AphA working with NHSX on first national analytical competency framework

Posted : March 16, 2021 - /

The Association of Professional Healthcare Analysts (AphA) is working with NHSX on the discovery stages of the first nationally endorsed set of competency frameworks to define the skills, knowledge, and characteristics required from analytical professionals, and help foster a recognised career pathway for health and care analysts.

Until now a robust definition of what it means to be an analyst and the identification of the required competencies for the profession have never been outlined by a central professional body. AphA is undertaking the first ever project nationally to identify what competency frameworks are currently available for the profession, what people are using where, and what is required by employers and the professionals themselves with the ultimate aim of unifying the existing competency frameworks.

Creating a single national set of competency frameworks aimed at a wide range of analytical professionals working in health and care will acknowledge the value of the analytical professions, support the development of analytical talent, and improve synergy and consistency of practice across the country.

It will provide employers with a way of ensuring that their analytical workforce, including informaticians, analysts and data scientists, is fit for purpose and ready to respond to the evolving challenges within health and care, as well as appealing to potential analytical professionals by creating an identifiable career path, and maximising the potential of existing professionals by helping them to grow personally and professionally.

During the process, AphA’s aim is to put the analytical community at the centre of the design and delivery of such a framework, and liaise with employers and training providers, which will be critical to its successful adoption.

As an independent professional body, AphA is uniquely positioned to work on the project due to its range of analytical expertise and its profile that includes an extensive network of analytical staff across health and care services in the United Kingdom.

AphA also has excellent partnerships with national bodies and has a growing community of health and care analysts at all levels, coupled with a diverse range of analytical leaders who will bring significant experience and value to assess the suitability of such framework development.

AphA is also the only organisation that offers professional registration for all levels of analysts, endorsed by the Federation for Informatics Professionals (FEDIP). This means that the competencies and skills identified for analytical professionals can be linked with those required for professional registration.

In the discovery phase, AphA plans to take a collaborative approach to understanding what is currently available by holding discussions with colleagues and partners in other organisations and undertaking initial desktop research to gain a thorough understanding of existing frameworks, learn synergies and understand differences.

Rony Arafin, Chief Operating Officer at AphA said: “This is a fantastic achievement for AphA and our analytics community, we are delighted that NHSX have chosen to work with us on this discovery project.

“The existing landscape for analysts in health and care is vague and there is no clear professional progression. There’s so much more to it than just dealing with data, and that’s why we’re collaborating with partners and working with grassroots professionals to fully identify what it means to be an analyst working in health and care, and where a professional career path can take them.

“We hope in the future to continue doing this kind of work because are dedicated to ensuring analysis is recognised as a scientific profession and our national network puts us at the front of the line to spearhead that progression.”

Sarah Culkin, Head of Analytics at NHSX said: “I am delighted to be working with AphA on this essential piece of exploratory work. The work will inform fundamental decisions about how best to develop a unified set of competency framework for professionals.  These frameworks will form part of the foundation of a strengthened and empowered analytical workforce.”

At the end of the discovery phase AphA will provide a report outlining what it will take to develop a nationally endorsed framework for analytical professionals and participate in a stakeholders’ review workshop to discuss the next steps.


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