Information for practice teams

The General Practice Foundation (GPF) Committee have created a number of useful guidance documents and standards that support Practice teams with professional development.

To find out more about the General Practice Foundation Committee, please visit the RCGP Committee page

GPF Health Care Assistant Competencies

Health Care Assistant Competencies [PDF]

We are delighted to announce the publication of the RCGP General Practice Foundation Health Care Assistant Competencies. Plymouth University have been the prime movers in developing these competencies. They complement the General Practice Nurse Competencies published in 2012. The timing of this publication is opportune as the Care Act will require all new Health Care Assistants to hold a Care Certificate. These competencies will enable standardisation of training for Health Care Assistants wanting to work in General Practice and will guide those designing and delivering training.

Developing the Nursing workforce in General Practice: A road map to excellence conference (Nov 2013) presentations and outcomes

GPN Roadmap to Excellence [PDF]

On November 28 2013, an event was hosted jointly by the GP Foundation, COGPED and Health Education Wessex at the RCGP Headquarters in Euston. The aim of the event was to bring together Health Education England (HEE), NHS England, the Department of Health(DH), the RCGP, COGPED and the Queen’s Nursing Institute(QNI) with representatives from the 13 LETBs in England, to debate the future of General Practice Nursing in England and to develop a roadmap with recommendations to enable a secure pipeline of expertise for the future.

The key recommendations from the event were:

  • To develop national and regional leadership for GPNs
  • To develop a national GPN education network
  • To work with the National Community Nursing Strategy Project to develop a career pathway for GPNs
  • To increase pre-registration placements in GP
  • To develop National education standards
  • To  develop a GP style VTS programme based on the GPF Competence Framework

Please find the agenda, presentations and outcomes from the day below:


RCGP General Practice Foundation General Practice Nurse Competencies

GPF Nurse Competencies [PDF]

The GPF are proud to announce the release of the RCGP General Practice Foundation General Practice Nurse Competencies. This competency framework addresses the common core competencies and the wider range of skills, knowledge and behaviours a nurse needs in order to be a fully proficient GPN.

It has been created by the nursing sub group of the General Practice Foundation and developed by leading General Practice Nurses and Advanced Practitioners who have peer reviewed this framework and provided valuable comment and feedback.

The document is available to download and can be updated digitally and saved as a PDF or printed and edited manually. You can also upload the completed PDF to your ePortfolio.

Jenny Aston, lead of the GPF Nursing subgroup said:

“I am really pleased that we now have the General Practice Nurse Competencies to accompany the Nursing Standards. Both provide very useful guidance for GPs, Practice managers, and Nurses starting out in General  Practice. They will also provide LETBs, CCGs and education providers with information to support the development of nursing excellence in General Practice. “

Mike Pringle, president of the RCGP and the GPF said of the competencies:

"I am immensely proud that the RCGP is associated, through our General Practice Foundation, with this important initiative. General Practice Nurses are essential members of effective primary care teams and these competencies show the way forward"


Nursing Standards

The GPF has published new nursing standards to provide more structure to nursing roles in general practice and to improve patient care and experience. The standards cover clinical, professional and employment practice for nurses and healthcare assistants working at all levels in general practice.

They have been mapped against and complement existing regulatory standards and those promoted by the NHS and professional organisations, in an attempt to achieve consensus on which standards should be ‘good, better and best’ and are intended to be used as a benchmark by employers, GPNs, commissioning groups and primary care organisations.

Jenny Aston, Nursing Lead at the RCGP’s General Practice Foundation, said:

"Practice nurses are a mainstay of modern general practice and one of the reasons that primary care is such a successful model of healthcare.  We should ensure they are nurtured and helped to perform at their very best for the good of the NHS and for our patients.  By adopting these standards, general practices will offer improved nursing quality, patient safety and experience, and better health and wellbeing of staff."

For further information on this work, please email


Sample Role descriptions for a General Practice Team

Practice nursing

Physician assistants

Practice managers


Practice Management Network

The Practice Management Network (PMN) is a national community of managers in general practice. The network is truly unique as it represents almost 4000 practice managers and is run by fellow practice managers. The Network offers support and opportunities to share, develop and influence. Membership is free, simply visit

For further information, please visit: Practice Management Resources

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