Workforce, training and education
East of England
Physician Associate Preceptorship Programme – Primary Care

This NSHE initiative is designed to support newly qualified physician associates (PA) and physician associates who have less than two years’ primary care experience to start/develop their careers working in a supported and structured environment.

The aims include:

  • recognising that newly/recently qualified PA need time and support to develop within the multidisciplinary clinical team,

  • providing employers with financial assistance to support newly/recently qualified PA,

  • maximising the benefit of the PA role within primary care.

Following substantive appointment of a PA in primary care, the employer will enable the PA to join the HEE PA training programme. This will involve ½ day release from clinical duties per week for educational activities, part of which will be accomplished by the PA attending the HEE PA 30-week structured teaching programme that will run on Thursday mornings. In addition, the employer should ensure the provision of structured supervision time within the practice.





  • PA can become essential and skilled members of the clinical team, however newly/recently qualified PA need time to develop their skills, experience, knowledge and confidence with support and supervision in the workplace,
  • Employers who are not familiar with PA need clear guidance to help them to form realistic expectations of the role to enable them to support a new/recently qualified PA,
  • To support organisations to develop the role of the PA for a twelve-month period. (Many would benefit from a second year of support and supervision, however funding for this is not currently available through HEE),


Who is this for?

Primary care organisations employing:

  • Newly qualified PAs working in Primary Care Networks (PCNs) (working across two sites only),
  • Newly qualified PAs working in GP practices,
  • Existing PAs moving from secondary care to work in PCNs,
  • Existing PAs moving from secondary care to work in GP practices,
  • Newly qualified PAs working in rotational posts across primary and secondary settings
  • Existing PAs within the first twelve months of practice after first gaining registration on the national register
What is the training offer?

For the PA:

  • A 30-week structured programme over 12 months (that will run on Thursday mornings),
  • Release to attend education sessions delivered by the HEE approved training programme,
  • Funding for study leave,
  • Access to additional educational resources and a specially developed e-portfolio platform for PAs
  • A named clinical supervisor and mentor.

For the employer:

  • £5,000 payment for one year to recognise the support and time required to develop the newly qualified PA.
What is the centrally delivered programme?

The Primary Care School is highly experienced at delivery teaching programmes across the East of England region. The delivery model enables:

  • The provision and delivery of high-quality teaching,
  • The development of a range of teaching materials which are accessible to all,
  • The development of communities of practice which facilitate self-directed learning opportunities.

Critically, a centrally delivered methodology means that we can progress this programme at scale and pace, benefiting from economies of scale in the provision of courses and teaching materials.

What support does the PA require?

This offer is designed to recognise that employers need to provide significant support to newly and recently qualified PA.

  • Significant support and supervision to consolidate the PA knowledge and skills.
  • Debrief after each session,
  • Access to the centrally delivered teaching programme,
  • Study leave budget should be provided for CPD courses that support the first year development of skills of up to £500
  • A named supervisor to support the PA, clinically and educationally .

The employing organisations obligations have been summarised in the document titled “Learning Agreement of Physician Associates on the Foundation Intern Programme in Primary Care”, which can be accessed here.

Resources and further information
  • Faculty of Physician Associates (FPA) documents: Employers’ guide to physician associates and the First year Post Qualification documentation; both of which can be found here:
  • The employing organisations obligations have been summarised in the document titled “Learning Agreement for Physician Associates on the Foundation Intern Programme in Primary Care”, which can be accessed here.
Physician Associate Testimoials

Please see the following testimonials from some of the Physician Associates in Cohort 1:

What have you enjoyed most during your training?

"the regular variety in sessions that were relevant in primary care"

"Very organised sessions throughout"

"Really enjoyed the course and meeting other PAs and creating a network of individuals in the same position.Each topic was relevant and taught by specialists. Very engaging and the information was very useful and used in everyday practice"

"I personally feel this training should be continued. It will allow new PAs to develop especially in their new role. PAs are here to stay so it is important there is some sort of post graduate training."

"Brilliant way to consolidate learning"

Wednesday, 21 November, 2018
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Wednesday, 21 November, 2018