Advanced Critical Care Practitioners (ACCPs) are clinical professionals who have developed their skills and theoretical knowledge to a very high standard.  They are highly experienced and educated members of the care team who are able to diagnose and treat your health care needs or refer you to an appropriate specialist if needed. They are empowered to make high-level clinical decisions and will often have their own caseload.

It is likely that entrants into this advanced role will be from established roles in healthcare, such as nursing and Allied Health Professionals.  ACCPs can be from a nursing or physiotherapy background however the majority of trainee ACCPs at present have nursing as their primary profession. 

ACCPs can:

  • Undertake comprehensive clinical assessment of a patient’s condition
  • Request and perform diagnostic tests
  • Initiate and manage a clinical treatment plan
  • Provide accurate and effective clinical handovers
  • Undertake invasive interventions within the scope of practice
  • Provide professional leadership and support within a multi-professional team
  • Work autonomously in recognised situations
  • Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge across a range of subject areas relevant to the field of critical care
  • Critically analyse, evaluate and synthesise different sources of information for the purpose of assessing and managing the care of a critically ill patient
  • Apply the principles of diagnosis and clinical reasoning that underlie clinical judgement and decision making
  • Apply theory to practice through a clinical decision-making model
  • Apply the principles of therapeutics and safe prescribing
  • Understand the professional accountability and legal frameworks for advanced practice
  • Function at an advanced level of practice as part of the multidisciplinary team as determined by the competency framework
  • Apply the principles of evidence-based practice to the management of the critically ill patient
  • Understand and perform clinical audit

ACCPs must complete a programme leading to an appropriate Postgraduate Diploma/Masters degree with a Higher Education Institution.  Teaching within hospitals is overseen by a Local Clinical Lead (LCL) who holds an honorary appointment with the HEI and is responsible to the HEI for the delivery of the clinical components of training. The Department of Health National Education and Competence Framework for ACCPs can be found in the related downloads section below.

The ACCP Advisory Group have produced an information leaflet for patients and relatives. You can download and print a copy here

Useful Links

The ICS is the representative body in the UK for ICM professionals and patients


The SICS is the representative body in Scotland for ICM professionals and patients


The nursing and midwifery regulator for the UK


The health and care professionals regulator for the UK


The RCN represents nurses and nursing


The CSP represents Physiotherapists


Crit-IQ is an online resource containing all of the latest information in the world of critical care. The resource will appeal to all levels of clinicians and can be accessed by paying a yearly subscription fee.


Critical Care Reviews is a free, not-for-profit, educational critical care resource. The site offers many resources, including a journal watch facility, weekly newsletter, the largest structured collection of accessible critical care review articles on the internet, links to major studies and guidelines, as well as links to free vodcasts, podcasts, and a vast array of journals, societies, groups and websites.


e-Learning Anaesthesia is an online learning resource available for free to all healthcare professionals working within the NHS. You should already have received your username and password, if you haven't please contact the FICM to register.