What is an ACP?

ACPs (Advanced Clinical Practitioners) are experienced, registered healthcare practitioners who have been educated to Masters level. They have developed the skills and knowledge to allow them to take on expanded roles and scope of practice in caring for patients.

Advanced Clinical Practice (ACP) Definition

Advanced Clinical Practice is a level of practice characterised by a high degree of autonomy and complex decision making. This is underpinned by a Masters level award or equivalent that encompasses the four pillars of clinical practice: leadership, management, education & research, with demonstration of core capabilities and area-specific clinical competence.

-Health Education England 2017

Who can train to be an ACP in Primary Care?

ACP training is open to all experienced, registered healthcare professionals from a variety of roles. Examples include:

  • Registered nurses (developing into Advanced Nurse Practitioner- ANP)
  • Paramedics
  • Physiotherapists
  • Podiatrists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Dieticians
  • Pharmacists * must not already be undertaking a HEE-funded pathway, e.g. CPPE

What are the benefits of an ACP role in Primary Care? 

More complex care is being delivered in General Practice and with a shortage of GPs there is a huge demand for more clinicians due to increasing patient demand.  Advanced Practice roles can help improve clinical continuity, provide more patient-focused care, enhance the multi-professional team and help provide sage, accessible and high-quality care for patients. ACP roles are also an excellent tool for retention of staff, as healthcare professionals can see the value of supported career progression. 


Watch this HEE video on the value of Advanced Clinical Practitioners in Primary Care:

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