Terminology & Classifications News

Clinical Coding Trailblazer - Help Needed

Published: July 2017


As you may be aware Apprenticeships are a huge focus in the UK at the moment with the government setting a very ambitious target of 3 million apprentices by 2020. To support this agenda the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in April 2017 which means that 0.5% of all NHS Trusts pay bill will be deducted by HMRC and paid into a digital account to fund apprenticeship training. In addition to this with the decline in CPPD funding there has been more and more focus on developing suitable apprenticeship standards to maximise the return on investment for the NHS and other key employers.

Back in 2016 in my role as Apprenticeship Lead for North, Central & East London I was involved in discussions with several employers who were looking to see if there was an apprenticeship programme which covered the role of the Clinical Coder. They had identified an ageing workforce and a general lack of awareness about the opportunities that a career in Coding could offer so were keen to look at getting young people to consider this an a career option. They also wanted a career progression route leading to accreditation for existing staff that could be Levy funded moving forward. At the time the only framework available was a Health Informatics apprenticeship which was not fit for purpose but was also due to be switched off due to low enrolment numbers and there was not a replacement in development.

The process to develop a new apprentice standard is called a Trailblazer and I collated interest nationally and approached the National Coding Academies and NHS Digital to secure commitment to start the process of developing a new apprenticeship standard and submit a formal expression of interest to government. The Expression Of Interest was approved in March 2017 and the group met for the first time in April 2017. The meeting was very interesting and it was obvious that while there were some key challenges faced by Coding Teams nationally there were also some variances by region which would need to be considered when developing the new standard.  

Next Steps

We have the required minimum of 10 employers to move this project forward but would welcome additional input from the wider coding community. You could be part of the main steering group and help design and develop the new apprenticeship standard. The commitment for this group would be monthly meetings for a typical duration of 12 months. These could be teleconferences as well as face to face if distance/travel is a concern.

The group would also welcome feedback on the draft standard when it goes out for consultation to ensure it is fit for purpose and can be used in all organisations and we will keep you updated on progress via this page.

If you would like further information or would like to be involved then please do get in touch!

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Created by Katy Park 5 years ago
Last modified by Katy Park 2 years ago