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.

Advanced Clinical Practice is a level of practice, rather than a specific job role or title.


Click for full details of the multi-professional framework for advanced clinical practice.


Academic Attainment:
MSc Advanced Practice / MSc Advanced Clinical Practice

Formal External Accreditation:
NHSE Digital Badge – Accredited Course OR ePortfolio Route

Trust roles recognised as working at an Advanced Level:

ACP-Urgent and Emergency Care

ACP-Urgent Care (Tiverton UTC)

ACP-Critical Care

ACP-Remote Clinical Assessment (EOC – Bank)


SWASFT examples of embedding the four pillars of Advanced Practice

Clinical Practice Facilitating Learning Leadership Evidence, Research and Development
Clinical Leadership

Enhanced Analgesia

Hear and Treat

Independent Prescribing

Pastoral Support

Resuscitation Leadership

See and Treat

CPD Sessions

Journal Club

Local Peer Review

Medicines Management


tSP/ACP training

Annual Appraisals

Restriction of Practice*

Clinical Supervision

Clinical Meetings

Recruitment Activities

Senior Clinical Input

ACP On-Call

Clinical Audit


Research Groups

QI Initiatives

Research Participant

Service Evaluation

*Consideration of Scope of Practice (COSOP)

All trainee Advanced Clinical Practitioners will be required to undertake an accredited master’s degree in advanced clinical Practice, this can be completed through undertaking a 3-year apprenticeship or modular pathway. In addition, a portfolio of evidence will be completed to demonstrate capability in line with the multi-professional framework for advanced clinical practice, which will be supported with a yearly Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP).

Use the below links for more information on the pathways.

Supervision plays an integral and vital role for the development of trainee and recognised ACPs. All tACP / ACPs within SWASFT should have a named coordinating supervisor, meeting at least once per week as a trainee and at least monthly as a recognised ACP.

If you are a tACP / ACP and do not have a named coordinating supervisor or are not meeting at the intervals indicated above, contact the Head of Advanced Clinical Practice for guidance and resolution.

Full supervision requirements can be found here, with further advice available from the Head of Advanced Clinical Practice.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I access Advanced Clinical Practitioner development within SWASFT?

The Head of Advanced Clinical Practice is responsible for scoping and coordinating the development of ACPs within SWASFT, in collaboration with NHSE. Once a year the needs of SWASFT will be identified and an application process commenced to recruit individuals to commence their ACP journey via the degree apprenticeship or accredited modular route. This is currently available to individuals sitting within the Specialist Practitioner workforce, however the future ambition is to offer development to Urgent Treatment Centre and Operations based Paramedics / Nurses, who will obtain SP capabilities throughout their journey.


Applicants will be required to work a minimum of 30 hours per week, as stipulated by apprenticeship rules. You will also need to have achieved and must be able to evidence acquisition of a level 2 qualification in Maths and English to commence this role. Level 2 qualifications can include; CSE, GSCE and functional skills qualifications.


As part of your learning and development you will have a job plan where you will receive 20% off the job (OTJ) learning to support your study, placements and university days. Those working 37.5 hours per week will therefore receive 7.5 hours OTJ and those working 30 hours, would receive 6 hours OTJ.


It is a requirement applicants enrol on a course accredited by the Centre for Advancing Practice, a full up to date list of HEIs can be found here.

Can I enrol on an Advanced Practice programme outside of a SWASFT formal training pathway?

This is not advisable, and you should discuss your options with the Head of Advanced Clinical Practice. Whilst the majority of ACP Programmes within the South West are now accredited with the Centre for Advancing Practice, you would not have the supervision and governance to support Workplace Based Assessments (WPBA).

I have undertaken a master’s degree outside of formal SWASFT training, can I be an ACP?

Undertaking a master’s degree in advanced practice provides you with the theoretical knowledge required to be an ACP. Outside of a formal SWASFT training pathway (or similar externally), you would not have completed the Workplace Based Assessments (WPBA) to demonstrate capability within the practical components of the role.


Where you have completed a training pathway externally within another Ambulance Trust, Primary Care or another relevant setting a training needs analysis will be undertaken to identify areas where you may require upskilling in practical skills. As an example those coming from a primary care background may require training and development in wound management and catheter care.

I have a master’s degree, can I apply for accreditation with NHSE via the ePortfolio supported route?

The ePortfolio supported route has been specifically designed to enable recognition with the Centre for Advancing Practice of existing, experienced advanced practitioners, who at the time of the expression of interest, are working clinically in an advanced practitioner role on a regular basis. Practitioners should have already completed their advanced practice experiential and educational learning mostly before 2017 when the Multi-professional framework for advancing clinical practice in England was published. More information can be found here.


Clinicians working in an Advanced Practice role, whilst holding additional responsibilities should ensure their clinical time is sufficient to maintain their clinical capabilities, working no less than one day per week in clinical practice.


The Head of Advanced Clinical Practice is responsible for endorsing applications for the ePortfolio supported route.

I am a Specialist Practitioner and hold an MSc in Advanced Practice or similar and have an independent prescriber qualification / annotation, what do I need to do to be recognised as an ACP?

Trust support is not automatic, and you will be required to apply for a trainee ACP position to undertake this pathway. Clinicians following this route are applying for SWASFT support to demonstrate the capabilities at Advanced Level and not for a place on an apprenticeship pathway. This route is only available where ACP positions remain vacant within their respective locality. Currently SWASFT are funded for 1 WTE ACP per SP base.


If successful at interview and provided you are working at least 0.5 whole time equivalent (18.75 hours), the Trust will support you to work towards the capabilities as outlined within the multi-professional framework for advanced clinical practice, through the creation of a portfolio of evidence and subsequent application for a digital badge via the ePortfolio route. The minimum time to achieve this will be approximately 12-18 months.

I am a senior clinician / clinical lead / educator / manager within SWASFT and hold an MSc in Advanced Practice, working within the three non-clinical pillars of Advanced Practice, do I fulfil the requirements to be an ACP?

If you are not employed in an Advanced Practice role and/or practicing clinically at least 0.5 whole time equivalent (18.75 hours) you will not meet the requirements to undertake ACP development within SWASFT. This is due to not being in clinical practice for sufficient periods of time to learn and consolidate new knowledge and skills.


To access ACP development, you would be required to commit to a tACP position working clinically no less than 0.5 whole time equivalent (18.75 hours) per week, where this exists and where your line manager is able to support such requests. All applications / expressions of interest would be assessed by the Head of Advanced Clinical Practice and a training needs analysis / gap analysis completed in collaboration with the Learning and Development team.


The minimum time to achieve this will be approximately 18-24 months, before applying for accreditation as an ACP through the ePortfolio (supported) route, which could take an additional 12 months before recognition as an ACP.

Where can I find out more about Advanced Clinical Practice?

The Centre for Advancing Practice has a wealth of information and is updated regularly, their website can be accessed here.


For more local news and updates we have the Regional Faculty for Advancing Practice South West, who’s website can be accessed here.