Middlesex University has become the first academic institution in England to formally accredit a vocational training scheme (VTS) for practice managers.
Sue Hodgetts, Chief Executive of the Institute of Healthcare Managers (IHM), told MiP training schemes have helped a practice manager's role evolve from being seen as "simply receptionist work" to a business management position during the past ten years.
Previously, PM training schemes were only available in Scotland.
Hodgetts hopes the Middlesex University PM VTS will bring about more competence among practice managers, allow them to build up a network of peers and experts in the field, and by "topping up" their theoretical knowledge, teach them how to apply theory into practice.
Dr Gordon Weller, Middlesex University Principal Lecturer in Work Based Learning confirmed the university's accreditation of the PM course.
"The course will enable managers in health and social care settings to gain accreditation for their professional practice development," said Dr Weller in a statement to MiP.
"The Accredited Manager programme was developed by the Institute for Healthcare Management (IHM) and provides a robust and structured approach for managers to demonstrate their competence against the IHM Behaviours, which represent professional standards of performance.
"The programme is available at four levels - executive, senior, middle managers and front line manager. The Middlesex University Accredited Manager programme also enables those managers to continue their work based learning and practice to a full undergraduate or master's degree."
By Louise Naughton
Do you think more PM training in academic settings is a positive step forward? Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
"Yes, I think it's a very positive step forward. I am a Training Provider specifically for Medical Administration including Practice Managers. We offer accredited City&Guilds/AMSPAR qualifications including the Certificate in Medical Terminology levels 2&3, Medical Administration Diploma levels 2&3 and level 5 Primary Health Care & Management. We specialise in funded Apprenticeships for all age groups and deliver all our courses at Training Venues throughout the North West, the main one being in Cheshire West" – Doreen Taylor, Cheshire
"Definitely. This will engender understanding and recognition of the invaluable work done by practice managers" – Name and address withheld
"Definitely. I am a relatively new PM and I have found it difficult to obtain information on appropriate courses etc. I would very much welcome something like this in the North West" – Karen Manciocchi, Lancashire
"Yes, absolutely! Is this a distance or taught course?" – Pam Saltmer, Yorkshire
"Absolutely - it has been too long coming. All professionals in the health service need a recognised qualification and membership of a professional body with the exception of managers. Qualifications such as this should be mandatory to the role" – Cynthia Jackson, Tyneside
"Yes, but not sure where this would fit into what is already a 25- hour day!" – Pam Goulding, Warrington
"Yes I do, I have the AMSPAR Primary Care Management which is level 5, but you try getting it accredited towards a degree. I am studying with the OU for a degree in health sciences and wanted to get this accredit toward my degree and the OU will not even consider AMSPAR qualifications" – Maxine Rickhuss, Wolverhampton
"Yes I do, I participated in the VTS scheme for Practice Managers and received accreditation from Middlesex University in 2009. It was a hard year but very worth while and rewarding" – Eileen O'Neill, Aberdeen
"Yes definitely. We are expected to do a number of job roles with very little training" – Helen King, Lancashire
"It very much is a positive step forward. Practice Managers are limited with training offered at the moment, we want more than just Appraisal & Conflict resolution training" – Tracey Binns, Wirral