Assistant Practitioner Job Role

Assistant practitioners are experienced staff working in support roles, alongside qualified healthcare professionals.

Working Life

In primary care, Assistant Practitioners (sometimes referred to as Associate Practitioners) work alongside clinical staff to provide care for patients. APs usually complete a Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care, a Qualification and Credit Framework Level 5 Apprenticeship programme or Diploma in Health Care.

While not registered practitioners, APs are highly skilled through both their experience and training, usually working under the direction of another health professional (such as a Nurse, or Physiotherapist). This position also provides opportunity for career progression for those in roles such as Healthcare Assistants.

Your role may involve:

  • Coordinating care (including referrals to other practitioners)
  • Performing a range of diagnostic tests (eg, ECG, blood pressure, spirometry)
  • Health education and health promotion
  • Supporting long-term condition management
  • Administering selected medicines and vaccines
  • Wound care

You might be suited to an Assistant Practitioner role if you are:

  • Caring, patient and understanding
  • Organised and methodical
  • Able to follow processes and protocols
  • Good at working in a team and with the public
  • Comfortable using a variety of medical terminology

Entry requirements and skills:

  • Relevant work experience within the NHS/a clinical support role (such as HCA)
  • As well as healthcare experience, trainee assistant practitioners have a healthcare qualification, usually at level 3, such as the NCFE CACHE Diploma in Healthcare Support.
  • Individuals can be supported to undertake Level 5 foundation degree training often via apprenticeship route

Where the role can lead:

With experience and training you could become a senior assistant practitioner, supervising the work of other clinical support staff.

As you gain experience, and as long as you can demonstrate that you have the academic ability to study at degree level, you could apply to train as a healthcare professional such as a nurse, dietitian, physiotherapist, podiatrist, healthcare science practitioner, etc.

To find out more about these routes, including how to apply, speak with your line manager or your in-house education team, who will offer you guidance on different careers paths available. 

Further Information:

Below are some link to external source that may help you obtain more information:

Other roles that may interest you

  • Healthcare assistant
  • Healthcare science assistants and associates
  • Experienced paramedic
  • Emergency care assistant