Definitions and Principles of Job Planning for Clinical Staff

Basic Principals

Achieving an appropriate balance between academic and service work within the clinical academic role is inherently difficult.  The University is committed to ensuring that the Faculty of Health Sciences becomes one of the top medical schools in the country, and to do this will require a huge emphasis on teaching and research quality over the coming years.  However, it is also important that clinical academics maintain their professional skills and fulfil appropriate service commitments.  Working in partnership with our local Trusts, the Job Planning process will provide an opportunity for us to examine, individually and collectively, the focus of our efforts and to define appropriate and achievable job plans. 

The following guidance is intended assist you, your Head of School and your Clinical Director to ensure that the appropriate balance is achieved and maintained.  At the bottom of this page you will find links to sample job plans and a job plan template.

The Balance of Activity

The standard full-time job plan will comprise 10 Programmed Activities.  A Programmed Activity is a four-hour unit of time, and may be divided into half Programmed Activities by agreement with all parties.

The 10 Programmed Activities will normally be equally divided between 5 University sessions and 5 NHS sessions.  There is some scope for flexibility around this where groups of academics can work together to provide an equivalent level of service to the NHS.

University Programmed Activities

The 5 university programmed activities/sessions will be allocated to activities undertaken for the University, including research, teaching, administration/management, and university-related external activities.  The content and balance of these 5 sessions will be agreed between yourself and your Head of School in the job planning discussion.

NHS Programmed Activities

No more than 5 sessions will be dedicated to NHS Programmed Activities, and will be allocated between Direct Clinical Care; Supporting Professional Activities; Additional NHS responsibilities and External Duties, by agreement between yourself, your Head of Department and the relevant Clinical Director in your job planning discussion.

Approximately three Programmed Activities will be dedicated to Direct Clinical Care.

At least one Programmed Activity will be dedicated to undergraduate teaching, under the heading of Supporting Professional Activities. 

Any remaining full or part Programmed Activities may be divided between any of the four NHS PA headings.   CPD related to clinical activities should be included within the NHS PAs.

Definitions of NHS Programmed Activities

Supporting Professional Activities are defined as activities that underpin Direct Clinical Care.  This may include participation in training, medical education, continuing professional development, formal teaching, audit, job planning, appraisal, research, clinical management and local clinical governance activities.

Direct Clinical Care is defined as work directly relating to the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of illness that forms part of the services provided by the Trust.  This includes emergency duties (including emergency work carried out during or arising from on-call); operating sessions including pre-operative and post-operative care; ward rounds; outpatient activities; clinical diagnostic work; other patient treatment; public health duties; multi-disciplinary meetings about direct patient care and administration directly related to the above (including but not limited to referrals and notes).

Additional NHS Responsibilities include such roles as being a Medical Director, Director of Public Health, Clinical Director or lead clinician, or acting as a Caldicott guardian, clinical audit lead, clinical governance lead, undergraduate dean, postgraduate dean, clinical tutor or regional education adviser.  This list is not exhaustive.

External Duties are those not included in any of the previous three headings, and which do not fall within the definition of Fee Paying Services or Private Professional Practice.  These might include trades union duties; undertaking inspections for the Commission for Health Improvement (or its successor body), acting as an external member for an Advisory Appointments Committee, undertaking assessments for the National Clinical Assessments Authority, reasonable quantities of work for the Royal Colleges in the interests of the wider NHS, reasonable quantities of work for a Government Department, or specified work for the General Medical Council. This list is not exhaustive.

Additional Programmed Activities

Additional programmed activities may be agreed, subject to availability of funding, and up to a maximum of two APA’s per week for NHS related work.

The Clinical Director will be responsible for securing the necessary funding from the Trust budget to support the costs.

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