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Healthcare Practice - Advancing Healthcare Practice

This qualification will help you develop the knowledge, understanding and skills that you need in order to take the lead in improving the quality of healthcare in your local setting, whatever your role. You will investigate the theory and practice of healthcare improvement, exploring what healthcare improvement means and how it can be achieved through change agency, collaboration and partnership and the field of improvement science – situating these core themes within a global context and investigating their impact on local practice. Throughout your studies you will apply your learning to the context of your own health improvement environment.

Key features of the course
• Develops your leadership skills in relation to policy, innovation and service improvement
• Draws on a range of evidence and case material from both within and outside the UK
• Strong emphasis on critical thinking, reflective practice and digital, information and academic literacy skills
• Support for transition to postgraduate level study.

This certificate is the first stage of a study programme that progresses to a postgraduate diploma and finally a masters degree. You can step off at any stage, or study the whole programme.

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
• Knowledge and understanding
• Cognitive skills
• Practical and professional skills
• Key skills

Entry requirements

It is a requirement that you have:
• a degree (FHEQ Level 6 / SCQF Level 9), conferred by a UK university or other recognised degree-awarding body

• access to a setting related to healthcare

• spoken and written English of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.


Minimum - 1 year.

This qualification comprises one module (K827). The minimum time to complete this qualification is one year and most students complete this qualification within this timescale. Once you have registered for this qualification, you must complete it within four years.

Number of credits

60 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
This is a UK qualification with international relevance that will be of interest to people who are seeking to improve practice in a wide range of healthcare settings. Whilst the qualification does not lead to a professional registration it is of relevance to a diverse range of employment roles and career options within or related to the field of healthcare improvement.

This qualification has strong links to developing and supporting career planning and employability skills.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.

Further enquiries

Tel: (01) 678 5399
Fax: (01) 678 5442

Subjects taught

To gain this qualification, you need:
60 credits from the following:
Compulsory module
Leading healthcare improvements (K827)
This module will help you develop leadership skills in relation to healthcare improvements, innovation and policy.

The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.


On completion
On successful completion of the required modules, you can be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Advancing Healthcare Practice, entitling you to use the letters PG Cert Adv HCP (Open) after your name.

You may continue your studies to gain the Postgraduate Diploma in Advancing Healthcare Practice (E46) and the MSc in Advancing Healthcare Practice (F52).

Recognition in your country
If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.

Credit transfer
For this qualification, we do not allow you to count credit for study you have already done elsewhere.

However if you are planning to continue your studies beyond the postgraduate certificate, it is important to note that up to 60 credits at postgraduate level are allowed against the Postgraduate Diploma in Advancing Healthcare Practice (E46) subject to some restrictions (refer to information on the postgraduate diploma for further information).

Visit our Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!