Stakeholder engagement exercise

Stakeholder engagement: We sought to engage with our stakeholders on the Centre’s approach to multi-professional advanced practice credentials. This was ahead of the Centre’s full credential approval and assurance process launched in 2022. 

The six-week exercise ran from mid-January to 28 February 2022. Its purpose was to:

  • Share, promote and build confidence in the Centre’s approach.
  • Seek feedback to refine the Centre’s credential approval and assurance process prior to launch.
  • Support on-going engagement with key stakeholders.

The exercise involved the following:  

  • A briefing document that explains the Centre’s approach
  • Webinars to support stakeholder engagement: [Recorded session available at the bottom of this page]
  • An online platform for providing feedback (now closed)
  • By-invitation virtual roundtable discussions with stakeholder groups.

We recognise current service and workforce pressures in the context of Covid and we kept stakeholder engagement levels under careful review.

As part of this exercise we have held a series of webinars – slides from which are available below.

A recorded session is also available below.

Aims of the exercise

  • To promote and enable stakeholder engagement on the Centre’s approach to multi-professional advanced practice credentials.
    To gain feedback on the Centre’s planned approach, including prior to launching the full approval and assurance process.

Purpose of the webinar

  • Explain the Centre’s intended approach and the materials we’ve shared.
  • Support your consideration of the materials on which we’re seeking feedback.
  • Encourage your feedback to help refine our intended approach.

The Centre’s meaning of ‘credential’:

Credential: A defined, standardised unit of learning and assessment to:

  • Develop advanced-level capability in a specific area of practice
  • Address a priority, at-scale need on a multi-professional basis

Use as a noun not a verb

Credential specification: The ‘blueprint document’ for delivery by different education providers

Target group: The professions for which a credential is designed, with specific requirements defined

The Centre’s Approval and Assurance Process

Development (stages 1-3)

1. (Bi-)annual priority setting exercise

2. Selection of resources for development

3. Supported development of credential specifications

Recognition (stages 4-8)

4. Review of full specifications against endorsement criteria

5. Endorsement of credential specifications

6. Launch of endorsed credential specifications

7. Consideration/approval of education providers’ delivery plans

8. Recognition of practitioners’ successful completion (via digital badges)

Review (stages 9-11)

9. Annual review of credential delivery

10. Periodic review of individual credential specifications’ currency in response to changing need 

11. Evaluation of collective value and impact

The Centre’s ‘gateway’ criteria

A potential credential…

  1. Relates to a high-priority area of population, patient & service delivery need.
  2. Feasible to develop and deliver as a workforce development intervention.
  3. Addresses an advanced-level practice workforce development need.

The Centre’s endorsement criteria

A fully drafted ‘candidate’ credential specification…
4. Articulates advanced-level practice capabilities in a specific area of practice.
5. Is inclusive of professions that can safely and effectively contribute to advanced-level practice in the specific area.
6. Defines a standardised unit of learning and assessment.
7. Supports safe and effective workforce development and deployment.
8. Draws on and reflects contemporary research and evidence-based practice.
9. Is responsive to changing needs.
10.Has been developed through collaboration and consensus-building.

The Centre’s intended approach to credential quality assurance

Key characteristics – proportionate, practical, robust, credible

  • Focus on addressing workforce development priorities through a structured, transparent approach.
  • Ensure credential specifications are credible blueprints for education provision (tested through the Centre’s independent review process).
  • Facilitate delivery by education providers, in response to need. 
  • Achieve consistency and flexibility, building trust and confidence in credentials’ delivery, outputs and outcomes.
  • Assure delivery aligns with credential specifications through approval of delivery plans and annual review of delivery.
  • Enact periodic review of Centre-endorsed credential specifications to ensure they remain current, responsive to need and continue to be required.
  • Evaluate credentials – in terms of their individual and collective value and impact.

The Centre’s intended approach to credential implementation

Key characteristics – proportionate, practical, robust, credible

  • Take a strategic approach via an implementation plan and resources.
  • Identify and optimise enablers, while addressing/averting potential barriers. 
  • Promote a collaborative approach among stakeholders, including education providers, practitioners and employers.
  • Distil and share good practice, including through a focus on quality enhancement.
  • Promote flexible delivery and take-up, with a focus on realising credentials’ intended purpose (e.g. through the use of digital badges).
  • Focus on evaluation and testing proof of concept.

Links with medical credentials

Optimising the value of a co-ordinated approach to credential development and implementation, including in how priorities are identified and how solutions to meeting these are identified.

Potential approaches:

  • Complementary (‘companion’) credentials for medicine and other specified professions within the same area of practice.
  • A shared credential across medicine and other, specified registered professions.
  • A credential in a particular area of practice to address workforce development needs, either only in medicine or only for specified other professions.
  • Different approaches to workforce development for both medicine and other registered professions.

Wider context

Potential collaboration beyond England

Scope to explore

  • How multi-professional advanced practice credentials might support and enable shared approaches to addressing workforce development priorities on a four-nation basis.
  • How collaboration could best occur, while respecting different system requirements.

Potential relevance to regulatory reform 

  • To consider and keep under review the relevance and value of any possible future relationship between Centre-endorsed credentials and regulation, in line with meeting the public interest.

Stakeholder engagement

We recognise the importance of building trust and confidence in our approach to multi-professional credentials and measuring credentials’ value and impact in inclusive and collaborative ways.

Stakeholder feedback is essential – we look forward to hearing your views, including on how we can engage you on an on-going basis.

NHS England credentials: Stakeholder engagement