Skip to main content

Multi-professional Education and Training in Primary and Community Care

What is primary and community care?

Primary and community care refers to healthcare services that patients often receive first. Some examples of this are GPs (general practice), community pharmacists, dentists, and optometrists among others.


Primary and community care at HEIW

Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) are one of many organisations responsible for actioning A Healthier Wales. This is the Welsh Government’s long-term plan for health and social care in Wales.

At the heart of this is an ambition to deliver services that are appropriate to people’s individual needs and provided at the primary and community care level.

Therefore, our teams are working to help

  • Understand who make up the healthcare workforce in Wales
  • Support the contribution made by everyone
  • Evaluate who is best places to provide care
  • Provide opportunities for people to expand their skills and expertise, regardless of their professional affiliation, employer, or location
  • Strengthen the education, training, and development available to the workforce with a focus on building skills across a whole career
  • Supporting the workforce’s health and wellbeing.


Multi-professional Primary and Community Education and Training Framework

Working with partners, we are developing a Multi-professional Primary and Community Education and Training Framework.

This is a vital part of the reset and recovery post Covid-19 and it underpins delivery of the Strategic Programme for Primary Care

Our aim for this framework is to:

  • Develop and expand the multi-professional workforce that underpins the primary care model
  • Deliver high quality training and development for all professional groups based on clear and consistent standards
  • Invest in the sustainable development of the primary and community workforce to enhance recruitment and retention.

 We have engaged widely on the proposal which will:

  • Establish a Wales-wide Multi-Professional Primary and Community Education and Training Unit within HEIW working alongside existing Deaneries and Nursing and Health Professional Education
  • Work in partnership with Health Boards to develop Health Board wide multi-professional Academies that will provide the fulcrum for the development of education and training on a local basis
  • Establish a national education governance framework and standards that will ensure equitable and consistent education and training provision across Wales
  • Extend and develop mechanisms to train, develop and support educators and supervisors across a range of disciplines in line with best practice
  • Expand and support clinical placements in primary and community settings
  • Support workforce planning across primary and community services with improved forward planning of education and training programmes
  • Shape the commissioning of postgraduate education and training programmes for primary and community care via the annual Education and Training Plan which is a statutory function of HEIW.


HEIW Multi-Professional Education and Training Unit

During 2022, a new Unit is being established within HEIW. The new unit will be responsible for the delivery of multi-professional education and training in primary and community care.

It will:

  • Work alongside existing Deaneries and our Nursing and Health Professional Education function to plan and deliver national programmes (our first national training programme will focus on General Practice Nursing)
  • Work closely with Health Boards to set up academies
  • Provide resourcing for academies to establish an infrastructure
  • Set standards so that learners and students have equal access to quality education and training
  • Develop national workforce plans to ensure a future pipeline of skilled professionals
  • Support multi-professional team development through education and training
  • Commission undergraduate and postgraduate education and work collaboratively with higher and further education institutions to develop training programmes and courses that meet the needs of the workforce in clinical and non-clinical roles including work-based learning opportunities
  • Expand clinical placement capacity within primary care settings
  • Support the development of new workforce models through role redesign
  • Develop tools and resources to enhance workforce development including competency frameworks and career pathways.



Each Health Board will have an academy that will coordinate and deliver local training and education.

Academies will work closely with the Multi-professional Unit through a network, the local workforce leads, and the workforce within primary and community care.

They will be responsible for:

  • Assessing local education and training needs
  • Supporting local multi-professional teams to work together effectively to maximise top of license working through education and training
  • Planning future workforce needs to inform national commissioning of education and training places
  • Providing support to primary and community care staff to develop their skills
  • Developing local capacity to expand training environments and educators

More information on academies will be available here soon.