Health (Emergency Care Assistance) (England)

Framework status: Archived » Go to current (latest) issue of this framework

Framework details

Framework ID: FR01954
Issue number: 6
Issued: 29 January 2013

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Health (Emergency Care Assistance) (England)
(PDF document 1.91 MB)

Issued by
Skills for Health

Contact name: Anne Clarke
Telephone number: 0117 9221155
Please download the framework for email contact information.


An Apprenticeship is a job with an accompanying skills development programme designed by employers in the sector. It allows the apprentice to gain technical knowledge and real practical experience along with functional and personal skills, required for their immediate job and future career. These are acquired through a mix of learning in the workplace, formal off the job training and the opportunity to practice and embed new skills in a real work context. On completion of the Apprenticeship, an apprentice will be able to undertake the full range of duties, in the range of circumstances appropriate to the job, confidently and competently to the standard set by the health sector

About the health sector:
The health sector comprises those working in the NHS (public sector) as well as for voluntary and private healthcare providers and employs over 2 million people. The range of roles within the sector is very varied and the NHS careers site lists in the region of 300 different jobs. Individuals are likely to stay within the health sector for the majority of their working lives although they are also likely to change between different job roles and different employers as their career progresses.

A large proportion of the health sector workforce is female. This is due in part to the flexible terms and conditions many employers offer but also varies from role to role. As a whole the workforce within the health sector tends to reflect the population within the local community it serves. As the UK population as a whole becomes older and lives longer so does the healthcare workforce. Widening participation policies apply and health sector employers recruit accordingly and may use their apprenticeship schemes as a means to address some of these issues.

There are a range of challenges for the health sector as a whole: an ageing population creates higher demand for services and ongoing care; patients have a greater choice of which services and treatments they access; and the current economic climate means that budgets are tight. Apprenticeships are one of the many ways in which employers within the health sector are seeking to address some of these increasing pressures.

About this framework:
This framework supports the broad vision of the sector to develop an increasingly skilled, flexible and effective workforce whilst maintaining high quality and safe care for patients and addresses specific outcomes of the Skills for Health Sector Skills Assessment 2011. -sector-skills-assessment-2011.html

Skills for Health is committed to engaging with employers, professional bodies and other stakeholders in the development of Apprenticeship frameworks. Engagement and consultation is through meetings including face to face and teleconferences and e-consultation. Consultation ensured that employer views are reflected in this framework the on the minimum duration, the on and off the job Guided Learning Hours, whether to include ICT functional Skills and the use of a QCF qualification to meet the requirements for ERR and PLTS. Apprentices will learn new skills and knowledge whilst carrying out real work as part of the healthcare team.  Each apprentice is employed under terms and conditions laid out in an Apprenticeship Agreement between employer and apprentice (applicable to all apprenticeships that commence after 6 April 2012) and are paid at least the applicable rate under the Apprenticeship National Minimum Wage.

About the role:
The ambulance service has recently undergone a large number of changes. There has been a significant investment in the training and development of ambulance crews resulting in more effective patient care than ever before. Each year about one in twenty people in the United Kingdom will use the accident and emergency ambulance service.

The accident and emergency service deals with emergency and urgent cases as well as the more complex non-emergency admissions, discharges and transfers. Typically emergency ambulance crews comprise an Emergency Care Assistant and a Paramedic and the vehicles themselves are designed to provide a clinical workplace with the maximum mobility.

Ambulance crews are highly trained in all aspects of pre hospital emergency care ranging from crush injuries to cardiac arrest, whilst ambulances are equipped with a wide range of emergency care equipment such as heart defibrillators, oxygen, intravenous drips, spinal and traction splints and a variety of drugs for medical and traumatic emergencies. Crews have to be highly skilled and able to treat and stabilise patients before movement to hospitals without unnecessary delay, they need to be quick thinking and decisive, yet able to provide a calm and reassuring environment for patients and relatives.

Increasingly, ambulance staff will carry out and interpret more diagnostic tests and undertake basic procedures in the home. They will also be able to refer patients to social care services, directly admit patients to specialist units, and prescribe a wider range of medications. 

The work of Emergency Care Assistants is varied and demanding. Crews rarely know in advance the severity of the emergency to which they are responding; they can range between minor injuries to a road accident involving seriously injured casualties. This framework aims to provide the skills and knowledge required to become a competent Emergency Care Assistant working at the heart of the emergency care workforce.

This framework is aimed at workers who may be employed in occupations with the title Emergency Care Assistant.

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Health (Emergency Care Assistance) (England)
(PDF document 1.91 MB)