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Medical Associate Professions (MAPs) Career Development Framework

In 2019, the Department of Health and Social Care asked the General Medical Council (GMC), which regulates medical practitioners (doctors), to regulate physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs).  

Since then, a comprehensive programme of work has been underway to prepare for regulation and develop these roles.  

In February 2021, Skills for Health were commissioned by Health Education England (now NHS England Workforce Training and Education) to lead the creation of a MAPs Core Capabilities Framework (CCF). This was published in June 2022 and  outlines clear expectations for the safe and effective practice of these roles.  

Building on the Core Capabilities Framework, Skills for Health are now developing a Career Development Framework (CDF) for MAPs. The Framework aims to:  

  • Raise awareness – enhance understanding of MAP roles as part of multi-disciplinary teams within the NHS.  
  • Reinforce workforce potential – help employers plan effectively for the introduction and development of Medical Associates, contribute to enhanced professional identity and support leadership, research, and innovation amongst these professions. 
  • Reduce variation – improve consistency of career development opportunities, recruitment across varied contexts in service, and retention.   

Given the imminent statutory regulation of AAs and PAs, the MAPs Career Development Framework is a priority for NHS England, aligned to the commitment to train, retain and reform the workforce, as set out in the NHS Long-Term Workforce Plan in England and associated workforce planning by other devolved nations. It is anticipated that the Framework will be utilised by all four nations that train and employ MAPs.  

A Task and Finish group, formed in early 2023, comprising stakeholders from all four nations, has guided the development so far. Now, we are seeking input through a wider public consultation across all four nations, to ensure the framework is clear, understandable, beneficial, and usable for all MAP stakeholders. This will take the form of an online survey.

The consultation on the Career Development Framework closed at midday on Friday 2 February 2024. Thank you to those who took part.