Advanced Clinical Practitioner apprenticeship

The Advanced Clinical Practitioner apprenticeship is another route that registered physiotherapists can use to develop their career. It is underpinned by an MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice and provides an opportunity for experienced clinicians to be supported to develop into advanced practice roles. Currently, the ACP apprenticeship is only available in England.

What is an Advanced Clinical Practitioner (ACP) apprenticeship?

  • The ACP apprenticeship offers an alternative route to an advanced practitioner role. It allows experienced clinicians to learn and develop into an advanced practice role and their employer funds the apprenticeship. Studying for an MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice is on a part-time basis, which allows the clinician to continue practising and contributing to patient care and service delivery. The apprenticeship is open to all registered non-medical health and care professionals.  

    The ACP apprenticeship standard defines an ACP as an occupational role. It sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to fulfil it. The ACP assessment plan sets out how apprentices need to be assessed at the end of their programme of learning to complete it successfully. 

Why study for an ACP apprenticeship?

  • It will enable you to undertake a structured and supported work-based learning programme that leads to a master’s degree and progress into an ACP role. It gives access to employer-funded professional development opportunities that fit within service needs. 

How is the apprenticeship useful to employers?

  • Developing workforce capacity at an advanced practice level is a key element of delivering services differently and more effectively. This includes responding to rising demand and changing population and patient needs. Through the apprenticeship levy and the ACP apprenticeship, employers now have the opportunity to invest in developing advanced practice skills in physiotherapy and other professions to realise the full potential of their workforce.  

Why is this apprenticeship important? 

  • The ACP apprenticeship provides a route for physiotherapists to use and gain support for their role development and career progression. They should also be able to develop their knowledge and skills capacity in areas of strong workforce need. For example, the ACP apprenticeship can help to increase physiotherapy workforce capacity for First-Contact Practitioner roles in General Practice.  

    It also enables employers to spend their apprenticeship levy on developing their workforce at an advanced clinical practice level. 

    It is important that physiotherapy engages with emerging opportunities to ensure that the profession’s workforce development needs are met through the ACP apprenticeship.  

Which universities offer ACP apprenticeships? 

  • The ACP apprenticeship was fully approved for delivery by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education in April 2018 and several universities are now delivering this apprenticeship. We have compiled a list of ACP programmes however it is important that individuals check the programme will suit their learning needs.

HEIs offering Advanced Clinical Practice apprenticeships

Disclaimer: Provision of this list does not confirm CSP approval/endorsement. This is not an exhaustive list, and members are encouraged to do their own research into what course/module is best for them. 

    Next steps 

    • If you’re a manager wanting to develop your workforce through the apprenticeship, contact your workforce development lead and find out how your plans can be supported through wider apprenticeship activity
    • If you’re a clinician wanting to access the apprenticeship development opportunity, find out whether your employer is planning to offer it and what the application process will be
    • If you’re an educator wanting to ensure that your university’s ACP MSc degree provision is responsive to physiotherapy workforce needs, liaise with colleagues to find out whether and how plans have progressed to deliver the ACP apprenticeship. 

    Find out more

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