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 the 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 online application form for the Supported e-Portfolio Route will be available via the Centre for Advanced Practice website is now closed.

Further opportunities for this route are likely to be made available in due course.

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

Project ECHO for Advanced Clinical Practitioners In-reaching Into Care Homes

The aim of these sessions is to:

- Increase knowledge and confidence in managing care home patients through formal teaching and case-based learning

- Create a community of practice within your region, and with other ACPs in other regions to share knowledge and good practice

5 ECHO sessions which consist of a 20-minute presentation followed by 2 case studies delivered by members of the community of practice

26th May 2022 1-2.30 ECHO session 1

9th June 2022 1-2.30 ECHO session 2

23rd June 2022 1-2.30 ECHO session 3

7th July 2022 1-2.30 ECHO session 4

21st July 2022 1-2.30 ECHO session 5

To express your interest, please complete the form: Microsoft Forms

For any further details about the ECHO programme, please contact the Project ECHO Team at

Virtual Information Session: MSc Advanced Clinical Practice and Advanced Clinical Practitioner Apprenticeship (ACPA) Programme

Virtual information session on 22nd June (5.00 pm – 6.00 pm) for the following:

  • MSc Advanced Clinical Practice
  • Advanced Clinical Practitioner Apprenticeship (ACPA) Programme

Our Advanced Clinical Practice MSc is a multidisciplinary programme that is open to experienced healthcare professionals seeking to develop knowledge and skills in their specialist area to Masters level. The objective of the programme is summarised in the West Midlands Advanced Clinical Practice (HEE 2015) definition and in line with the multi-professional framework for Advanced Clinical Practice (NHS England 2017).

From September 2022 the University of Worcester will also be offering an Advanced Clinical Practitioner Apprenticeship (ACPA) Level 7 Programme. This route will combine the best aspects of higher education and vocational training and is an effective means of upskilling existing members of staff using the employer Apprenticeship Levy.

This information session will provide an opportunity to meet with members of the course team to find out more about the course and discuss your requirements.

This will be of particular interest to staff interested in applying for a September 2022 start or anyone with an interest in the courses.

Please register your interest online - Click here
For further information please contact:

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, pharmacists, physiotherapists and paramedics has 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 as frailty, palliative care and learning disabilities. If anyone is thinking about undertaking a Masters in Advanced Clinical Practice, I would highly recommend it.