A Foundation for Clinical Excellence

Advanced clinical practitioners are healthcare professionals who hold a Master’s degree and have acquired the competencies and expertise necessary to assume more expansive responsibilities, expanding their practice to provide comprehensive patient care. They have a wide range of professional backgrounds, including nurses, pharmacists, carers, paramedics and occupational therapists.

What is Advanced Clinical Practice?

Advanced Clinical Practice (ACP) is a defined level of practice in clinical professions such as nursing, pharmacy, paramedicine and occupational therapy. This level of practice is designed to transform and modernise the way health care is delivered, ensuring that skills are shared safely and effectively across traditional professional boundaries.
Advanced Clinical Practitioners (ACPs) are health professionals educated to Master’s level or equivalent, with the skills and knowledge to extend their scope of practice to better meet the needs of the people they serve. ACPs work in all health care settings at the level of advanced level practice, integrating the four pillars of advanced practice: clinical practice, leadership and management, education and research.

The definition, underlying standards and governance of ACP can be found in the ‘Multi-professional Framework for Advanced Clinical Practice in England’. This framework provides a nationally consistent level of practice for multiprofessional roles. These advanced practice roles can be clearly understood by the public, advanced practitioners, their colleagues, education providers and employers.

The responsibilities of advanced practitioners are defined by the requirements of their employer and the specific level of expertise needed within their particular work environment. These roles can range from nationally standardized positions, such as those in emergency departments, to highly customized roles tailored to the unique needs of a specific group, such as an experienced clinical nutritionist offering an extensive enteral nutrition (tube feeding) service to pediatric patients.

Four Pillars of Advanced Practice

The NM AHP (Nurses, Midwives and Allied health professionals) development framework builds on existing NM AHP initiatives with four pillars of practice.

  • Clinical practice encompasses the knowledge, skills, and behaviors essential for delivering safe, effective, and patient-centered care.
  • Leadership involves the knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary to guide and meet leadership obligations effectively.
  • Facilitating learning entails the knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to promote productive workplace learning.
  • Research, evidence, and development encompass the knowledge, skills, and behaviors essential for utilizing evidence to inform practice and enhance service quality.

Knowledge and Skills Framework

The NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) applies to all staff working under the conditions of the NHS Agenda for Change (AfC). It is a useful tool for identifying the knowledge, skills, training and development that staff need to do their jobs well. The KSF is a broad framework that supports a fair and consistent approach to planning and reviewing personal development, known as PDP&R.

The Performance Development Planning and Review (PDP&R) is an ongoing dialogue between a supervisor and an employee, serving several essential purposes:

  1. Clarify Job Expectations
    It enables employees to gain a clear understanding of the expectations for their role within the organization.
  2. Receive Feedback
    Employees receive regular feedback on their performance and how they are contributing to their work, helping them identify areas for improvement and areas of strength.
  3. Alignment with Team Goals
    The process highlights an employee’s alignment with the team’s overall goals and objectives, ensuring that individual efforts support the collective mission.
  4. Ensure Quality Services
    It demonstrates how an employee’s work directly contributes to providing safe and effective services for patients and their families, emphasizing the importance of their role in healthcare delivery.
  5. Personal Development Planning
    PDP&R also helps employees plan any necessary training to acquire new skills or enhance existing ones, and it facilitates the creation of a personal development plan to guide their professional growth.
  6. Innovation and Improvement
    It provides a platform for employees to discuss and contribute ideas for improving the services they help provide, fostering innovation and continual improvement in the workplace.

The principles of PDP&R using the KSF are based on effective leadership and good people management – treating all employees fairly and equitably. In return, individual employees are expected to develop and apply their knowledge and skills to fulfil the requirements of their job and to work safely and effectively.

Use of the NES NMAHP Development Framework

The framework is intended to be used in a variety of ways by practitioners, managers and educators.

By practitioners

  • Assess their current level of practice
  • Grow within their current level of practice by identifying areas for development
  • Guide professional development from novice practitioner to experienced expert practitioner
  • Adapt a development plan directly related to their role by adding knowledge, skills and behaviours from a professional or role framework
  • Identify evidence to support personal development planning or revalidation by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) or Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

By managers

  • Facilitate conversations held during professional development evaluations
  • Inform succession planning
  • Support maximisation of skills – to be the best you can be at each level of practice
  • Support service redesign and skill mix
  • Support practice education


  • Plan and deliver training and learning to meet the rapidly changing needs of practitioners
  • Identify opportunities for collaborative interprofessional learning
  • Identify specific clinical competences
  • Plan educational programmes to prepare practitioners to work at different levels of the structure
  • Describe how educational programmes align with each other
  • Supervise accreditation

The Way Practice Management Software Helps in Conducting Clinical Practice

Practice Management Software plays a crucial role in streamlining and enhancing various aspects of clinical practice. Here are several ways in which Practice Management Software can help in clinical practice:

  1. Appointment Scheduling
  • Efficiently schedule patient appointments, reducing scheduling conflicts and no-shows.
  • Send appointment reminders to patients via text, email, or automated phone calls.
  1. Patient Registration and Check-In
  • Capture and store patient information, including medical history, insurance details, and contact information.
  • Allow patients to check in electronically, reducing paperwork and wait times.
  1. Billing and Invoicing
  • Automate the billing process, including insurance claims, to minimize errors and expedite payments.
  • Generate invoices and statements for patients, providing transparency in billing.
  1. Electronic Health Records (EHR) Integration
  • Seamlessly integrate with EHR systems, allowing healthcare providers to access patient records, treatment plans, and medical histories.
  • Enhance patient care with quick access to critical patient information.
  1. Medical Billing and Coding
  • Ensure accurate medical billing and coding to maximize reimbursements and minimize denials.
  • Keep up with the latest coding changes and requirements.
  1. Financial Management
  • Track revenue, expenses, and accounts receivable to maintain the financial health of the practice.
  • Generate financial reports for analysis and decision-making.
  1. Inventory Management
  • Manage and order medical supplies, medications, and equipment efficiently, reducing wastage and ensuring adequate stock levels.
  1. Reporting and Analytics
  • Generate reports on practice performance, patient demographics, and other key metrics to identify areas for improvement.
  • Use data-driven insights for strategic decision-making.
  1. Telemedicine Support
  • Facilitate virtual appointments, enabling patients to access healthcare providers from a distance.
  • Schedule and document telemedicine appointments within the software.
  • Webinar conduction
  1. Compliance and Security
  • Guarantee adherence to healthcare regulations, including HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
  • Implement security measures to protect patient data from breaches and unauthorized access.
  1. Patient Communication
  • Communicate with patients through secure messaging, email, or patient portals for prescription refills, lab results, and follow-up instructions.
  • Enhance patient engagement and satisfaction.
  1. Workflow Efficiency
  • Simplify administrative duties to lessen the administrative workload placed on healthcare professionals.
  • Improve overall workflow efficiency and reduce administrative overhead.
  1. Integration with Third-Party Services
  • Integrate with external services, such as online appointment booking, laboratory services, and radiology centers, for a more comprehensive patient experience.
  1. Customization and Scalability
  • Customize the software to fit the specific needs of your clinical practice.
  • Scale the software as your practice grows, adding features and functionalities as necessary.

In summary, Practice Management Software can significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of clinical practice by automating administrative tasks, enhancing patient care, ensuring compliance, and providing valuable insights through data analysis. This leads to improved patient experiences, reduced operational costs, and better financial management for healthcare providers.


The four pillars of clinical practice represent a comprehensive framework that underscores the essential aspects of delivering high-quality healthcare services. By focusing on patient-centered care, evidence-based practice, interprofessional collaboration, and the promotion of a culture of safety, healthcare professionals can better meet the needs of their patients and work collectively to improve healthcare outcomes.

These pillars serve as a guide for healthcare practitioners, emphasizing the importance of continuous learning, adapting to new evidence, and fostering effective teamwork, all of which contribute to the delivery of safe and effective patient care. As clinical practice continues to evolve, these four pillars remain fundamental in shaping the foundation of modern healthcare, emphasizing not only what clinicians do but how they do it.


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