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Advanced Clinical Practitioner

Advanced Clinical PractitionerAdvanced Clinical Practitioners analyse complex problems across a range of settings, enabling innovative solutions to enhance patient experience and improve outcomes. ACPs have a high level of autonomy and complex decision-making.  ACPs demonstrate their competencies in specific clinical areas. Find out more in our real-life case study.

Did you know that Advanced Clinical Practitioners are now eligible to join the RCS as associate members? As an associate member, you will be able to access a range of valuable benefits and access a 50% discount on membership during 2018. Find out more and join today.

Area of practice

Inpatient (clinic, ward-based, theatre, acute assessment units).

Overview of tasks and activities

Clinical duties

  • Assess individuals, families and populations holistically using a range of different assessment methods (i.e. physical examination, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests or advanced health needs assessment)
  • Have a health promotion and prevention orientation, and comprehensively assess patients for risk factors and early signs of illness
  • Draw on a diverse range of knowledge in their decision making to determine evidence-based therapeutic interventions (usually includes prescribing medication and monitoring the effectiveness of interventions)
  • Plan and manage complete episodes of care (in partnership with others), and delegate and refer as appropriate
  • Use their professional judgement in managing complex and unpredictable care events and capture the learning from these experiences to improve patient care and service delivery
  • Draw on an appropriate range of multi-agency and inter-professional resources in their practice

Administrative duties

  • Make accurate records of all patient encounters in accordance with practice records protocols and coding protocols, ensuring standards are set and team members meet the standard
  • Liaison between patients and doctors
  • Ensure the health needs of all patients presenting to the nursing team are met in a clinically appropriate way and by the team member best qualified to meet their needs.

Supervision and management

If an ACP believes they cannot demonstrate the required standard in any aspect of their practice, they are responsible for refusing to undertake the action or seeking supervision from an appropriate source.


  • ACPs practice autonomously and are self-directed in the same way as an ANP
  • The ACP may provide the first point of contact for patients and can pro-actively address issues that could negatively impact the patients’ pathway and length of stay, however, the patient under the care of a designated consultant

Eligibility for training 

  • Applicants must be a registered nurse, midwife, SCPHN, health visitor, physiotherapist or pharmacist, or paramedic educated to at least degree level
  • Candidates must have a significant post-registration experience (three to five years full-time or part-time equivalent)
  • Individuals in training must be employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week in a relevant clinical environment, with access to appropriate clinical support and supervision for the development of knowledge and skills to an advanced level to meet apprenticeship requirements
  • Qualified ACP hours should be set locally


It is recommended the ACP is educated to Masters level preferably in Advanced Clinical Practice however they could instead demonstrate competence in all core capabilities through an ARCP process.

Professional accountability

Practitioners must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), or General Practitioners Committee (GPC).


Band 8a or above, once qualified.

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