First Contact and Advanced Practitioners in Primary Care

A First Contact Practitioner is a diagnostic clinician in primary care working at masters level with undiagnosed and undifferentiated diagnoses, managing complexity and uncertainty at the first point of contact who has a minimum of 5 years post graduate experience.

An Advanced Practitioner is a clinician with a verified portfolio of evidence at a Masters level of practice across all four pillars of practice (Leadership, Clinical, Education and Research) who has a minimum of 5 years post graduate experience.

What is Advanced Practice?

Advanced clinical practice is 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 practice: clinical, leadership and management, education and research. Further information can be found in the Multi-professional Framework for Advanced Clinical Practice in England

How to gain recognition as an Advanced Practitioner

It is expected that all Advanced Practitioners will become registered on the Centre of Advancing Practice AP directory. Access onto the directory can be achieved via the following routes:

  • Undertake an accredited ACP MSc programme
  • Undertake the Supported Portfolio route*
  • Undertake the Independent Portfolio route*

*The portfolio route is still in development. Updates will be available on the Centre for Advancing Practice website

The Centre is working with professional bodies that have existing AP accreditation / credentialing process with the aim of developing a joint route for recognition moving forward

How will I be regulated as an Advanced Practitioner?
Advanced Practitioners will remain regulated by their professional body.

What routes are available to develop evidence and seek recognition?
Both academic and portfolio routes will be available. These are summarised on page 16 of the Framework

I have undertaken an MSc programme, does this automatically grant Advanced Practitioner status?
Advanced Practice is a level of practice which encompasses achievement and continuous development across the four pillars of professional practice. Academic study may not provide this alone, and capability will therefore need to be evidence via other formats within the practitioner’s scope of practice.

I am working at Advanced Practice Level, but do not hold a full MSc/PGDip. Can I still seek recognition as an Advanced Practitioner?
The portfolio routes will be available for practitioners to demonstrate required capabilities. Both current experience and prior educational study can be mapped to build evidence. Further Level 7 study can also be considered to develop capability.

Portfolio

What is a portfolio?
Portfolios are designed to evidence and demonstrate advanced level knowledge and skills across the four pillars of advanced practice. Quality evidence should therefore cover all four pillars. HEE are currently developing an e-portfolio which will enable practitioners to not only submit evidence to join the register, but also enable them to maintain a CPD portfolio. Practitioners will also be able to select the relevant capabilities and evidence directly against these.

What should I include in my portfolio?
Helpful videos to guide portfolio development can be found below:

APPN webinar 28/1/21 What is level 7 learning – Kay Hurst

APPN webinar 25/01/21 Where to start building a Level 7portfolio – Diane Reid

Practical advice on how to build a portfolio of evidence can be found within the Primary Care Advanced Practice webinar which took place on the 17th August. This recording can be found here

Which tools can I use to demonstrate capability?
Each framework includes, or provides links to, a range of assessment materials to support demonstration of capability. These include reflection forms, consultation observational tools, case-based discussions, and person satisfaction questionnaires.

I am already developing a portfolio as part of my MSc/PGDip. How can I maximise this portfolio?
It is acknowledged that trainee APs may have portfolio expectations set by their HEI. These can be included as evidence and link to the capabilities outlined within the various frameworks.

Frameworks Available for General Practice/Primary Care

HEE Roadmaps to Practice have been made to create a standard of practice and proof of capability in primary care. The Roadmaps provide a clear educational pathway from undergraduate to advanced practice for clinicians wishing to pursue a career in primary care. Everybody moving into primary care will need to do the roadmap training to prove capability in the primary care prerequisite knowledge skills and attributes at masters level to assure patient safety.

What is a credential?

A credential is a standardised, structured unit of assessed learning. In the future, HEIs will be able to award credentials to practitioners completing a MSc pathway. Existing practitioners will be able to gain a credential via the HEE recognition process. More information on credentials can be found on the HEE Centre for Advancing Practice website here

Support and Supervision

Supervision must map the learning needs of the developing multi-professional advanced practitioner/trainee which supports progression across the four pillars of advanced practice. The foundation of supervision lies within the principle of patient and professional safety. National guidance on ‘Workplace Supervision for Advanced Practice Roles’ can be found here

Further guidance on supervision and support in the workplace can be found in HEE’s Multi-professional Framework for Advanced Clinical Practice in England

HEE have produced a range of videos supporting workplace supervision. These can be accessed here

Additional guidance on supervision, recording and evidencing CPD, and accessing training opportunities to support development against the four pillars of practice can be found within ‘Advancing practice: Signpost for Continuing Professional Development’.

Funding Routes

Please discuss funding options with your local Training Hub.

Where can I access more information?

Email eoeapfaculty@hee.nhs.uk or by joining the regional mailing list by completing this short survey https://tinyurl.com/bjjcw3y8

Regional Faculty pages here

Primary Care School Wider workforce pages here

Supported ePortfolio Route

Are you working in an Advanced Practice Role? If you don’t have an Advanced Practice MSc or an MSc that pre-dates 2017, you may wish to consider the Supported Portfolio Route to demonstrate you are working at the required level to continue using the Advanced Practitioner title.

See the Centre for Advancing Practice guidance document below for more information.

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Centre for Advancing Practice Supported ePortfolio Route

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Are you interested in becoming a FCP Supervisor?

Click the + below to find out more about eligibility criteria, upcoming training and how to apply.

Criteria for applicants:

(Note: the directories are not yet active)

*Any Tier 3 GP educators who are recognised by the Quality team do not need to attend the training days, but instead will be able to complete a short online resource.

For those needing to attend training days, there are currently 3 planned cohorts. You must be able to attend both dates in the sessions that you choose.

Next Cohort:

  • Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th February 2022.

There will be more cohorts, further details to follow.

There are 20 places available for each session which will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

If you would like to apply to attend training to become an FCP Supervisor, please complete one of the forms below:

  1. Existing Tier 3 GP Educators (interest only, online resource to be shared upon completion of form)
  2. All other applicants (required to attend the 2-day teaching course): Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th February 2022

 

For additional information, please see the HEE national FCP/AP Roadmap Landing Page.

This information is also available on the HEE EoE Primary Care website.

Please also see the FAQ documents below. If you have any questions, please email primarycare.eoe@hee.nhs.uk

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Top 10 Supervisor FAQs

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