First Contact Practitioners in Primary Care

First Contact Practitioner is a diagnostic AHP clinician in primary care working at masters level clinically with undiagnosed and undifferentiated diagnoses, managing complexity and uncertainty at the first point of contact.

FCPs work at master’s level in their clinical pillar of practice but have not yet reached an advanced level in all four pillars of practice to be verified as an AP.

To become an FCP, recognition is required through Health Education England, whereby a clinician must have completed a taught or portfolio route.

FCPs core capabilities: see relevant Roadmap below.

Funding FCPs are one of the additional roles for which funding is available via the ARRS scheme. This scheme is managed by NHSE via the network Contract DES.

Roadmaps to Practice

Health Education England 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.

Click on the link blocks to read more. Further information on the Roadmaps including resources, FAQs etc can also be found by clicking here.

FCP Learning and Development

The First Contact Practitioner (FCP) Roadmap guides how to evidence skills, knowledge and attributes to demonstrate such capabilities to work towards recognition and inclusion on HEE’s Centre of Advancing Practice Directories. It provides a clear route from entry into Primary Care to FCP and to AP levels of practice whether by an academic ‘taught’ route or by the development of a portfolio.

In order to be recognised as an FCP with the Centre of Advancing Practice, individuals must comply with the following two stages:

Provide a portfolio of evidence of working academically at masters level against the KSA plus the 2 sets of e-learning modules. Stage 1 must be completed with a portfolio of evidence and verified before employment in Primary Care. The KSA must be completed prior to employment as a FCP in Primary Care to assure patient safety. For FCPs already working in primary care this can be completed retrospectively.

Provide a portfolio of evidence demonstrating the application of stage 1 academic masters level knowledge into practice using the Work Based Placement Assessment. Best practice is that this should be completed within 6 months for a full-time member of staff but this can be longer provided a completion date is agreed with the employer.

Once Stage 1 and Stage 2 are verified, the practitioner can apply for inclusion on the directory at the Centre for Advancing Practice as an FCP and would be able to continue building evidence towards AP.


Portfolio Route:

First Contact Physiotherapists (FCPs) currently in practice are now required to evidence their capability and competence as an FCP. The early stages of creating a portfolio of evidence towards FCP start with the completion of several important e-modules. These are free to access for NHS staff:


Taught Route:

HEE have now released the ‘Taught’ route HEI course options. The courses below are funded by HEE.

The table within the link below outlines the provision for each of the 5 professions supported by an FCP Roadmap to Practice and outlines the contact details at the Higher Education Institutes.

For these places, allocation is on a first-come-first-served basis and not separated by region. FCPs can apply directly to the education provider. For further information, please contact the relevant HEI as they have differing acceptance criteria. Additional information will be circulated once made available by the National team.

To access the table of courses*, please click here (Excel spreadsheet) *Last updated Aug 2022

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Click here to find out more about becoming an FCP Supervisor.

More Information

CQC GP MythBusters 106: Primary care first contact practitioners (FCPs) CQC outline expectations regarding training, clinical supervision, job plans, induction, complaints and significant events and safe employment for FCPs.

Information on Paramedic FCPs in primary Care for GP Employers, Practice Manager and PCN Leaders

A guide to help GP employers, practice managers and PCN leaders understand Paramedic FCPs, how to make the most of these varied clinicians and how to give them the conditions, support and supervision required.