200 AHP support workers, employers, and education providers took part and helped to shape the final framework.

The framework also builds on the development and implementation of the Maternity Support Worker Competency, Education and Career Development Framework.