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Multi-professional Advanced Practice Credential in Autism (children, young people and adults)


Developing and retaining the advanced practice workforce is a strategic priority for the NHS. The NHS Long-Term Plan recognises the potential of advanced level practitioners meeting short term and long-term workforce demands; whilst the NHS People Plan is heavily supportive of scaling up and delivering new roles and models of advanced level practice.

Health Education England (HEE) is working in collaboration with NHSE/I to collaboratively lead this agenda by working across the health and care system.  We will develop safe and effective advanced level practitioners which the system can learn to recognise and utilise within new models of care.

In July 2021, the UK government published its updated National Strategy for Autistic Children, Young People and Adults: 2021 to 2026. The strategy sets out a clear vision for reducing the health and care inequalities that autistic people face, and for ensuring that autistic people are supported to live healthier lives.

Our aims are to improve the lives of autistic people by co-producing a sustainable robust, capable workforce which supports people to live a healthy, safe and rewarding life.

The Learning Disabilities and Autism team is collaborating with HEE’s Advancing Practice team to develop a credential in autism at an advanced practice level.

Skills for Health will lead development of the credential in autism, by producing a detailed co-produced specification in Spring 2022.

Purpose and scope of the credential in autism

The multi-professional advanced practice credential in autism will provide clinical leadership for the current and future workforce and role development in autism services.

The autism credential will define a Master’s level (Level 7) curriculum framework for multiple education providers that provide advanced practice awards. It includes the learning outcomes and the professional capabilities required.

The credential will be suitable for people providing services for autistic children, young people and adults.  It will define core capabilities relevant to all those in the multi-professional team and underpin specialist areas of practice.

Development of the credential

A Project Delivery Group comprising HEE and Skills for Health will provide project governance.

An Expert Reference Group will guide the development process and provide specialist autism expertise and experience.  Membership of the Expert Reference Group will include people with lived experience and multi-professional representation from key stakeholder organisations (e.g., HEIs, professional bodies, royal colleges, employers, etc).

Development of the credential will meet the requirements of the HEE Centre for Advancing Practice and with particular reference to:

  • Advanced Clinical Practice: Capabilities framework when working with people who have a learning disability and/or autism (HEE and Skills for Health, 2020)
  • Core Capabilities Framework for Supporting Autistic People (HEE and Skills for Health, 2019).
  • Multi-professional framework for advanced clinical practice in England (HEE, 2017)

Registration of interest

To receive updates on the project and a notification when the credential is published, please register your interest by completing the form below.