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First Contact Practice

Improve the health of patients with musculoskeletal conditions by being their first point of contact in a primary care setting.

Course overview

"Become a First Contact Practitioner (FCP) and improve the health of GP patients with musculoskeletal conditions"

More and more patients come to GPs with musculoskeletal conditions. By having more FCPs in general practice, we can reduce the workload for GPs and allow patients to see the most appropriately skilled healthcare professional as their first point of contact.

Thanks to the musculoskeletal expertise you will have as an FCP, patients will be able to accelerate their musculoskeletal assessment, treatment plan and (if appropriate) investigations and referral. Thanks to the knowledge of FCPs patients are able to get back to feeling their best sooner. 

This course is aimed at providing HCPC registered physiotherapists and GOsC-registered Osteopaths 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).

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?

  • We are one of only three providers of training for the First Contact Practitioner (Musculoskeletal) workforce in England.
  • Successful applicants will have their tuition fees paid by Health Education England and 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.
  • Our fantastic onsite clinical services mean we can even offer some placements to you here at AECC UC.

How to apply?

Applications are now open. To register your interest now or ask any questions about the course, please complete the form at the bottom of the page.


Key Information

Course title:
PGCert First Contact Practice
18 months
Study mode:
intakes take place 2 times a year; September and January.
AECC University College

Course details

There are two units within our First Contact Practice course (subject to validation) these are:

  • Clinical Assessment and Reasoning for First Contact Practice (40 credits)
  • First Contact Practice Stage 2 (20 credits)

Unit 1 is taught over 10 months, unit 2 over 6 months with a 2 month break in between. For unit 1, you will have 12 on-site delivery days (scheduled every three weeks) with additional material provided online.

Both units have been mapped against the Knowledge, Skills and Attributes required to meet the First Contact Practitioners Roadmap (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.

Unit breakdown

Entry Requirements

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • HCPC-registered physiotherapists or GOsC-registered Osteopaths, who have achieved a minimum of 5 years post-qualifying experience (3+ years minimum musculoskeletal experience)
  • Applicants must have the support of their line manager to undertake the course
  • Applicants will have permission from their local Primary Care training hubs for application – as per HEE funding requirements
  • A suitable clinical mentor must be identified prior to unit 2 (First Contact Practice Stage 2 Placement)

Please note: Students will be required to complete E-LfH modules as stated in the roadmap before enrolling on the units.

Please register your interest in our First Contact Practice course via the form below. You can also ask our department any questions about the course. Please note, an asterisk (*) denotes a field must be completed. Thank you.

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