Training and development (practice management)
Relevant training courses for practice managers are offered by AMSPAR and the IHM. You'll find brief details of both on this page with links to further information.
Training and development
As a practice manager, you’re usually required to hold a relevant qualification:
- Certificate/Diploma in Primary Care and Health Management (DPCHM) awarded by the Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists (AMSPAR)
- Vocational Training Scheme for General Practice Managers (VTSGPM) - awarded by the Institute of Healthcare Management (IHM).
The DPHCM is open to existing managers and potential managers in a health or social care environment. You must be educated to level 3 standard and should have a background that will enable you to benefit from the programme.
In order to be able to take the programme, you need to be recommended by an appropriate employer and accepted by a recognised centre following interview.
The programme is included in the Qualifications and Credit Framework at level 5 and is provided by a number of AMSPAR/City and Guilds -approved centres.
The course contains modules covering the following topics in a primary care and health environment:
- managing medical ethics and legal requirements
- financial management and budgeting
- managing information and communication
- leading teams
- developing or improving services.
There are also optional units on topics including the manager as a critical thinker; becoming an effective leader and managing recruitment.
The VTSGPM is delivered on a part time basis over a period of 36 weeks, using a blended learning model. This includes 1 full day of face to face teaching every two weeks and extra independent study in between. Guided study materials are provided and candidates are supported by appropriately qualified tutors both during attendance and distance learning processes of email, structured email tutorials, and telephone contact.
The course covers six key topics:
- managing your enterprise
- personal & team effectiveness
- primary care, finance, data management & information strategy
- quality and regulation in primary care
- introduction to commissioning
- medical terminology for practice managers.
Depending on your precise role, you may be required to maintain your professional registration, through continuing professional development (CPD). AMSPAR and the IHM provide CPD opportunities for members to maintain their registration.