Developing and Implementing a Regional MSK ACP Capability Framework Tool for Somerset


The complexity of modern health care has placed new demands on the NHS requiring health workers to work to the edge of clinical practice but also offering the opportunity to develop new roles and take on additional responsibilities such as Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioners (APP) in the First Contact Physiotherapy role. Advanced clinical practice (ACP) roles are increasingly seen as key to the delivery of healthcare services and to support the current workforce challenges. Frameworks are an important tool to effectively support and enable the future development of these roles whilst establishing a suitable level of capability across the workforce. We outline how the development of a regional framework and evaluation tool was initiated to support workforce planning and development of MSK APP/ACP roles in Somerset.

6.3% had fully read the national frameworks
and 75% had not started to develop their portfolio
93.8% found the regional framework helpful or very helpful
in developing their portfolio and identifying their development needs


Clinical practice and capability frameworks supporting development of advanced practice roles such as the Multi-professional framework for advanced clinical practice in England (HEE, 2017), and Musculoskeletal Core Capabilities Framework for First Point of Contact Practitioners (NHSE, 2018) do not always provide clear guidance or a tool for staff to evidence their prior learning, knowledge and skills against the competencies identified within these frameworks. Development of a regional framework supporting APP roles was initiated by a local drive to support workforce challenges within primary care, Emergency Departments (ED) and Minor Injury Units (MIU’s) in Somerset. Key activities undertaken as part of the development of this regional framework included:

· engagement events bringing together local clinicians to identify needs

· gathering role descriptions and organisational competency packages within Somerset

· taking into account existing national and local framework examples

· overseeing development through the Integrated MSK Workforce Planning and Governance group


Results: A standardised framework describing the collective expectations for the role as articulated within the framework pillars, core principles and domains was developed. To sit alongside that a tool was developed for individuals to identify and record the development of their portfolio in alignment with the pillars of ACP. Acceptability and utility of the tool has been evaluated amongst the existing workforce. Clinicians (n=16) were surveyed and only 6.3% had fully read the national frameworks, and 75% had not started to develop their portfolio prior to the regional framework implementation, 93.8% found the tool helpful or very helpful in developing their portfolio and identifying their development needs. All (100%) clinicians would recommend the tool for their colleagues to use.

Conclusion(s): These findings have shown that developing a regional framework has helped to raise awareness and support implementation of national advanced clinical practice frameworks. Furthermore, it has encouraged clinicians to develop their portfolios and help identify any learning needs in a standardised format across Somerset.

Cost and savings

No further data 


Collaborative implementation of a regional framework and assessment tool has:

· provided a clear framework for professional development

· helped to identify and support the education and training needs of APP in MSK roles

· enabled openness and transparency in relation to the clinical activity and function of the new advanced practice roles

· helped to promote consistent governance and quality standards

Top three learning points

No further data 

Funding acknowledgements

Not funded