Why take part?
PiPC is a clinical Masters pathway of 3 or 4 years duration. It’s designed especially for paramedics and aims to provide them with the knowledge and skills to move towards a functional primary care role. PiPC trainees have the opportunity to access a clinical postgraduate development pathway which includes placements in a GP practice, plus tailored local individual support.
- Trainees attend practice placement with a GP one-day per week, and also dedicate a minimum of one (nominal) day to their Masters studies, which are delivered via a distance learning model, using a well-proven university.
- In order to undertake PiPC, trainees are recommended to reduce their full-time working hours to accommodate the demands of the programme.
It is possible to work in an existing primary/urgent care role and undertake the PiPC programme, however as part of your interview process you will be required to provide evidence that you are able to commit to the academic requirements and that your employer is able to allocate sufficient time within your contract for clinical supervision and learning throughout the programme.
The choice of individual working hours is a personal decision based on individual finances, work requirements and circumstances. Most of our current trainees work under a flexible working contract with their principle employer which allows them the time to undertake the practice learning and academic elements. Some work less than full-time contracts such as 0.6 to 0.8 whole time equivalent.
Local support to learn
PiPC is designed to allow paramedics to move gradually into being safe, competent and confident clinicians in primary care. Our Trainees are supported locally by HEE’s Training Hubs, with individual access to help from a Clinical Fellow and an Education Coordinator. These roles are designed to support your progress, address individual and group learning needs, support individual pastoral and/or remedial needs and liaise with university and placement providers. This ensures ongoing quality of learning.
Contemporary approaches to a paramedic career
Around 700 paramedics (headcount) are already working in the primary care sector (NHS Digital, 2019) Our PiPC trainees have decided that they want to be able to work across health sectors, rather than for one part of it (for example an ambulance service) and frequently cite a desire for a ‘portfolio-working’ career, working part time for more than one employer.Currently there are huge opportunities in primary and urgent care due to Government-backed initiatives (GP Contract/DES) to expand and diversify the primary care workforce. This is likely to result in more paramedics being recruited into AfC Band 7 (or equivalent) roles in general practice from 2021. PiPc is unique in enabling trainees to be employed by practices during the programme
If you want to be considered for the 2020 Cohort you must submit and Expression of Interest by the 31st July, 2020. Only those candidates who have submitted an expression of interest will be permitted to apply for a place on the Programme in 2020. All Expressions of Interest received by the 31st July 2020 will be sent directly to the relevant Training Hub, who will then make contact with these candidates in order to complete the final stage of the application process (Stage 2).
Stage 1: Paramedic or paramedic undergraduate submits an expression of interest in undertaking the PiPC programme by 31st July 2020.
Stage 2: Following HEE analysis of PiPC sites against interest from potential trainees and Training Hubs, candidates will be notified by HEE whether they are able to progress to submit a formal application, (i.e. whether there is an available PiPC site in their region)
1.The PiPC offer
1.1 PiPC is a three or four-year part-time distance-learning Masters programme designed either for experienced post-registration  post-paramedics (3-years), or for paramedics that have newly registered or due to register before October 2020 (4-years duration).
The key strength of PiPC is that paramedics are provided the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills to work in a primary and/or urgent care role, not just learning academically but also through practice-based learning with GPs and local help through Training Hubs. The aim is to help you become a safe, capable and confident clinician, able to work across the emergency, primary and urgent sectors.
2. We welcome expressions of interest in joining the PiPC Phase 2 programme from:
- Third year undergraduates interested in joining upon registration and in tandem with their first job as a newly registered paramedic.
- Post-registration experienced paramedics already employed in a clinical role, for example primary care (In or Out of Ours) or urgent care roles.
Please note that working in the primary/urgent care sectors is highly challenging. Prospective PiPC trainees should be highly motivated to expand their clinical scope of practice, and to commit themselves to lifelong learning both academically and in practice, in order to become effective in role.
3. Your commitment as a PiPC Trainee:
3.1 Important note on funding of academic costs
HEE currently funds costs of Education Coordinator and Clinical Fellow roles, plus general practice placement time for trainees and managing the programme through local Training Hubs. Unless trainees are being sponsored (such as CCGs, PCNs or ambulance Trusts) or have access to independent sources of funding, they are expected to self-fund their university tuition fees, using the Government’ s Postgraduate Master’s Loan
As a PiPC Trainee you will be required to:
- Complete a university Masters degree.
- Engage with your GP placement, including staff and other healthcare staff there as well as the supervising GP, plus any costs or expenses incurred in travel to and from the placement.
- Commit to engage with the Training Hub locally, specifically with:
- PiPC Education Facilitator. This person supports your pastoral needs, providing a link between the university and the GP practice placement.
- PiPC Clinical Fellow. This person is an experienced clinician working in primary care, who all support your clinical practice-based learning, linking with the supervising GP and providing regular study days and where necessary, individual coaching.
In order to be eligible to enrol on PiPC, candidates will need:
- A degree (i.e. NQF Level 6) in Paramedic Science (or equivalent programme leading to eligibility to register with the HCPC).
OR: Registration as a paramedic in the UK (HCPC) plus a relevant science-based honours degree completed within the previous 10 years.
OR: Registration as a paramedic in the UK (HCPC) plus evidence of recent postgraduate attainment in a relevant science-based subject.
- To be eligible to apply for the Postgraduate Learner Loan funding and willing apply to this to cover the cost of academic fees (unless alternative funding is in place).
- To commit to reduce (where necessary) contracted working hours from full-time in order to facilitate one day per week (over 42 weeks) in practice placement and one (nominal) day for academic work.
- A commitment to undertake the programme for the duration (3 or 4 years)  and comply with required practice based learning and academic requirements.
- A commitment to engage with the practice placement (GP Practice) and complete the hours in placement required by the programme.
- A commitment to engage with the university (Masters provider) teaching team, assessments and processes and with the local Education Coordinator and Clinical Fellow postholders, employed by the local HEE Training Hub.
- To be eligible to live and work in the UK
If you are able to comply with the eligibility criteria above, please continue to submit an expression of interest using the form on these pages.
Following your expression of interest and the subsequent analysis by Health Education England, you will be contacted by your local Training Hub site during the first two weeks of August 2020 to either:
- Invite you to submit a formal application to the PiPC programme or:
- Inform you that we cannot proceed with your submission currently and asking whether you would like us to hold your information on file for future opportunities.
We hope this project will be of interest and that this information will answer any questions. Should you need any clarification please review the Frequently Asked Questions section or raise a question via the online enquiries function and we will ensure someone responds directly to you.
 We welcome expressions of interest from paramedics who are currently working in the urgent and/or primary care sectors who meet the eligibility criteria
 Candidates should commit to the full length of the programme, but we acknowledge that their host GP practice is free to recruit the trainee as an employee at any time. Should trainees be recruited to paid work it is expected that continued clinical supervision will be maintained and planned as part of any recruitment offer such that practice learning and progress through the MSc can be maintained by the trainee.
The Masters course that underpins this programme is modular and delivered via a distance learning model. All modules are delivered at NQF Level 7 over 3 or 4 years, which is why PiPC trainees should feel confident to study at postgraduate level.
Financing the Masters course
The cost of the entire Masters programme is currently £6,700. The Government’s Postgraduate Masters Loan is £10,906 (full loan-2020 figures) and individuals are required to apply to the scheme to finance the costs of the Masters, (the loan allows you to borrow the course fees only should you wish). Trainees should make themselves familiar with the terms and conditions of the loan, as the loan agreement is between Student Finance England (SFE) and the individual trainee only.
HEE does not provide further support for study and any costs around (for example) transport and equipment, any such costs must be borne by the individual trainee.
Your loan application is likely to take around 2 months to finalise, so it is important to complete your application as soon as possible. We recommend completing your SFE application by the end of May (new students)
It is possible that some trainees may be sponsored by employers or commissioners for payment of academic fees, this is by local agreement only.
How do I apply?
You must submit an expression of interest, via the ‘Express your interest’ tab above, by the 31st July 2020, as only those candidates who have submitted an expression of interest will be permitted to make a formal application. All expressions of interest received by the 31st July 2020 will be sent directly to the relevant Training Hub, who will then make contact with these candidates in order to complete the final stage of the application process. Expressions of interest received after the 31st July 2020 or via a different route WILL NOT be considered in the application process.
Can you tell me what modules make up the PiPC MSc programme?
The modules that make up the PiPC MSc Programme are;
- Advanced Pathophysiology and Disease in Practice (20 Credits Level 7)
- Consultation and Physiology Assessment Skills (20 Credits Level 7)
- Advancing Mental Health across the Healthcare Spectrum (20 Credits Level 7)
- Clinical Decision Making – Improving outcomes in Primary Care (20 Credits Level 7)
- Advancing Mental Health across the Healthcare spectrum (20 Credits Level 7)
- Non-medical prescribing (40 Credits Level 7)
- Independent Project (20 Credits Level 7)
Are there any assessments outside of those within the PiPC MSc Programme?
Students are expected to undertake the College of Paramedics/St Georges, London Diploma in Primary and Urgent Care (Dip.PUC) exam at the end of year 2
Will I have to organise my own flexible working to accommodate the PiPC programme requirements?
Portfolio careers can be very rewarding however managing the expectations of more than one employer across a working week can present a unique set of challenges. As part of the development into a portfolio worker the programme will expect student to have secured a flexible working arrangement with their employer to enable attendance on the course. Students must be aware that the PiPC programme team will be unable to intervene in any way with your employer in order to negotiate these arrangements
How much are the course fees?
The total course fees are currently £6,700. It is recommended that student consider the governments Postgraduate Masters Loan for this purpose
Given that the MSc is a distance learning programme, how will I be supported locally?
You will be supported locally by one of the Health Education England Training Hubs. The purpose of these Hubs is to bring education provision closer to the needs of the local healthcare providers. As such this programme is very vocationally focused and aims to support students become highly effective primary care-ready Paramedics.
Unusually, PiPC provide its trainees with primary care placement time (normally with a teaching GP practice) once a week for 40 weeks in year 1. This in-practice support is an essential component of your development pathway and will bring real breadth and depth to your learning and competence. Outside of the practice learning environment, each Training Hub will have two further support roles, a Clinical Fellow and Education Coordinator. The Clinical Fellow provides a second tier of support, offering guidance on the clinical aspect of your placement, examples might be working alongside you if you require a period of support or pulling together all students in a given geographical area to provide extra training in a given area.
The Education Coordinator is the local link with all stakeholders. Their role is to provide ongoing pastoral and academic personal tutorship and ensuring you are fully engaged and progressing appropriately through the programme
Will I be offered a job whilst on the PiPC programme?
PiPC participating General Practices are providing placement opportunities because they see the need to develop future clinicians and that they may need to employ them in the future. NHS England’s GP DES contract ‘Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme commences for paramedics during 2021 and is likely boost the recruitment of paramedics who have the necessary skills. As part of the commitment to you, general practices wishing to the employ students whilst on PiPC are advised that there is an expectation that they continue to support you from point of employment through the rest of the PiPC programme.
I’m a NQP (or soon will be) with my local ambulance trust. Do they have to give me part-time working to allow me to do the programme?
Existing employees have the right to make a request for flexible working options. Whilst there is no absolute requirement for services to grant employees part-time working, new recruits are in a good position to ask for part-time contracts when they first enter service with a trust.
Please follow these steps to express your interest in joining the PiPC programme (please ensure you have read the application process information to check your eligibility):
Complete the online application form below.
- Download the expression of interest form
- Save on your desktop
- When you have completed the form upload it here and enter your contact details below before pressing ‘Submit’. This enables us to identify your location to be able to match a Training Hub to you.