South West Faculty Update April to June 2021

Top stories in this update

South West Regional Update

Here in the Southwest Advancing Practice (AP) Faculty we have been keeping busy over the last quarter working hard to support the HEE National Centre for AP implement its agenda, ensuring that current and future SW APs & AP Trainees will have the quality assured education and workplace support that it is our mission to ensure.

South West HEE region map

One of the aims of the Faculty is to promote the role of the advanced practitioner with employers and workforce planners and highlight the value they bring to the healthcare workforce. We now have a dedicated webpage for the Southwest region, which we will be putting a lot of information on in the

coming months that we hope will support this. Over time we will be putting valuable resources on there, such as case studies, videos, and upcoming events. This will become the first place to look for information on AP working and training in the South West.

Photo of boats in a harbour in Cornwall

Another key objective for us is to support and develop the future SW AP workforce. To achieve this we have launched our scoping demand survey with providers across the region, inviting them to submit applications via our online survey, for HEE support for trainee APs within their organisation so make sure the AP Lead in your organisation is aware of your training needs so you can be included in this. This enables the Faculty to understand the demand for courses for trainee APs, both those starting training and those who are within 12 months of completing training. We will use this information to then equitably allocate funding that is available for AP training across SW. This will be an annual cycle going forward, and invitations for applications for 2022/23 will be going out in March/April to re-establish demand at that time.

Even more exciting news is that we have recruited to our roles of Supervision & Assessment Leads in ACCP and Radiography & Oncology. Carole Boulanger from RD&E, who was the first ACCP to be trained in SW and sits on the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine ACCP Board, has been covering this role in an interim capacity to date and we are delighted that she has now been appointed substantively to this role. The future of SW ACCP development could not be in better or more experienced hands. Martin Nelson is Principal Echocardiographer at the Bristol Heart Institute and brings a wealth of radiography, workforce development and educational experience to the role of Supervision and Assessment lead for Radiography and Oncology. We are delighted to have been able to appoint such experienced advanced practitioners and experts in their fields to join the other inspiring S&A Leads already in post. Together they make a formidable team of highly experienced APs ensuring that SW AP Faculty will remain at the forefront of all AP training developments in the future and supporting excellence in AP training across the Region.

Apprenticeship Myth Busting

Apprenticeship flow chart

With the Faculty getting a lot of queries and inaccurate information about apprenticeships, this update was the perfect place to debunk these myths and provide some much needed clarity!

Starting with the basics, an apprenticeship is a programme of work-based study to develop knowledge, skills and behaviours towards a recognised and nationally accredited qualification. It involves a blend of on and off-the-job training leading to both the degree qualification and end point assessment, which tests the apprentices competence for the job role.

Having the Advanced Practice (AP) apprenticeship has allowed organisations to train staff in a different way, with tuition fees funded using the apprenticeship levy. Apprentices will develop the skills, knowledge and critical understanding required to act with a high level of autonomy by learning about the four pillars that underpin AP (Clinical Practice, Leadership & Management, Research, and Education). AP apprentices enhance their skills in holistic and systematic assessment, complex decision making and the provision of high-quality evidence-based interventions for patients, and their families.
Apprenticeships have terms and conditions for the employer to adhere to. The main condition is a requirement for 20% Off the Job Training. However, this does not mean that the apprentice will be absent for one day a week. Off the Job Training could be, but is not limited to:

Apprenticeships table
Apprenticeship puzzle graphic

A lot of questions we get are around the apprenticeship levy, what the options are, and who can access it. In 2017 the government introduced the apprenticeship levy to fund the provision of apprenticeship training. All large employers are in the scope and pay the apprenticeship levy, which funds 100% of education costs.
There are three ways to access funding to pay for apprenticeship training (please note this funding does not cover salary costs).

  1. 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.
  2. Reserve government co-investment. If you do not pay the apprenticeship levy you can reserve funding, where the government pays 95% of the training costs and the employer pays the remaining 5%.
  3. 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). Your local ICS should be able to support you with levy transfer. If not please contact HEE to facilitate this.

If you are a considering recruiting a trainee AP, it is important that you contact your apprenticeship lead within the organisation as they will aid you through the apprenticeship process. For further information or support please contact the HEE Talent for Care Apprenticeships Relationship manager, James Orpin-Wright at

Scope of Practice Spotlight: Primary Care

Every update will have a segment highlighting the work happening within a scope of practice, this month the focus is on primary care!

Doctor having an appointment with a patient

Earlier in the year the Faculty ran a primary care webinar on how to build your level 7 portfolio, with speakers from a range of backgrounds including paramedics, physiotherapists, the education sector and national leads from HEE.  The talks were excellent, and it was very well-attended, but if you missed out and would like to watch these talks, the content was recorded and will be hosted on the regional webpage soon!

As we all know, supervision is a key aspect of a trainee APs journey. The road from FCP to qualified AP is not easy, but having a knowledgeable supervisor makes it much easier. Our primary care lead, Simon, has been working closely with the Training Hubs to support the expansion of roadmap supervision and verification supervisors (RMSVs) across the Southwest. The training is delivered by our National Trainers, virtually, over two days. To date there have been 3 supervision courses hosted, with a tremendous 101 people registering their interest!!! 

Taking blood pressure

Don’t worry if you feel like you are missing out, there are more dates planned! So if you are interested in becoming a supervisor, please contact your training hub lead or register via this link . To be eligible for the training course, you must be currently working in a Primary Care service in the South West of England (either NHS or external partners) as one of the following:

  • FCP or AP with a full postgraduate MSc (UK QAA level 7)
  • Clinician holding a full, relevant, postgraduate MSc
  • Consultant Physiotherapist holding a full postgraduate MSc
  • GP or a medical doctor (existing GP trainers can do an optional half day top-up)
  • Full member of MACP, working as an FCP, irrespective of completing a full MSc

On completion you will become a recognised HEE supervisor and be added to the HEE supervisor directory!

Other non-traditional work we are doing, includes creating two short videos highlighting the value of AP in primary care. The first film follows an advanced practitioner through their job role while the second looks at the benefits of advanced practice through the eye of a GP and practice partner. These films should be out by the end of July and will be hosted on the regional webpage so watch this space!

NETS Survey

Following on from our spotlight on NETS in the last update, NETS is going live!

The HEE National Education and Training Survey (NETS) will open on 22nd June 2021, and be available for four weeks for students and trainees to fill in.

NETS Survey x2

As a reminder, NETS is open to all health and care trainees and students across all clinical learning environments. The survey offers HEE trainees the opportunity to comment on their experience, asking them to provide feedback on what is working well and what could be improved. It asks 32 questions, covering the main aspects of a trainee’s experience within their learning environment such as induction, clinical supervision, facilities, learning opportunities and teamwork.

It is completely anonymous and is conducted twice a year (June and November). The results are analysed by HEE Quality teams to ensure all concerns are identified, reviewed and where appropriate, acted upon. The information also forms part of HEE’s approach to the monitoring of clinical posts and will be used to develop remedial action plans in partnership with education and placement providers. Further information can be found on HEE national website, via this link.

If you are a HEE supported AP trainee, please participate to the survey, and provide your input on how to improve AP posts and the clinical learning environment. The greater the level of participation, the better informed we will be to draw reliable conclusions! As soon as the survey link is available, Jennifer Phillips will email you the details, please keep an eye on your inbox. Your feedback is very valuable to us!


Want to join our phenomenal team? We are currently advertising for an associate workforce transformation lead! This pivotal role forms the critical link between the AP Faculty and the systems across the Southwest. If you like what you have read so far, the vacancy is advertised on the HEE website, TRAC, and NHS Jobs. The closing date is the 4th of July so don’t hesitate to apply and help us shape the future of Advanced Practice in the Southwest!!

Sign up to receive future news from the South West Advancing Practice team HERE