Association of Professional Healthcare Analysts

Professional Registration Consultation

Professional Registration Consultation – your chance to shape what the requirements will be

We are consulting on what the standards for professional registration should be. All members, and others with an interest in healthcare analytics, are strongly encouraged to be involved and have your say on what the standards for your profession should be.

More information is provided below, however for a summary of the consultation, please see the consultation presentation. Also of interest may be the process for registration available here.

The draft standards are here. These map the Federation of Information Professionals (FEDIP) standards and outline what an Analyst would need to demonstrate in order to be admitted to the professional register.

Please comment by:

  • Send comments and thoughts on the standards or the process to Glen at any point until the 31st August – Howard@nhs.net
  • Any comments received after this date will not be able to be included in the first version of the standards, however will be considered for the next version.
  • Glen will be attending as many branch meetings as possible to hear as many members views as possible

These standards have been developed by the development group and we would like to thank them for their considerable effort and highly valuable input – Emma Wright, Garry Fothergill, Andrew Barraclough, Lisa Fox, Anton Parker, Julie Vile, Jane Johnson and Russell Friend.

Becoming registered

Most members will already be aware that we have worked with the Federation of Information Professionals, FEDIP, to enable Analysts to be entered on to a professional register. This is an important step for the profession as well as for individuals who want their professionalism and skills to be formally recognised. This will help employers to know that their Analysts have met a defined standard of competence and, as AphA members, are accountable to a professional code of conduct. Patients will be assured that Analysts using their data are professionals who are recognised as having the skills, understanding and judgement to deliver the high quality of analysis required to drive the key decisions about health and social care.

It is important to state that Analysts are not currently unprofessional or aren’t demonstrating these qualities! This is far from the case and Analysts practice with the highest integrity and skill. This development means that we now have a way of these skills and experience being formally recognised.

The process of how Analysts will become registered is outlined in the document AphA Professional Registration Process FINAL v1.0, a link to which is above. In summary, the process will be:

  • Complete a portfolio of evidence – i.e. how you meet the standards
  • Sponsor will endorse this evidence
  • Opportunity to present your work if you wish
  • Assessed by a trained assessor
  • Recommend to the Professional Development Committee to be entered on to the register
  • Professional Development Committee will quality assure assessments to ensure the same standards are applied to all applicants

It needs to be clear to the applicant and the assessor what the standards are against which they are being assessed – this shouldn’t be a mystery. FEDIP has established the criteria for each level of registration, but we need describe about how these relate to Analysts.

Developing the standards

The challenge is to be specific and clear enough to provide meaningful guidance to help those completing their evidence to know what is required, but also flexible enough to capture the many and varied ways Analysts work. This is very challenging to say the least, but with the contribution of the profession, we think we can get very close to this ideal.

The standards will be used in the following ways

  • Prospective registrants will use these to prepare their portfolio of evidence to outline how they meet the requirements at the level for which they are applying
  • Assessors will use these to guide their assessment on whether the prospective registrant meets the required standards
  • Employers / members of the public will use the requirements to understand the level of skill, experience and competence that a Registered Analyst will have

To send out a blank template and ask members to fill in the blanks may not be the easiest, or the quickest way of developing these standards. To this end, a working group has come together to develop a first draft for comment. This has been a big piece of work, and has been genuinely exciting and it generated lots of fantastic discussions. While we think this is an excellent first draft, we want to ensure that we get as wider view as possible to help shape the standards to be as helpful as possible.

One area that has come out of the discussion is that we feel there are three key aspects to being a professional healthcare Analyst (and to be clear, this includes Analysts working in local authorities, public health etc), illustrated in Figure 1.

In order to move forward, we needed to define what an Analyst is – we are clear that this relates to what people do rather than what their role is called. We hope that our definition is helpful and sets the right context for the standards, but have we got it right? Does this exclude people who are undertaking healthcare analysis? We need your help to answer these questions.

Standards

Consultation – your opportunity to shape your profession

We are launching a formal consultation on the standards in order to seek your opinions. This is a real consultation where we actually want your views! We cannot guarantee to include everyone’s comments in the final version of the standards, but we will make the commitment to listen and consider every comment that is received. The consultation is open now and will continue until 31st September 2018 with the aim to collate these in time for the Annual Conference where the working party will meet again to agree the final version that will be used.

You can be involved in the following ways:

  • The document will be on the website – send me comments and thoughts on the standards or the process at any point until the 31st August – Howard@nhs.net
  • I will be attending as many branch meetings as possible to hear as many members views as possible
  • I will be at the Annual conference and keen to her your thoughts and answer your questions

We also share the standards document outside of the AphA membership to obtain the widest input we can and encourage you to share with any colleagues who are (not yet!) AphA members.

Summary

The purpose of the consultation is to listen to the views of Analysts and ensure that the standards represent the views of the profession. The more people involved, the better the standards will be. Once in use, these will be regularly reviewed to ensure that they continue to be fit for purpose.

It’s your profession and your standards and this is your opportunity to shape what these are.