About the course and qualification
Are you a healthcare assistant looking to upskill? Join our higher apprenticeship programme to develop your knowledge and skills to become an assistant practitioner. You will enrol on a FdSc Health Science degree as part of the Assistant Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard.
As assistant practitioners work across the NHS in a variety of roles, from operating theatres to mental health services, this course does not specifically focus on one area only of clinical practice. Instead, we will look at the broad principles of healthcare than underpin all work in the NHS, and will draw on variety of examples to support your understanding. The modules have been designed to stretch and challenge you to develop both your academic and clinical skills.
Successful completion of this apprenticeship can be used as a foundation from which to progress your career in a variety of ways. For those interested in progressing to a career in nursing, you may be interested in moving on to our Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship. For those, who interested in other allied health professions, you may go on to degree apprenticeships in Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy or other areas too.
How to Apply
Employer nominations can be made via firstname.lastname@example.org for October 2023 starts.
Course content and delivery (subject to change as Apprenticeship Standard under revision until February 2023)
The apprenticeship will take 24 months, including the end point assessment, doing a mixture of on-campus and work-based learning. Apprentices will attend university one day per week. Subject to interest, the course can be delivered at both our Colchester and Southend Campuses.
We'll train you in:
- the principles and philosophy of health and social care
- the physiology, organisation and function of the human body
- lifespan developments and healthcare needs from prenatal to end of life/bereavement
- research and development in the health and social care sector to inform and improve quality of care
- provision and promotion of holistic person-centred care and support, duty of care and safeguarding of individuals
Study and Lifelong Learning – 15 Credits
This module explores the concept of communication and workplace learning. The application of listening and effective communication skills is directed toward building trust and addressing the real concerns of patients. The module addresses reading, essay writing, key literacy skills, digital literacy, literature searching and written communication skills.
Biopsychosocial Science – 30 Credits
This module is designed to introduce and develop applied knowledge of the sciences that inform professional practice, including anatomy, physiology, psychology and sociology.
This module will cover the following - Introduction to module and assessment, applied human anatomy, physiological systems, branches of psychology, applied sociology and Introduction to the different illnesses and diseases.
Person Centred Care – 30 Credits
This module will enable students to investigate and explore the structures, processes and outcomes associated with the provision of person-centred care. Emphasis on values; engaging patients and carers; principles of social justice, advocacy, health beliefs, including consideration of culture and religion; shared decision making; establishing therapeutic partnerships and concordance; healthcare systems and complexity; patient safety; human factors and their importance; understanding and learning from errors; managing risk and law and ethics.
Introduction to Interprofessional Working – 15 Credits
The module will provide the opportunity to explore and develop an individual’s understanding of professional and interprofessional working in health and social care environments.
This module will cover the following: concepts and values of professional practice, interprofessional working and communication, evidence-based practice, practice-based evidence, effective interprofessional team working and challenges associated with interprofessional team working
Skills Portfolio 1 – Profession Specific – 30 Credits
This module will provide evidence that students have successful completed all skills identified in the portfolio with supportive evidence. To show the importance of reflection in the workplace and to demonstrate continuous personal and professional development.
| Second Year|
Critical Appraisal Skills – 30 Credits
This module takes an evidence-based approach to develop skills in literature searching, reviewing and critiquing health and social care research.
Public Health and Wellbeing – 15 Credits
Promoting the health and wellbeing of the individual requires an understanding of the wider issues, including environment and work safety issues, heredity, lifestyle, education, social economic factors and media influence.
Management and Leadership in Health and Social Care – 30 Credits
This module introduces the student to both the theory and practical background to leadership and management. This module will cover the following: leadership – motivation, personal power, using team skills, demonstrating trust, mentoring, management – delegation, prioritisation, team roles and responsibilities, resource management, change management, clinical governance – definition, impact, operation of clinical governance, examples from practice and health care policy and local impact – NSFs, NICE guidelines, current health policies and their implementation locally.
|Skills Portfolio 2 – Profession Specific - 30 Credits |
To provide evidence that students have successful completed all skills identified in the portfolio with supportive evidence. To show the importance of reflection in the workplace and to demonstrate continuous personal and professional development.
Core Role Specific: Each student must pick one from the following:
|Acute Intervention and Rehabilitation (Nursing Pathway) – 15 Credits |
Caring for the individual receiving acute intervention is a core function of the healthcare worker.
This module builds upon the learning gained in the Biopsychosocial Science module, Person Centred Care and Management and leadership in Health and Social Care.
It prepares students for their role in care of the individual who is acutely unwell and before, during and after an acute intervention and associated rehabilitation.
Apprentices will need to achieve 2300 hours of clinical work time to APEL into the top-up
|Introduction to Occupational Therapy (Occupational Therapy Pathway) – 15 Credits |
This module will introduce students to the core knowledge and skills of occupational therapy, enabling them to develop an understanding of the occupational nature of human beings.
Apprentices will explore how people engage in their occupations and what influences their performance of occupations. Students will draw on their experiences in order to develop an understanding of the occupational nature of human beings and the theoretical framework that underpins occupational therapy.
|Speech and Language Therapy Pathway - 15 Credits |
Apprentices will explore the key components of human communication (speech including phonology and articulation, language development and linguistics, pragmatics, total communication) and how they typically develop. They will be introduced to the concept of clinical phonetics and linguistics which will be covered in greater detail in Years 3 and 4. Students will draw on their experience in order to develop an understanding of the breadth of human communication and the theoretical framework that underpins speech and language therapy.
Apprentices need to attend 8 taught sessions over the summer period and undertake a 2 week full-time placement in the last year to APEL into the top-up
As part of the assessment plan you will complete a variety of assessment methods, including:
- Short answer written papers
- Objective Structured Clinical Examination
- Research Project/Dissertation
To be eligible to be an Apprentice you must be employed within a clinical practice setting, normally for a minimum of 30 hours a week.
Our usual entry requirements for this course are:
- English and Maths at Level 2. For example: GCSE grade A-C/4-9, or a Level 2 Functional Skill in English and Maths, or Level 2 Adult Literacy and Adult Numeracy. If you have any other English and Maths qualifications at Level 2 please contact the Apprenticeship Hub at email@example.com and we can confirm if these are acceptable.
- Level 3 qualification. For example: A Level's, NVQ Level 3, Access course or Senior Healthcare Support Worker
There are no tuition fees to pay as your employer pays these for you. That means you will earn while you learn.
Essex is proud to be one of the first universities in the UK to have its Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Higher Apprenticeship Ofsted inspected and receive a “good” rating.
In their report, the Ofsted inspectors commented that employers valued the skills the apprentices learnt during their course at the University, which led to them becoming skilled and caring practitioners, to the benefit of their patients.
The Ofsted report said almost all the apprentices, many of whom have been out of education for long periods of time, completed their apprenticeship and achieved their qualification. With effective support from university staff, the apprentices also developed the skills they needed for their next steps in their health service careers.