Advanced Clinical Practice

Advanced clinical practitioners come from a range of professional backgrounds such as nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy, paramedics and occupational therapy. 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.

What is advanced clinical practice?

Advanced clinical practice (ACP) is a defined level of practice within clinical professions such as nursing, pharmacy, paramedics and occupational therapy. This level of practice is designed to transform and modernise pathways of care, enabling the safe and effective sharing of skills across traditional professional boundaries. 

Advanced clinical practitioners (ACPs) are healthcare professionals, educated to Master’s level or equivalent, with the skills and knowledge to allow them to expand their scope of practice to better meet the needs of the people they care for.  ACPs are deployed across all healthcare settings and work at a level of advanced clinical practice that pulls together the four ACP pillars of clinical practice, leadership and management, education and research.

A definition of ACP, its underpinning standards and governance, can be found in the Multi-professional framework for advanced clinical practice in England. The framework ensures there is national consistency in the level of practice across multi-professional roles that is clearly understood by the public, advanced clinical practitioners, their colleagues, education providers and employers.

The roles undertaken by advanced clinical practitioners are determined by the needs of the employer and how they require the level of practice to be deployed within their setting.  This may fit with nationally understood roles, such as those within emergency departments or very bespoke roles based upon the needs of a specific population such as an advanced clinical practitioner dietitian running a complex enteral feeding (tube feeding) service for paediatric patients).


Health Education England (HEE), in association with its multi-disciplinary partners, has developed a definition of Advanced Clinical Practice.

Advanced clinical practice is delivered by experienced, registered health and care practitioners. It is a level of practice characterised by a high degree of autonomy and complex decision making. This is underpinned by a master’s level award or equivalent that encompasses the four pillars of clinical practice, leadership and management, education and research, with demonstration of core capabilities and area specific clinical competence.

Advanced clinical practice embodies the ability to manage clinical care in partnership with individuals, families and carers. It includes the analysis and synthesis of complex problems across a range of settings, enabling innovative solutions to enhance people’s experience and improve outcomes.

The ACP definition has been developed to provide clarity for employers, service leads, education providers and healthcare professionals, as well as potential ACPs practising at an advanced level. This is the first time a common multi-professional definition has been developed which can be applied across professional boundaries and clinical settings. The definition serves to support a consistent title and recognises the increasing use of such roles in England.

Other Useful documentation and Links
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NHS Leadership Academy Rosalind Franklin Programme for those working at or towards Advanced Clinical Practice level

Clinical Leadership Team are delighted to announce that we have secured funding for a number places on the NHS Leadership Academy Rosalind Franklin Programme for those working at or towards Advanced Clinical Practice level.

The Rosalind Franklin programme is for clinicians or managers and maps closely to the Leadership & Management pillar of the NHS Multi-professional Framework for Advanced Practice in England.

The programme aims to help shape knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours to help you become outstanding, compassionate and inclusive leaders, working at all levels across the health and care system and to enabling you to improve your services for people who access them.

The programme takes around 9 months to complete and is currently being facilitated on-line. There are funded places available on cohorts starting January, February and March 2022. If you apply for one of our funded places, you will be asked to participate in an evaluation and impact assessment at the end of your programme to help inform future leadership development provision for advanced clinical practice.

We welcome applications from all those working in advanced clinical practice roles and particularly those from ethnically diverse, LGBTQIA+ and disability diversity groups.

Find out more
For more information about the Rosalind Franklin programme, please visit the NHS Leadership Academy website programmes page:

For all other enquiries about this opportunity, please contact:

How to Apply
To apply for one of our funded places on Rosalind Franklin in 2022, please complete the application form HERE (N.B Some NHS IT systems may block this form. If you have trouble accessing the form we recommend you try forwarding to a different/personal device)
Twitter: @NHSLeadership

Extra Links:

The Supported e-Portfolio Route will be open for online applications from Monday 13th December onward via HEE’s Centre for Advancing Practice. There will be an information webinar on Monday 6th December at 10am. If you are unable to join the webinar, please do not worry, as there will be a recording of the webinar made available on the Centre for Advancing Practice website.

The Centre for Advancing Practice Supported e-Portfolio Route is designed to enable advanced practitioners to evidence they meet the advanced practitioner requirements noted in the Multi-professional framework for advanced clinical practice in England. Currently, you would normally evidence this by successfully completing a Centre for Advancing Practice accredited MSc Advanced Clinical Practice programme. The Supported e-Portfolio Route will provide an alternative route to do this by mapping your experience, knowledge and skills to the Multi-professional framework using the Centre’s e-Portfolio Route.

The process includes an initial online application stage where you will be asked to identify how closely you currently map to the Multi-professional framework; if you meet the eligibility criteria, you will then be allocated to an education provider (a university), and you will subsequently complete a Learning Needs Analysis and the e-Portfolio itself. If the education provider identifies that additional learning is necessary, and this can be completed within a reasonable time frame, then this will be undertaken in conjunction with the education provider. This opportunity is suitable for experienced practitioners who already have a significant body of evidence that can be mapped to the Multi-professional framework with minimal or no gaps in that mapping.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to identify if there are any of the Multi-professional framework capabilities that you are not able to map and to identify specific learning needs. We suggest that you undertake this task before you submit your application.

The route is intended to provide reassurance to employers, patients, carers, and families, that the capabilities included in the Multi-professional framework have been alternatively evidenced by the advanced practitioner via the e-Portfolio process. 

The online application form for the Supported e-Portfolio Route will be available via the Centre for Advanced Practice website from Monday 13th December 2021 and will remain open until late January 2022.  It is intended to leave the online application open for as long as possible before the applications are checked – this will give you the time to complete the initial application process before the first allocation to education providers occurs.

To support prospective applications, the Centre for Advancing Practice has developed a guidance document, and accompanying FAQs.

Advanced Practice Week  – hear from those involved with Advanced Practice in H&W

Charlotte Murphy
South Worcestershire, Redditch & Bromsgrove GPN Mentor Herefordshire & Worcestershire Training Hub
Since qualifying in 2002 I have had 16 years working in an emergency medical setting and critical care. I was lucky to spend two years working in a busy ED in Melbourne before returning to the UK. The last 5 years have been spent in primary care which has been a very interesting transition, giving me scope to transfer many of my acute skills. I have been lucky to be given funding from HEE to complete the MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice. With support from the GP’s I work for, I have embarked on moving into an ACP role. Since starting in September 2021 it had been very busy getting back into the academic style of thinking whilst balancing my clinical supervision hours and work. It’s early on in the course but I am thoroughly enjoying the learning curve and pushing my clinical knowledge further. Being on the 3 years masters with other nurses, pharmacist’s, physiotherapists and paramedics have been really interesting in looking at ways to challenge service delivery and case studies from a variety of health care settings. I am very excited about the skills and knowledge I will gain in the first year of advanced clinical practice and how my practice will advance in the future. 

Katie Cowell
South Worcestershire, Redditch & Bromsgrove GPN Mentor Herefordshire & Worcestershire Training Hub

Now entering my final modules for the MSc in Advancing Practice, is a good time to reflect on how far I have come as a practitioner.

I am a training ACP in general practice, and as my role has grown over the past 3 years, not only my clinical skills, in health assessment, minor illness diagnosis, but the ability to treat, diagnose and prescribe are invaluable to my role.

However, the 4 pillars of advanced practice now underpin my role, in every aspect, enhancing my leadership skills, enabling me to look at the wider picture of clinical practice and the NHS, ensuring that my practice is evidence-based underpinned by research, being able to critically appraise and enable change has been of great benefit.

Although working full time and undertaking the MSc is by now means easy, learning and sharing new knowledge with others is incredibly rewarding, to see you grow as a professional, underpinned by key elements, and working within the four pillars offers not only the practitioner but the patients we care for the best service and care available.

I am proud to be on this journey and look forward to the personal reward and satisfaction of completing this, to ensure improved patient care and clinical excellence.

Meeraj Shah

Multi-professional GP Educator Herefordshire & Worcestershire Training Hub

I have had the privilege of working with Advanced Clinical Practitioners in primary care and teaching students undertaking their Masters in Advanced Clinical Practice at the University of Worcester. Advanced Clinical Practitioners have such a vital role in patient care and in helping shape how health care is delivered. I have learnt so much by working alongside Advanced Clinical Practitioners and can proudly say they bring something different to primary care. It is great the Advanced Clinical Practitioners all have different backgrounds (nurses, pharmacists, paramedics etc.) The feedback I have received from patients and colleagues regarding advanced clinical practitioners has been excellent. Locally, the PCNs in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, are finding Advanced Clinical Practitioners are having a huge impact in clinical areas such frailty, palliative care and learning disabilities. If anyone is thinking about undertaking a Masters in Advanced Clinical Practice, I would highly recommend it.