South West updates

Updates from the Regional Faculty for Advancing Practice – South West

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Quarterly Faculty Update – June 2021

South West Region 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.

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. The link to the website can be found through the HEE advanced practice site or here.

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

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:

  • participating in online forums relevant to their role
  • Being mentored by a senior colleague who is in a role that they aspire to  
  • training sessions e.g. First Aid  
  • visits to other businesses or different business units to see how they work
  • completing project work  
  • completing e-learning modules  
  • delivering a mentoring session to another colleague  
  • completing a reflective account 
  • shadowing a colleague’s role and writing a reflection and lessons learnt report
  • individual study time, whether this is to complete coursework or review modules  
  • attending webinars on key topics 
  • workplace 1:1 performance review  
  • role-playing or simulating workplace situations
  • preparing for assessments
  • internal Learning & Development sessions that relate to their apprenticeship
  • face-to-face tutor-led delivery/coaching sessions 
  • researching tasks to gain new knowledge of the speciality
  • group learning sessions – learning new skills and sharing ideas with colleagues. 

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.

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 were 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 97 people registering their interest!!!

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!

National Education and Trainign Survey 

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

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.

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!!

Future news

Sign up to receive future news from the South West Advancing Practice team by following this link

Quarterly Faculty Update: Q1 March 2021

South West Region Update

The HEE South West Regional Advancing Practice (AP) Faculty began to be established in August 2020 with the appointment of a Clinical Lead tasked to establish a structure and work programme for the Faculty. Since then we have recruited to 4 out of 5 planned full time ‘core’ Faculty posts and 7 of 9 part-time supervision and assessment lead roles, each being responsible for a defined area of practice. These Faculty members have been building relationships and developing initiatives to highlight the value of an AP workforce within our systems and organisations, leading off in those areas with an established AP framework such as Emergency and Critical Care. ​

Currently, in the region we have established and supported: An Emergency Care AP pilot Programme with 14 trainees across 5 Acute Trusts a regional ACCP training programme with 13 trainees in 5 ICUs in the region, 8 trainees in the high priority area of learning, disability and autism have been funded to undertake the new HEE LDA Credential, our Primary Care supervision and assessment lead has, working with the Primary Care Training Hubs, established a forum for systems Primary Care AP Leads to plan how we best support AP development in Primary Care. We are already supporting several Primary Care colleagues across the region on this journey. Other projects include a scoping exercise within the mental health workforce across our Region to identify those with the infrastructure and desire to incorporate mental health AP into their future service and workforce development. 

The HEE National Centre for Advancing Practice continues to develop and publishing frameworks that are ‘roadmaps’ to AP in a variety of areas of practice whilst also working to establish a Directory of recognised AP programmes through recognised HEI programmes and a portfolio development route that is currently being trialled. ​

Currently available Frameworks include: Emergency Care, Critical Care, Surgery, Primary Care Nursing/MSK/Paramedics and Mental Health. Those in development include : Acute Internal Medicine, Frailty, Rehabilitation, Opthamology and Midwifery with many more planned to be developed in due course. The AP Faculty will be working collaboratively with our systems partners in developing supported pathways of training against these Frameworks as they become available and as they meet our own defined systems workforce needs. ​

What are Advanced Practitioners?

Advanced practitioners come from a range of professional backgrounds such as nursing, pharmacy, and allied health professionals. They are healthcare professionals educated to Master’s level and have developed the skills and knowledge to allow them to take on expanded roles and scope of practice caring for patients. ​

​Health Education England has established the National Centre for Advancing Practice to support education and training for advanced practitioners in England by developing agreed national training standards for advanced practice education and delivering a programme accreditation process for training courses for advanced level practice. Regional centres have been set up to work with local systems (STPs/ICSs) to identify demand, commission high quality education and training and support the supervisory needs of learners.

Meet the South West Advanced Practice Team​

HEE’s Centre for Advancing Practice has been established to standardise routes into Advanced Practice, accredit Advanced Practice education programmes and recognise registered health & care practitioners who demonstrate the capabilities set out in the Advanced Practice or Consultant Practitioner frameworks. ​

The Centre is a national project, supported by teams in each of its seven regions and we are the South West team – click here to meet the South West team!

Join the Team

There will be further opportunities to join this dynamic team and we will soon be recruiting to Supervision & Assessment Lead posts in Radiography & Oncology and Surgery & Anaesthesia as well as a Workforce Transformation Lead post. All these exciting opportunities will be advertised on NHS Jobs so please do ‘watch this space’ and think about these fantastic opportunities to join us in shaping the future of Advanced Practice here in the South West.

NETS update​

The National Education and Training Survey (NETS) is open to all health and care trainees and students across all clinical learning environments. The survey will offer AP trainees the opportunity to provide feedback on their clinical placements such as supervision, induction, support, etc.  ​

It is managed by Health Education England and is conducted twice a year (June and November). The survey is anonymous, and the results are analysed by HEE Quality teams to ensure all concerns are identified, reviewed and where appropriate, acted upon. The information forms part of HEE’s approach to the monitoring of clinical placements 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 trainee, please participate and give us your input on how to make clinical placements better for future trainees. If you know anyone on a training programme, please encourage them to provide feedback. 

Future news

Sign up to receive future news from the South West Advancing Practice team by following this link.