advanced practitioner (AP)
A clinically autonomous practitioner, who defines the scope of practice of others and continuously develops clinical practice within a defined field.
 Advisory Appointment Committees (AACs)
Committees that recommend the appointment of consultants in surgery in England and Wales.
A programme of training and workplace learning which leads to a formal set of qualifications. Apprenticeships can be healthcare-specific, or may cover generic skills that are used in the sector.
 assistant practitioner (AP)
Assistant practitioners work at level 4 of the NHS career framework developed by Skills for Health. Examples of this role include occupational therapy assistant, diabetes team assistant and expert patient coordinator. They work in a range of areas, primarily but not exclusively with patient contact. In clinical areas, they will usually be managed by a healthcare professional, for example a dietitian or occupational therapist.
 associate practitioner
See assistant practitioner.
 care areas
In the NHS Next Stage Review final report, published in June 2008, eight different 'pathways of care' were identified in order to help improve how health and social care services are delivered to patients. These pathways are more commonly known as 'care areas' or 'care groups'. The care areas identified were: staying health, maternity and newborn care, children's health, acute care, planned care, mental health, long-term conditions, and end-of-life care. Subsequent NHS service planning and commissioning have been shaped by these pathways.
See also: High care quality for all: NHS Next Stage Review final report.
 care groups
See care areas.
 care pathways
See care areas.
 Care Quality Commission (CQC)
Non-departmental public body (NDPB) set up in 2009 to regulate and inspect health and social care services in England. Its remit includes services provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies and voluntary organisations – whether in hospitals, care homes, or people’s own homes. Part of the Commission’s remit is protecting the interests of people whose rights have been restricted under the Mental Health Act.
 Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT)
A legal requirement that a doctor practising as a substantive, fixed term or honorary consultant in the NHS holds specialist registration and that a doctor practising as a GP in the UK holds GP registration. A CCT confirms that a doctor has completed an approved training programme and is eligible for entry onto the GP Register or the Specialist Register.
 child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
(Pronounced 'cams'.) This term is commonly used as a broad concept that includes all services that contribute to the mental healthcare of children and young people. As well as specialist services, this definition includes universal services whose primary function is not mental healthcare, such as GPs and schools. This explicitly acknowledges that supporting children and young people with mental health problems is not the responsibility of specialist services alone. 'CAMHS' is sometimes used more narrowly to refer only to specialist CAMHS (in other words, services operating at tiers 2, 3 and 4 of the four-tier strategic framework).
 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
The name for a collection of lung diseases, including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease.
 community treatment order (CTO)
This order applies to patients detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, as amended by the Mental Health Act 2007. A patient subject to a CTO can be treated in the community for his or her mental disorder without giving consent.
The terms 'competencies' and 'competences' are often used interchangeably. 'Competency' is more precisely defined as the behaviours that employees must have, or must acquire, to input into a situation in order to achieve high levels of performance. 'Competence' relates to a system of minimum standards or is demonstrated by performance and outputs.
See competence.
 core medical training (CMT)
The first stage of training for anyone wishing to follow a career in a medical specialty.
 core specialty training
Training for some medical specialties is broken down into two parts: ‘core specialty training’ followed by ‘higher specialty training’. For most such specialties, core training lasts for an indicative two years. Trainees then compete for places on higher specialty training programmes.
Continuing professional development (CPD) refers to any learning that takes place outside undergraduate education and postgraduate training that helps a person maintain and improve their performance. It covers the development of knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours. It includes all learning activities, both formal and informal, that maintain and develop the quality of professional work.
 Darzi report
See High care quality for all: NHS Next Stage Review final report.
 dentist with special interests (DwSI)
A dental practitioner working in a primary-care environment who provides special-interest services in addition to having a more generalised role. The advent of DwSIs has allowed PCTs to contract general dental practitioners who have developed special interests where there is local need.
 Electronic Staff Record (ESR)
The NHS's integrated HR and payroll system. The ESR  provides a central source of workforce information.
See also: Electonic Staff Record (ESR) Data Warehouse.
 Electronic Staff Record (ESR) Data Warehouse
The computer system in which national data from the ESR is collated, and from which statistics can be drawn.
See also: Electronic Staff Record (ESR).
 fixed-term specialty training appointments (FTSTA)
Fixed-term appointments of up to one year, which provide training during the early years of specialty training.  Paediatrics and psychiatry also offer FTSTAs for the third year of training.
 foundation degree
Higher education qualifications that combine academic study with work-based learning. Foundation degrees are designed jointly by universities, colleges and employers.
 foundation programme
A two-year training programme for doctors after they leave medical school. It is designed to give trainees a range of general experience before choosing an area of medicine in which to specialise.
 general practitioner with special interests (GPwSI)
A GP who supplements his or her more generalist role with a clinical role beyond the scope of general practice.
 General Social Care Council (GSCC)
Non-departmental public body (NDPB) that sets standards of conduct and practice for social care workers and their employers, for regulating the workforce, and for regulating social work education and training.
 Health and Care Professions Council
The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) - formerly the Health Professions Council (HPC) - is an independent, UK-wide health and care regulator set up to protect the public. The HCPC keeps a register for 16 different health and care professions and only registers people who meet the standards it sets for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health. The HCPC regulates the following 16 professions:arts therapists, biomedical scientists, clinical scientists, chiropodists/podiatrists, dietitians, hearing aid dispensers, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, paramedics, physiotherapists, prosthetists/orthotists, practitioner psychologists, radiographers, social workers in England, and speech and language therapists.
 High care quality for all: NHS Next Stage Review final report
High care quality for all was the final report of Lord Darzi's NHS Next Stage Review, published in June 2008. It identified the need for more information and choice for patients, as well as the importance of partnership working and the need to improve the quality of care delivered.
 Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
Organisation responsible for funding higher education institutions, notably for any courses that the NHS does not directly pay for. Includes medical schools and some healthcare science courses.