Information for trainee ACPs across South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw

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. This section contains answers to frequently asked questions from trainee ACPs working in primary care in SY&B who are either already studying, or who are due to start studying soon on their Masters courses.

I have been told that this year’s ACP training is being prioritised as an Apprenticeship route. Why is this?

For 21/22, Health Education England (HEE) are prioritising the Apprenticeship version of the Masters ACP course in order to utilise government funding and to open the opportunity for ACP training to a greater number of applicants. 

What are the differences between an Apprenticeship ACP course and the Masters ACP course?

The key differences with an Apprentice model are as follows:

  • The applicant needs 3 years post-registration experience
  • Applicants must be able to evidence GCSE (or equivalent) Grade C or above in Maths and English and produce certificates at interview
  • Applicants must have a 2:2 honours degree recognised in the UK in a related health care subject or equivalent qualification
  • In the final year there is an end point assessment (EPA) which includes a portfolio viva, plus an academic paper (e.g dissertation)
  • There are regular 12-weekly tripartite meetings with the employer, learner and university to check progress, off the job training time is evidenced and to ensure clinical supervision is happening
  • Trainees must have completed enrolment with the chosen university by no later than 30 June 2021, to ensure that all documentation is in place. 

How does the L7 ACP Apprenticeship work?

You will study a university course alongside up to 30 hours of employment a week – so you’ll need a relevant job role before you apply. The combination of the course and the job has to meet a national ‘apprenticeship standard’ – in this case the Advanced Clinical Practitioner standard.

Applicants who do not meet the requirements for entry to the programme, and particularly if not holding a first degree in a relevant subject, will be required to provide evidence of: continuing professional education (via University RPCL, RPEL process see section: Course Specific Recognition of Prior Learning arrangements) as part of the application process. 

Will I qualify from the ACP Apprenticeship with the same qualification as for the Masters ACP?

Yes- you will qualify with a Masters (MSc or MMedSci) in Advanced Clinical Practice

What ACP Apprenticeship courses are available in the SY&B area?

Sheffield Hallam University L7 ACP Apprenticeship

University of Sheffield L7 ACP Apprenticeship (General Practice specific)

Can I study an ACP Apprenticeship in the wider Yorkshire region?

The L7 ACP Apprenticeship is available at most universities in Yorkshire and Humber. Full details and application information can be found on each university’s website. The Apprenticeship course must be on the HEE Approved list- please contact us for further details.

Can I bring across previous academic credits to the course?

Most universities have an Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) system and will allow students to import a number of credits up to a specified maximum (not normally above 1/3 of credits required for the degree.) Apprenticeships must provide at least 12 months of new learning for the apprentice. When potential trainees submit their Student Confirmation Form to the Faculty of Advanced Practice, this allows them to list their previous academic credits for consideration. The Faculty then liaises with the chosen university to determine the length of study required to complete the Masters, the route of entry (Masters/Apprenticeship) and the amount of Training Grant needed to support the trainee.

What happens if I am not eligible for an Apprenticeship route?

Candidates who are not eligible for the Apprenticeship route, or who require less than 1 year’s worth of top-up training to complete their Masters (e.g. dissertation only) will be funded through the HEE Fees Funded route. This is usually for course fees only with no attached Training Grant.

Do I need to work full time?

The Faculty do not routinely support trainees in less than 0.8FTE due to the lack of clinical exposure in the training period. Staff will also need to regularly attend University for 1 day per week to fulfil the Masters course. There are also rules around working hours for Apprenticeships; apprentice ACPs must work at least 30 hours per week.

When do I need to apply for the course?

Once the length of study required, route (Apprenticeship or Fees Funded) and Training Grant/ Clinical Salary Support is confirmed, applicants will be notified and invited to apply for their chosen university course. 

How much clinical supervision and study time should I get per week?

The Faculty of Advanced Practice has produced Best Practice Guidelines for Clinical Supervision, however it is acknowledged that these are difficult to meet in General Practice. The Faculty therefore recommends a minimum of 1 day per week protected study time (to attend university in term time/ to undertake research etc) and 1 day per week clinical supervision time.

What happens if I move to another employer during my training?

Funding for training is awarded to the organisation, not the individual trainee. Trainee ACPs are therefore strongly advised to contact the Training Hub/ Faculty for Advanced Clinical Practice prior to making any decisions about a potential move.They must not assume that the training grant will move with them to their new organisation. All such instances are looked at on a case- by-case basis and no guarantee of continued funding can be made.

What happens if I need to take temporary withdrawal from my course?

Trainee/ Apprentice ACPs sometimes need to take temporary withdrawal from courses for reasons such as illness, maternity leave or other changes of circumstance. They are advised to discuss this with their employer, course leader and Faculty of Advanced Practice prior to taking time away from study. There is also a process to instigate a break in learning for apprentices which is done via the DAS after consultation with the apprentice, manager & HEI.

The trainee/ apprentice ACP and employing organisation must complete a Notification of Change form to pause payments of the training grant during the leave period. 

Click here to download Notification of Change form

What support is available to me as a Trainee ACP?

Along with the support from your clinical supervisor and university course leader, you will also be supported by the SY&B Faculty of Advanced Practice and have to opportunity for peer support from other trainee ACPs across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw. Additional support for any queries is provided by Jo Mirza, Project Manager at the SY&B Primary Care Workforce and Training Hub: