Credentials

Multi-professional advanced practice credentials

Multi-professional advanced practice credentials are an important component of developing a responsive, flexible workforce to meet changing population, patient and service delivery needs. Credentials’ development, delivery and take-up should increase advanced practice capability and capacity. In turn, this should support sustainable, high-quality approaches to meeting population needs and deliver patient benefit.

The Centre’s approach to credentials

A key workstream for Health Education England’s Centre for Advancing Practice is overseeing the development and quality assurance of multi-professional advanced practice credentials to address high-priority, at-scale workforce development needs. The Centre’s approach fully aligns with HEE’s Advanced Practice Framework.

The Centre uses ‘credential’ to describe standardised, structured units of assessed learning that are designed to develop advanced-level practice capability in a particular area. We use ‘credential specification’ to describe the open-source documents that set out the learning experience and outcomes (including the advanced practice area-specific capabilities) that a credential should develop and assess.

Credential specifications are intended for delivery by education providers. This includes as modules integrated within universities’ Centre-accredited advanced practice Master’s degree programmes.  

The Centre has developed a credential approval and assurance process. This spans credentials’ development, recognition and review. The Centre supports the development of new credential specifications’ development, where this is in line with high-priority population, patient and service delivery needs and where an advanced practice credential is a logical workforce development intervention. The Centre has gateway criteria relating to this stage of the process

The Centre supports the development of credential specifications in selected areas. It considers draft credential specifications through an independent review process, against its endorsement criteriaOnce credential specifications are endorsed, they are published as open-source documents for delivery by education providers.

Centre-endorsed credential specifications, and their implementation, are subject to quality review processes. This is to ensure that specifications remain responsive to need and that there can be a shared stakeholder confidence in their delivery and take-up.

Please read our briefing document on the Centre’s approach and glossary for further information

Information on how credentials relate to other types of workforce development intervention is also available.

Credential endorsement

The first Centre-endorsed credential specifications have been finalised and released for use. They are in the areas of acute medicine, older people and mental health. They can be accessed via the live links below. The list will be updated with further live links as other documents are finalised as Centre-endorsed credential specifications over the spring/summer of 2022.

Documents’ Centre-endorsed status means they have met the Centre’s endorsement criteria, having gone through the Centre’s process of independent review. The Centre tested its approach to credential specification endorsement in 2021 by applying it to area-specific advanced practice resources previously commissioned by HEE.

  • Acute medicine
  • Community-based rehabilitation (for healthy ageing, and for the management of long-term conditions)
  • End-of-life care
  • Learning disability and autism
  • Mental health
  • Musculo-skeletal conditions
  • Neurological rehabilitation
  • Older people
  • Pelvic health
  • Public health
  • Surgery

Centre-endorsed credentials are designed to develop multi-professional advanced-level capability and capacity in their specified areas to meet high-priority population, patient care and service delivery needs. They can be delivered and taken up either as an integral part of advanced practice Master’s degrees, or following successful completion of an advanced practice MSc (or demonstration of educational equivalence).

The Centre is currently engaging with stakeholders to produce a strategic credential implementation plan. This activity is focused on promoting, supporting and assuring the quality of Centre-endorsed credentials’ delivery and take-up in response to workforce development needs.

Centre-endorsed credential specifications will be kept under periodic review to ensure they remain up-to-date and responsive to changing needs.   

Further documents are in development and due to be considered for Centre endorsement as credential specifications.

Stakeholder engagement exercise

Earlier this year we sought to engage with stakeholders on the Centre’s approach to multi-professional advanced practice credentials. This is ahead of the Centre’s full credential approval and assurance process being launched in 2022. 

Read more

Useful links

Gateway criteria
Endorsement criteria
Glossary of key terms
Different types of area-specific workforce development interventions within advanced-level practice