Funding for MSc Advanced Clinical Practice Programme – 2024 / 2025

The North West Faculty for Advancing Practice 2024 / 2025 funding request process will be as follows:

The late submission process is now open until Wednesday 5th June. 

For Primary Care and Private, Independent and Charities that provide NHSE Commissioned Services submissions, please follow this link.

If you would like to make a submission from a Trust please discuss with your AP Lead within your trust. If you are unsure who this is, please contact .

Please find below our 2024 / 2025 guide to implementing and funding advanced practice across the North West in PDF format and drop down.

This North West guidance is to support organisations in the region to develop advanced practice across services and to help grow the advanced practice workforce of the future. 

Our investment is aligned with the NHSE Business Plan (2023/24), NHS People Plan and NHS Long Term Workforce Plan to ensure that across the region, there are the right numbers of staff, with the skills, values and behaviours, available at the right time to deliver quality care to our population. 

Our North West multi-professional advanced practitioner workforce continues to grow and our practitioners are making a significant contribution to leading and responding to population health priorities. Our aim is to drive education and training quality to ensure Advanced Practitioners across the North West are fit for 21st century care and that appropriate use is made of their skills and expertise across an evolving health and social care system. 

Our focus in the North West region will be: 

– Collaboration with our Integrated Care Board (ICB) system partners, providers, advanced practice organisation and training hub leads, and our NW Workforce, Training and Education colleagues to identify workforce demand, enabling transformation and impact in care pathways, through investment in workforce education and training development for advanced practice. 

– Assuring the quality of advanced practice education and training by commissioning Centre for Advancing Practice accredited programmes, by working closely with our Higher Education Institute partners, and by supporting supervisor preparation to ensure the supervisory needs of advanced practice learners are met in practice. 

We want to thank our colleagues and partners who work with us. Our continued shared commitment and collaboration will mean we can make a difference for our region. 

This document has been aligned to the Faculty for Advancing Practice across the South East and the South West, and we want to thank them for their continued collaboration.  

Annabella Gloster 

Regional Lead Advanced Practice, North West Faculty for Advancing Practice 

The North West Faculty for Advancing Practice was established during the latter part of 2020 to drive pioneering workforce transformation for advanced practice at a regional level, recognising the impact that advanced practitioners can have on workforce transformation, providing highly skilled care that can drive service redesign, enhance patient care, and improve outcomes.  The function of our faculty is to provide regional leadership and promote advancing practice including advanced practitioners as part of national and regional workforce solutions and to enable practitioners to practice to their full potential. We are working across our local Integrated Care Systems to support transformation in practice.  

What is an advanced clinical practitioner? 

The Faculty for Advancing Practice in the region will support the provision of advanced practice education and ACP workforce development which is consistent with the national definition of advanced clinical practice (ACP) contained in the Multi professional framework for Advancing Clinical Practice in England

“Advanced Practice (AP) is delivered by experienced, registered health 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 clinical practice, leadership and management, education and research, with demonstration of core capabilities and area specific clinical competence. 

Advanced Practice (AP) embodies the ability to manage clinical care in partnership with individuals, families and carers. It includes the analysis and synthesis of complex problems across a range of settings, enabling innovative solutions to enhance people’s experience and improved outcomes.”  

All health and care professionals working at the level of an Advanced Practitioner should ensure that their knowledge and skills meet the standards outlined within the Framework.   

The four pillars that underpin practice are: 

– Clinical Practice 

– Leadership and Management    

– Education 

– Research   

The Faculty for Advancing Practice across the South East have used these short animation videos to demonstrate the pillars – link

How do I know if I need an advanced clinical practitioner role in my service? 

For successful delivery of high quality services that are focused on meeting the person or population need, it is important that a structured workforce planning process is used to identify where advanced practice will have the greatest impact in a person’s journey through health and care pathways, and the types of roles that may exist or need to be developed. 

Many workforce planning and modelling tools exist which will support understanding of the needs of the population and how to build a workforce to meet those needs. 

How do I develop an advanced clinical practitioner role? 

The Advanced Practice (AP) Lead in the organisation should be aware of staff currently working in advanced practice roles and provide advice of how they may transform services. In order to establish advanced clinical practice (ACP) roles, a business case will be required for this investment considering the population and system need. Job descriptions should be mapped to the ACP Multi-Professional Framework and job plans should support the four pillars of advanced practice. A NHSE ACP Toolkit is in development to provide further resources to support developing ACP roles. 

What commitment is expected of a trainee ACP while studying?  

Trainees are required to attend university teaching days and undertake work-based place learning and assessment of identified competencies. It is expected that each trainee will dedicate many hours to independent study to successfully complete the masters programme.  

What commitment does the trainee require from the employer?  

Employers are expected to support the trainee(s) to meet the requirements of the MSc ACP programme as per HEI (Higher Education Institute) requirements.  The employer will provide the trainee with sufficient time for attending taught sessions at the HEI, time to meet their supervisor regularly and time for work-based learning each week. The HEI  programme lead will provide information on the total amount of study days required.  It is important that ACP trainees have sufficient work-based learning time to develop their advanced skills. 

How many hours does the trainee need to be employed for?   

Trainees will be contracted to work a minimum number of 30 hours in order to meet the requirements of the programme and to meet apprenticeship requirements. 

What supervision is required?  

Trainees require a supervisor in practice who will oversee and coordinate their work-based learning which will require time to meet with them regularly to plan their individual educational needs and monitor their progress.  

Good supervision is a key factor for successful completion of training and trainees who are not well supervised can struggle and withdraw from the programme. Each trainee ACP requires a named supervisor who has completed training in multi-professional supervision and is familiar with the requirements of advanced clinical practice. Supervisors must be willing and have protected time (in their job plan) to support the trainee. Trainees will need time to meet their supervisor regularly to plan their individual educational needs and monitor their progress. The requirements of supervisors are explained in more detail in the Workplace Supervision for Advanced Clinical Practice document, and NHS England supervision resources


NHSE North West (NW) Faculty for Advancing Practice support the development of Advancing Practice roles for workforce transformation by funding educational routes allocated to employers to address their population/service need. Funding for the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice is not available for individual/s’ continual professional development.  

What are the conditions of receiving funding?  

Substantive funding arrangements must be in place to ensure that an appropriate Advanced Practice post will be available with the employer once the trainees have successfully completed their training.  

What is the NW offer for Autumn 24 – Spring 25? 

NHSE is supporting the development of ACP roles in 24/25 with our preferred funding method being the apprenticeship pathway;  

ACP Apprenticeship – Funding for an Advanced Clinical Practice Integrated Degree Apprenticeship programme that has a typical length of 36 months is paid via the apprenticeship levy1. NHSE will pay the employer an education training grant to support the training as detailed in the table below. 

With exceptions, the faculty will consider the following funding options; 

ACP MSc – Funding for tuition fees for a period of up to three years for an Advanced Clinical Practice MSc. NHSE will pay the full tuition costs plus an education training grant. The education grant is £30,000 in total, per individual paid directly to the employer. £2,600 of the education grant must be made available at service level to directly support the supervision of the trainee per year.  

ACP Top Up Modules – for those requiring up to three modules with completion of the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice within the academic year. NHSE will only fund the tuition costs directly to the HEI.  

If more than three modules are required to complete the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice the request should be for funding of a full MSc programme. If the learner has prior L7 credits such as Non-Medical prescribing (NMP), the learner should discuss Accredited Prior Learning with their chosen Education Provider, with the potential of reducing the length of a full programme.  

ACP Credential – There are a number of NHSE endorsed specialty credentials in development that meet workforce development needs in high-priority areas. NHSE will consider funding a credential as an addition to the ACP MSc to meet the specialised training needs of your workforce as these become available. 

Appropriate exceptions for other funding routes are: 

– specialist training pathways which may not be offered via an apprenticeship route 

– for non-levy paying organisations where levy transfer or reserve government co-investment has not been possible. 

– If the recruited trainee is not suitable for the apprenticeship pathway. 

What is the Education Training Grant? 

The educational training grant is to ensure there is infrastructure around the trainee which enables their supported learning in practice.  Examples include to: 

– enable regular clinical supervision between trainee and supervisor 

– develop robust governance structures for the training, supervision, and development of advanced practitioner’s posts 

– develop in-house educational resources to support advanced practitioners’ development  

– enable trainees to attend and present at local/national conferences 

– provide sufficient study leave to attend university taught sessions and protected time for work-based learning per week 

– Trainees have a minimum of one hour supervision per week by an appropriately trained supervisor and a minimum of £2,600 per year of the educational training grant used to support the funding for supervisory support. 

(The table can be found on the pdf document)

What are the different ways to fund the apprenticeship pathway? 

There are three ways to access funding to pay for apprenticeship training fees and assessment (this funding does not cover salary costs – employers must fund the apprentice’s salary): 

Apprenticeship Levy. Employers with a pay bill over £3 million each year, pay the apprenticeship levy. Levy paying employers can spend their apprenticeship levy funding on apprenticeship training. You can contact your apprenticeship lead.  

Levy Transfers. Levy paying employers can transfer some of their annual levy to other employers. These transfers cover 100% of the training costs of the apprenticeship (you still need to cover salary).   

Reserve government co-investment. If you don’t pay the apprenticeship levy you can reserve funding, where the government pays 95% of the training costs and the employer pays the remaining 5%. NHSE will fund the 5% employer cost (training cost £600) if a reserve government co-investment is used. This is a one-off cost and will be paid to the employer with the payment that covers the end of the first year of training. It is the organisation’s responsibility to agree the payment schedule of the 5% to the HEI and then make the necessary payments. 

What steps are needed if a Levy Transfers or Reservation of Funds co-investment is required  

You must contact the North West Widening Participation Team at the earliest opportunity on  

Levy transfers are not guaranteed and cannot be implemented retrospectively – they must be in place before the person begins their apprenticeship.  

You can apply to the chosen Higher Education Institute for the apprenticeship, but you must not complete the HEI registration process until you have received confirmation that a levy transfer is in place. 

What are the employers’ responsibilities for the apprenticeship route?  

There are various apprenticeship rules that must be adhered to by the employer and the apprenticeship training provider.  These include: 

– The apprentice must be employed with you. 

– The apprentice must be able to complete the apprenticeship within the time they have available. 

– Apprentices should not be asked to contribute financially to the cost of training, on programme or end-point assessment (this includes where the individual has completed the programme successfully or left the programme early). 

– Apprentices must not use a student loan to pay for their apprenticeship. 

– Apprentices must spend at least 50% of their working hours in England over the duration of the apprenticeship. 

– Apprentices must have the right to work in England and have an eligible residency status. 

– The job the apprentice is doing must have a productive purpose and should provide the apprentice with the opportunity to embed and consolidate the knowledge, skills and behaviours gained through the apprenticeship. 

– As an employer you must allow the apprentice time to complete their programme of study and allow them access to opportunities to enable them to develop through their job role. 

– As an employer you must ensure the apprentice has a suitable contract that covers the duration of their apprenticeship (including end point assessment). 

– The cost of the apprentice’s wages must be met by the employer. 

– Apprentices must complete their apprenticeship (including any training) during paid working hours. 

– Apprentices must spend at least 20% of their working hours doing OTJ training. 

– The apprentice must work enough hours each week so that they can undertake sufficient regular training and on-the-job activity – this is to ensure the apprentice is likely to successfully complete their apprenticeship. 

– The apprentice must have appropriate support and supervision on the job, by the employer, to carry out their job role and their apprenticeship. 

Further information about employer and apprenticeship training provider responsibilities can be found on the Government Website: ESFA Funding Rules

Further information about apprenticeships can be found at the HASO Website.  

On the pdf document, there is a table of key dates of the annual funding request application process.

 Please note that the late submission and waiting list is not guaranteed if all funding has been allocated.  

Prior to submission you need to ensure the following is in place: 

There has been an identified service/local population need for the development of an Advanced Practitioner 

The role on qualification, links directly to the key principles in NHS England Multi-professional framework for advanced clinical practice in England (2017) 

a business case or equivalent has been approved for the funding of a substantive Advanced Practice Level role on qualification  

a positive learning environment with a named identified supervisor and agreed supervision plan (providing at least one hour supervision per week), 

The employer has an identified lead for Advanced Clinical Practice or an accountable person for the workforce 


NHSE North West Faculty for Advancing Practice can guide your organisation in embedding the appropriate governance required to receive NHSE funding for ACP MSc programme for further information please contact  

Where do I go to submit my funding request:

Primary Care (not including NHS Trusts), Private and Charity 

please access all our information and application form on our webpage    

 Primary Care services can contact their local Primary Care Training Hub. You can access their websites below: 

Cheshire and Merseyside Training Hub  

Greater Manchester Training Hub  

Lancashire and South Cumbria Training Hub  

NHS Trusts  

please contact your AP Lead. If you are unaware of who this is please contact us  

What HEIs can individuals study at 

NHSE funds Centre for Advancing Practice accredited ACP MSc programmes and those working towards accreditation. A full list of those accredited can be found here.  NHSE are currently going through a procurement exercise which in 2024-2025 will result in a definitive framework of Universities with whom we can commission education programmes.     

If the employer/service is offered NHSE funding what are the next steps: 

NHSE will provide you the next steps within the funding offer. This will include steps of contacting the Programme Lead of the HEI to agree tri-partite recruitment. The HEI will advise of their admissions process requirements.   

NHSE preferred supplier list 

On the pdf document there is a table provided.

The information provided below is as accurate as when written but may change due to the procurement exercise:  

How the NHSE education training grant will be paid  

NHSE pay in arrears and is based on a validation process to confirm the individual has enrolled onto the programme and has been training. Payment is completed differently depending on the employer 

NHS Trusts – this will be paid directly to the Trust from NHSE through the Education Contract with the agreed yearly finance schedule. Please contact your Advanced Practice Lead to understand how this is transferred to your service budget.  

Non NHS Trust – the organisation will be contacted directly with an invite to invoice. The total education training grant will be split by the programme duration (in months) and will be paid for the number of months linked to each payment schedule. A table with this information is on the pdf document.

This timeline is the same each academic year.