There are so many options available for practice managers to grow in their profession. We highlight several of them below
Continuing professional development. That stock, corporate phrase which lingers over a workplace and threatens to instil fear in employees everywhere. Its abbreviated form, ‘CPD’, sounds like some kind of perilous medical epidemic…
Yet CPD can be both extremely important and rewarding when it drives enthusiasm and commitment in your role. Seeking a career path that allows you to stay engaged with your work whilst finding solutions to better support others should be a goal that invigorates more than it does terrify.
We know this can be difficult in the medical profession, where increasing demand far outstrips supply, and burnout is a real threat to both employee and patient health. But CPD can be used as a force for good in your medical career: a steering force through the bureaucracy and policy that can weigh you down.
A vocational degree in practice management doesn’t exist and the role itself has not been standardised: meaning PMs can define and calve out their careers for themselves. With this comes great responsibility but also a sense of freedom: where do I want to take my role as practice manager? What additional skills can I acquire to make my job more helpful and fulfilling?
Practice managers can sit firmly in the driving seat of their own careers, something which can lead to a larger sense of purpose and greater life satisfaction.
Despite this flexibility, practice managers are usually required to hold one of the following relevant qualifications:
- Certficate/ Diploma in Primary Care and Health Management (DPHCHM) – awarded by the Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists (AMSPAR)
- Vocational Training Scheme for general Practice Managers (VTSGPM) – awarded by the institute of Healthcare and Management (IHM)
But where to go and what to do next? Perhaps you need refresher training or wish to acquire more specialist skills to add challenge and depth to your career trajectory. In the process of figuring out exactly what kind of ‘practice manager’ you wish to be- some of the below courses can help enrich your knowledge and cement your practical abilities.
Perhaps you need refresher training or wish to acquire more specialist skills to add challenge and depth to your career trajectory. In the process of figuring out exactly what kind of ‘practice manager’ you wish to be- some of the below courses can help enrich your knowledge and cement your practical abilities.
They may also renew your enthusiasm for the unique intersection of business and medicine that is practice managing.
The Royal College of General Practitioners
The Royal College of General Practitioners hosts a foundation specifically for practice managers. They deliver a programme of courses throughout the year dedicated to the continued personal developed of practice managers, administrators and receptionists in general practice.
You can join the RCGP as part of the Practice Manager Foundation. Attending their courses is an opportunity to meet other practice managers looking to further their careers.
The Practice Managers Association
The Practice Managers Association is a UK-wide membership body that provides ‘insight, training, education and interaction opportunities for those involved in general practice’.
They have developed several intensive workshops dedicated to bridging gaps in skills and knowledge.
‘All sessions are interactive, carry 6 CPD points and range from 1 to 3 days in duration.’
Their workshops are organised at locality level. This ensures that specific, local development needs are met and can be followed up. Staff can use the workshops to network as well as to find solutions to problems they are facing due to their practice’s area and demographics.
National Association of Primary Care (NAPC)
NAPC’s Diploma in Advanced Primary Care Management is a one-year course designed to develop your skills and competencies for managing primary care at scale within the NHS. This is fantastic training for practice managers who wish to take a leading role in PCNs or on other medical committees. The programme is online, practical and has been developed using funding from the General Practice Forward View. The tuition fees are therefore subsidised.
First Practice Management
First Practice Management (FPM) provides useful information for practice staff that are either members or non-members. This can be found on their website.
Thornfields Training Providers, part of the FPM training group, specialise in providing relevant and insightful training to primary care sector staff. They have over 50 courses and development programmes available, ranging from leadership courses to CQC specific training to data quality, confidentiality and security workshops.
They are sure to have something that fits your exact purpose.
Primary Care Training
Primary Care Training have been offering tailored training solutions to primary care staff for over 20 years. They have developed the expertise to really help you advance your career. Their primary training centre offers courses on several topics which are designed to suit both healthcare professionals and allied staff.
Their emphasis is on multidisciplinary training and building effective primary care teams.
The Radcliffe Group comprises a collection of companies that are dedicated ‘to providing first-class content to medical education professionals… via publishing and communication divisions.’
Radcliff Publishing provide a range of publications which can be used to train practice managers and their staff. You can buy hard-copies or download their e-books.
If dedicating the time and money to an entire training course isn’t a viable option for you right now, reading little and often is a great way to infuse vitality into your skills and practice.
Embracing CPD is an exciting opportunity for personal growth and career advancement. We hope directing you towards the above training courses has given you the inspiration to keep striving for better purpose and better practice – even if just a little bit.