This course is 'Subject to Approval' and has not yet completed the University’s approvals process. Whilst we are confident that the course will be approved, there is the possibility that the course may not run or may be subject to alterations. This course is due to be validated by August 2022 after which we will write to all applicants who have applied for the course to let them know the outcome and of any changes. In the event that a course is not approved the University will make reasonable efforts to offer an alternative course at the University.

Cert(CPD) Continuing Professional Development Certificate in First Contact Practice in Primary Care

Are you an allied health professional working or wanting to work in first contact practice in primary care? This short course focuses on developing the clinical, professional and academic skills needed to work as a first contact practitioner, assessing and managing patients who present with a wide range of common conditions at the front line of primary care.

Continuing Professional Development Certificate in First Contact Practice in Primary Care

Key information

Award:

Cert(CPD)

Mode of Study:

Part-time

Duration:

10 months

Location:

University of Bolton

Start date:

To be confirmed

Course Details

First contact practitioners (FCPs) work as diagnostic clinicians at the first point of contact in primary care. This stand-alone professional development certificate is ideal if you're an experienced allied health professional seeking to become an FCP. To complete this course, you must undertake a minimum of 75 hours of clinical practice learning in primary care under the supervision of a suitably qualified clinical mentor.

The University of Bolton's expert team will support you in developing the complex clinical reasoning skills demanded for the FCP role. We'll help you build the knowledge and understanding needed to assess and diagnose issues, advise patients on managing their conditions, and refer them to specialist services when necessary. You'll learn about patient presentation at the first point of contact, including emergency presentations and the presentation of chronic conditions. You'll explore the clinical management of patients in primary care, helping you determine whether to refer, test or treat them. We'll consider red flag symptoms in cancer diagnosis, disease progression, acute oncology and oncological emergencies and discuss their clinical management. We'll also emphasise communication and consultation skills and explore alternative consultation styles and the use of digital assessment tools.

Our experienced and knowledgeable team will promote your understanding of the primary care landscape, referral pathways and processes, national policies and guidelines, clinical targets, quality frameworks, and the role of FCPs in primary care. We'll encourage you to consider the implications for patients and staff based in secondary and tertiary care. You'll explore the clinical and safeguarding issues for vulnerable groups, including paediatrics, older people, people with dementia and those with learning disabilities. By encouraging you to consider patient safety, service development, and innovation to improve patients' experiences, we hope to prepare you to facilitate quality improvements in primary care.

Throughout the course, we promote your capacity for advanced clinical thinking, clinical reasoning and higher-level clinical practice skills. We aim to support you in developing a critical awareness and comprehensive understanding of the presentation, assessment and clinical management of patients at the first point of contact, including evaluating the need for investigations and referrals for patients with complex and undifferentiated diagnoses.

Please note that if you do not already have suitable employment in primary care, you'll need to secure an appropriate placement before enrolling on this course.

Highlights
  • This professional development course aligns with stages 1 and 2 of Health Education England's Roadmaps to Practice for allied health professionals, which form the standard of practice and proof of capability in primary care.
  • Our dedicated academic team brings extensive health and social care experience to the course content. Along with their passion for service excellence in clinical practice settings, they're also currently engaged in highly relevant research, which means they can add valuable context and insight to your learning.
  • The course is designed to fit in with busy home and working lives.
  • As you study this course, we'll encourage you to develop the skills, values and behaviours so popular with employers. These include action planning, personal impact and confidence, self-awareness, social and ethical responsibility, problem-solving, initiative and communication skills.
Key Features
  • The University of Bolton has been offering high-quality courses designed to meet the health and social care sector's needs for over 30 years, so we have the knowledge and experience to anticipate and respond to changes in the health and social care sector.
  • We welcome allied health professionals such as dieticians, paramedics, physiotherapists, podiatrists and occupational therapists.
  • We review the course curriculum regularly to ensure we include and apply contemporary theories.
  • After successfully completing this course, you'll be awarded an Advanced Professional Development Certificate in First Contact Practice in Primary Care worth 40 credits at Level HE7.
Professional recognition

This short course aligns with stages 1 and 2 of Health Education England's Roadmaps to Practice for allied health professionals, which form the standard of practice and proof of capability in primary care. After successfully completing this course, you'll be eligible to register with the Centre for Advancing Practice as a first contact practitioner (FCP).


  • To undertake this course, you must offer current professional registration as an allied health professional with evidence of a minimum of 3 years of post-registration experience in professional practice. A first degree relevant to your health care practice is desirable and/or recent study at Level HE6.
  • You must be working in primary care or have a suitable primary care placement agreement in place. As part of the course, you must undertake a minimum of 75 hours of clinical practice learning in primary care under the supervision of a suitably qualified clinical mentor.
  • You must have the support of your employer.
  • You’ll need to provide details of your clinical mentor before enrolment. Your clinical mentor must be a registered medical practitioner or advanced clinical practitioner and have clinical responsibilities in primary care. It is your responsibility to ensure you have the appropriate supervision from a clinical mentor to enable you to complete the course.
  • You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.
  • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 7.0 with normally no less than 6.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.


This professional development course offers academic and professional progression in the specialist field of first contact practice in primary care. Completing this short course will support you to become an FCP if you're an allied health professional.

You can take this course as a stand-alone module or as part of our PgCert First Contact Practice in Primary Care. After completing this course, you may wish to pursue one of the University of Bolton's postgraduate degrees in MSc Advanced Clinical Practice.


Course fees

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2022-2023 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance eligibility 2022-2023 policy on www.gov.uk for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

Additional costs

There may be some additional or optional costs associated with this course. These will be published after approval of the programme.


For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

Course application details are unavailable at present

Course application details are unavailable at present

Course application details are unavailable at present


This advanced professional development course adopts a blended learning approach, using the principles of case-based learning to develop your enquiry skills and place this in the context of patient care. Sessions will take place face-to-face, in-class, online and in dedicated simulation suites.

You'll be introduced to topics through keynote lectures involving a mixture of theory and case-based discussions around clinical scenarios. Following the lectures, you'll be expected to explore each topic in greater depth, and in relation to your own practice, through self-directed learning. These activities will increase your understanding of the general presentation and management of acute and chronic conditions in primary care. You'll be encouraged to consider contemporary research evidence and use this to inform your clinical decision-making and information exchange with patients and colleagues.

You will have three summative assessments, including a 3000-word written assignment, a poster presentation and a portfolio to be signed off by your clinical mentor. Before your summative assessments, you'll be well supported, including formative problem-based learning case presentations and a 500-word draft case report with tutorial time to discuss aspects of your case.

Disclaimer

The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Jalal Mamun
Module Leader

J.Mamun@bolton.ac.uk

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903903

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We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

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