First Contact Practice
Improve the health of patients by being their first point of contact in a primary care setting.
The PGCert First Contact Practice is the taught route to becoming a recognised First Contact Practitioner (FCP). The taught route is underpinned by six main areas:
- Advancing knowledge and skills of First Contact Practice
- Utilising evidence-based practice
- Enhancing autonomous professional practice
- Enabling collaborative working
- Developing person-centred practice
- Facilitating continuous professional development
This course is aimed at providing Allied Health Professionals the opportunity to develop as competent, evidence based first contact practitioners. You will study FCP Level 7 modules that have been mapped against the Knowledge, Skills and Attributes required to meet the First Contact Practitioners Roadmap (HEE, 2021) at an organisation that has achieved recognition by the Centre for Advancing Practice as meeting the FCP roadmap stage 1 and 2 requirements.
Please refer to the entry requirements and course details below for full details on application criteria and modules.
Why Study First Contact Practice at AECC?
- Our FCP course is recognised by the Centre for Advancing Practice as meeting the FCP roadmap stage 1 and 2 requirements
- We are one of only a handful of providers of training for First Contact Practitioners in England with funding from NHS England, meaning your tuition fees are covered for the course.
- You will be supported by the Primary Care training hubs with appropriate placement opportunities to transition into a role in Primary Care at the end of the first unit of study, before commencing Unit 2.
- We deliver both FCP education and clinical services which means we are in a unique position to be able to offer FCP placements for MSK practitioners in our fantastic onsite clinical services here at AECC UC.
- Course title:
- PGCert First Contact Practice
- 12 months
- Study mode:
- Intakes take place 3 times a year; September, January and June.
This is a 60 credit award at Level 7 (Masters Level). There are two units within our First Contact Practice course with make up the PGCert, these are:
- Clinical Assessment and Reasoning for First Contact Practice (40 credits)
- First Contact Practice Stage 2 (20 credits)
Both units have been mapped against the Knowledge, Skills and Attributes required to meet the roadmaps for each profession (HEE, 2021). The units have been developed in wide consultation with a number of experts and stakeholders. The delivery of the units will be supported by a wide-ranging clinical faculty of experts. The majority of the taught content will be delivered on an interprofessional basis with some elements of delivery which are specific to a roadmap delivered to that profession.
Unit 1 is mapped against the Knowledge, Skills and Attributes (Stage 1) of the Roadmaps (HEE, 2021). The unit will assist in the preparation of individuals for their transition to an FCP role as a clinician working in primary care and is focused on developing skills in systematic history taking, physical examination, clinical reasoning and investigations, and explores personalised approaches to patient care. Content covered includes:
- Personalised Approaches- Advanced communication skills; self-awareness; co-production and shared decision making for personalised healthcare
- Assessment, Investigation and Diagnosis- clinical sciences as relevant to presenting conditions; history taking; physical assessment; clinical reasoning and decision making; diagnostics
- Condition Management, Interventions and Prevention- prognostic factors; behaviour change and health promotion strategies; self-management;
- Service and Professional Development- critical appraisal skills for evidence-based practice; clinical audit; critical reflection and self-awareness
Unit 1 is taught over 4 months, with unit 2 over delivered over 4 months . For unit 1, you will have 4 on-site delivery days in 2 x two day blocks. The other days will be delivered online
This unit is designed to you to develop a professional portfolio which demonstrates a master’s level of practice in relation to First Contact Practice. This will be undertaken through critical exploration/awareness of current evidence-based practice, scholarship and research and quality improvement initiatives. You will generate a portfolio which includes a wide variety of evidence. The portfolio will be summatively assessed at the end of the unit, yet form the foundation for an ongoing professional practice portfolio constantly built upon. This unit will be delivered online with both synchronous and asynchronous content delivery. You will be required to undertake group work (online), peer-assessed student presentations and self-directed learning. There will be 21 hrs of student contact time and you will receive the equivalent of 9 hrs portfolio support as required. You will be required to undertake and additional 170 hrs of independent study.
Emphasis is placed on the development of qualities such as the capacity for critical reflection and enquiry, which are required for self-determined practice. Most of the learning will be centred around the experiential learning gained whilst on placement and through discussion and debate with experienced clinicians on all aspects of patient management. The unit also aims to foster the qualities of leadership and mentorship, the ability to innovate and initiate change, and to participate in effective collaboration with other professionals.
The assessment of this unit focuses on the development of the Clinical Portfolio mapped against the Knowledge, Skills and Attributes required to meet Stage 2 of the First Contact Practitioners and Advanced Practitioners in Primary Care Roadmap (HEE, 2021). You will produce a 3,000 word commentary which provide a critically reflective narrative of their development as an FCP (linked to their portfolio evidence).
Both units have been mapped against the Knowledge, Skills and Attributes required to meet the roadmaps for each profession(HEE, 2021). The units have been developed in wide consultation with a number of experts and stakeholders. The delivery of the units will be supported by a wide-ranging clinical faculty of experts. The majority of the taught content will be delivered on an interprofessional basis with some elements of delivery which are specific to a roadmap delivered to that profession.
Applicants must meet the criteria for their relevant roadmap:
MSK Roadmap - HCPC-registered physiotherapists or GOsC-registered Osteopaths, who have achieved a minimum of 5 years post-qualifying experience (3+ years minimum musculoskeletal experience)
Paramedic Roadmap - HCPC-registered paramedic with 3-5 years post-registration/ post-graduate experience
Dietitian Roadmap HCPC-registered dietitian with typically 5 years post-registration/ post-graduate experience
Occupational Therapy Roadmap HCPC-registered occupational therapist with typically 5 years post-registration/ post-graduate experience
Podiatry Roadmap HCPC-registered podiatrist with typically 5 years post-registration/ post-graduate experience
In addition, all applicants must be able to meet the following criteria
- Support of their line manager to undertake the course
- A suitable clinical mentor must be identified prior to unit 2 (First Contact Practice Stage 2 Placement)
Please note: Some of the roadmaps require students to be required to complete E-LfH modules as stated in the roadmap before enrolling on the units.
How to apply?
Applications are now open. Please download and fill the correct LNA (Learning Needs Analysis) form and email it back to us.
An LNA is an iterative process which you start by providing details about yourself, your education, experience, and relevant education including a self-assessment mapping exercise against a series of questions – based on the Knowledge, Skills and Attributes specific to the FCP roadmap for your profession.
Once this form is completed, please email it to FCP@aecc.ac.uk. The FCP team will analyse the response and advise you on a pathway to achieving the FCP roadmap.
To register your interest or ask any questions about the course, please complete the 'Register your interest' form.