An accreditation framework for practice managers has been launched by The Institute of General Practice Management (IGPM).
The framework was developed to give those in the practice management community an opportunity to become formally accredited and obtain professional status. Applicants who pass the assessment will be awarded Member of the Institute of General Practice Management (MIGPM) status.
Ali Daff, business manager of IGPM, said it was the next step in the aim for practice managers to be recognised as a registered profession.
‘Previously there was no set standard for managers working in general practice or a formal recognition of the intrinsic role we perform,’ she said. ‘We are so proud of this process and really encourage people to apply.’
An initial panel of 12 applicants was assessed in May by an independent panel of experts. The framework is now being launched to all IGPM members.
The framework consists of 10 separate domains that make up the key components of any managerial role in general practice.
It is designed to be used by new managers seeking career progression as well as experienced post-holders who want to develop their career in practice management.
To become accredited, practice managers need to submit an application together with two references. One reference must come from someone who is senior to the applicant, such as a senior partner or clinical director. The second reference should be from a peer, e.g. another practice manager or PCN manager.
A panel of three trained accreditors will use a closed marking system to score each application against the 10 domains of the framework.
The IGPM plans to open three submission windows per year and aims to have results out to applicants within a few months of application.
At present, there is one level of membership that will enable the majority of managers from various circumstances and practice sizes to become accredited.
The IGPM has said that it will review the accreditation framework over time and may introduce varying levels of membership if needed.
Members will be able to focus on CPD through the framework. Management roles in general practice are constantly evolving and developing and members are expected to continuously improve and update their skillsets.
While the IGPM is not providing any CPD, the aim is for training providers to use the framework to develop their training offers so that any participating managers will be able to meet the requirements of the domains.
Ms Daff said that the IGPM hoped accreditation would boost the reputation of practice management as a career.
‘We hope that by demonstrating the professionalism of our community, and the support available from IGPM as the professional body, we can once again make practice management an attractive career choice,’ she said.
‘Considering the potential succession crisis we are facing, this is more important than ever,’ she added.
The framework has been developed by IGPM director Robyn Clark, a team of IGPM regional representatives, and Professor James Kingsland.
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