Some Practices are starting to reshape their workforce by increasing the number of Healthcare Assistants (HCAs) to alleviate pressures on already stretched Nursing teams. The WY PCWTH is keen to promote an expansion of the HCA workforce within Primary Care, enabling Practices to increase their clinical healthcare support workforce through the use of apprenticeships. It is essential that Practices have HCAs that are competent and consistently trained.

This programme aims to promote a standardised regional programme to ensure HCAs in General Practice have the knowledge and skills required to understand the role they are delegated. The apprenticeship training is designed as an educational development route to support HCAs and is delivered in partnership with a local education provider.

Programme Overview

Please note that Practices will need to employ the HCA Apprentice to access the scheme. It is expected that an apprenticeship will be completed within 18-24 months. The approach taken is considered to minimise time away from the workplace. The following training will be delivered in partnership with a further education provider/local college through a blended learning approach locally and on-site:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support
  • Care Certificate
  • Level 2 English and Maths (if not already achieved)
  • Dementia Awareness Training
  • First Aid at Work

The apprentice will be assigned a College Assessor who will support them throughout the programme and will meet regularly with the HCA and Practice Supervisor, to support and monitor progress. Additionally, the HCA will attend an induction to the qualifications and requirements upon commencement which includes a short English and Mathematics assessment to ensure that any required support can be identified. Primary Care specific ‘Bolt-On’ modules will be provided by other local partner education providers.

Eligibility Criteria

Practices must be able to:

  • Employ the HCA for a minimum of 30 hours per week for the full duration of their training (18-24 months) and pay them no less than the minimum apprenticeship wage for this period (apprenticeship rules).
  • Provide a good quality learning environment which involves the whole Practice team, providing a positive supportive culture of learning.
  • Allocate a named formal Practice Supervisor who is willing, experienced and who has the skills to support and provided with dedicated time to support and guide the HCA apprentice.
  • Allocate a named professional to support the HCA apprentice and their Practice Supervisor.

HCA Candidates:

  • This programme requires a minimum age of 18.
  • This programme is open both to employed staff who may be taking on new roles as a development opportunity and new staff, to increase the workforce.

It is important to note that HCA candidates who have already undertaken a previous apprenticeship or Level 4 qualification may incur a financial employer contribution to the FE provider – this would need to be paid by the employing practice. This will be discussed with the WY PCWTH and Further Education provider during the recruitment process.

Practice Expectations

  • Define a clear role within the Practice for the HCA apprentice.
  • Assign a named Supervisor who will support the apprentice by signing off the apprentice’s training as complete and provide pastoral support.
  • Assign a named registered professional who will take overall responsibility for the HCA and support the apprentice Supervisor.
  • Commit to enabling sufficient time for the HCA apprentice to complete their training.
  • Advertise for an apprentice HCA to work in the practice once funding has been confirmed (unless upskilling an existing member of staff).
  • Develop an Induction/Educational plan for the HCA, which states how the practice will educationally support them within the practice. This is likely to include how additional skills and knowledge will be developed and the allocation of study time.
  • Provide a local induction for the apprentice HCA.
  • A commitment to permanent employment at the end of the HCA training period.
  • Engage fully with the WY PCWTH and any education providers.

Funding Details

  • One-off Practice Training Grants at £7,250 per apprentice.
  • Employers Levy Contribution paid by the Training Hub.
  • Fully funded Primary Care specific bolt-on modules throughout the programme.

Funding details correct as of November 2023.

Additional Information

Full information can be found in the HCA Apprenticeship Information Pack for Practices, available upon request. The Training Hub/College can assist practices with external recruitment (if relevant) and provide help with DAS account set-up, where the Practice does not already have one.

Next Steps

No further cohorts planned at this time.