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Professional Development

Are you trained to do the job you do?


As a busy healthcare professional, your own professional development can be the last thing on your mind when you are trying to deliver high quality care to your patients as well as dealing with all the everyday matters of working in primary and community care. However, it is the responsibility of every healthcare professional to ensure that they are trained appropriately to be able to deliver the management and care they are required to perform.

PCRS-UK has developed a document called Fit to Care which provides concise information to help:

  • Guide healthcare professionals to facilitate and deliver high quality respiratory care in line with national evidence-based guidance
  • Aid healthcare professionals to assess their own competence to deliver such care, and identify and seek appropriate training and ongoing professional development supported by their employers
  • Support all healthcare professionals to be accountable and trained to provide such care to a given standard, thereby reducing variation in care and ensuring patients can expect to receive high quality evidence based respiratory care irrespective of who is delivering such care or where in the community that care is being provided
  • Provide a reference for service managers to ensure the provision of appropriate educational support programmes for employed healthcare professionals

The document sets out the key skills knowledge and training required for those healthcare professionals working at the following three different levels:

Level Skills, Knowledge and Training Recommended activities to support professional development


Standard: For healthcare professionals working with patients with accurately diagnosed respiratory disease or those working as generalists who are in a position to opportunistically consider an underlying or undiagnosed respiratory condition

Skills, knowledge and training Recommended activities



Advanced: Individuals will be able to work autonomously with patients living with respiratory disease (e.g. running respiratory clinics). This includes, but is not limited to, responsibility for assessing, treating, reviewing and providing ongoing management and support including smoking cessation counselling (with support/supervision where necessary)

Skills, knowledge and training Recommended activities



Expert: For healthcare professionals working at a high level with complex patients requiring extensive multifaceted intervention including those:
- with worsening/progressive/poorly managed symptoms
- living with co-morbidities/multiple diagnoses
- living with mental health conditions including, but not limited to, addiction and substance misuse

Skills, knowledge and training Recommended activities

Other tools to support professional development

Reflective practice is an important component of continuing professional development and the governing bodies of most professional groups require their members to submit detailed records as part of the revalidation/accreditation process.

This guide to reflective practice document explains the principles of reflection; the process by which healthcare professionals can critically evaluate their own responses to the way things are done and the care that is delivered in order to gain new understanding and improve future practice. This is part of the process of lifelong learning.

This nurse self-rating checklist provides advice and guidance to nurses working in primary care/community care who have an interest or responsibilities in respiratory medicine and wish to reflect this in their appraisal documentation. The checklist may help the user to prepare for revalidation and identify training needs.
This GP self-rating checklist helps GPs to evaluate knowledge/confidence and can be used in collaboration with a friend or mentor to test self-perceptions and identify areas for further development.
This GP appraisal guide document provides advice and guidance to general practitioners working in primary care who have an interest or responsibilities in respiratory medicine and wish to reflect this in their appraisal documentation. Guidance is provided depending on the position of the GP within their organisation.
This article from Primary Care Respiratory Update (Spring 2016) features interviews with Jane Scullion (PCRS-UK Trustee and Respiratory Nurse Consultant at Leicester General Hospital), Dr Steve Holmes, Education Lead at PCRS-UK, Associate Postgraduate Dean for Health Education England (South West), Clinical Respiratory Lead for Somerset CCG and a Trustee of Education for Health, Monica Fletcher Chief Executive at Education for Health and Gail Plester, Nurse Practitioner, Brinklow who all discuss the role and value of ongoing professional development and education in delivering high quality, high value respiratory care.
These eLearning modules can be used to update and expand your understanding of respiratory care, while also meeting your CPD requirements.