Consultation (ended)

We are seeking feedback on the draft documents of The Competence Framework for Physician Associates in Mental Health by 5pm on Monday 15 November.

A brief overview of the competence framework

This framework is designed to reflect the work of physician associates in mental health (MH PAs), whose generalist medical education enables them to provide holistic care and treatment as part of a multidisciplinary team.

The competence framework tries to set out the knowledge, abilities, values and other attributes of a MH PA in a way that stays true to the defined scope of practice. It also tries to make clear the core expectations of the role and the responsibilities of employers for the training, support and personal development of MH PAs working in their organisations. The framework includes additional skills that some MH PAs may wish to develop, to improve the support they can offer to individuals and to groups.

The competences are set out as lists and organised by domain, describing in detail behaviourally specific skills or abilities a physician associate is expected to have, or what they need to do to achieve competence in that area. The framework aims to capture and reflect the diversity of physician associate role across a number of settings by covering the progression of skills from foundational or core skills to more specialist areas of competence that require further training and development.

How this framework was developed

The NCCMH was commissioned by the College to develop a competence framework with supporting documents, curriculum and a training package for peer support workers in mental health. The framework was co-produced with an Expert Reference Group (ERG) comprising physician associates, as well as researchers, trainers and experts by experience.

The competence framework drew on existing literature and competence frameworks for mental health roles and was guided by expert opinion and experiential knowledge within the ERG.

Draft documents for consultation

Supporting document

The draft document (click below to view and download) is an orientation to the framework, including the values and principles that underpin the MH PA role, an overview of the competences, how the competence map should be used and how the framework relates to the curriculum, and the competence map, which is a visual representation of the framework. 

Please read and review this document prior to reviewing the competence framework detail.

The Competence Framework for Physician Associates in Mental Health: Full listings of the competences 

Download all of the seven documents below. Each document contains one domain of competences, as shown on the map in the supporting document. Together, these 7 domains make up the complete competence framework 


The documents contain a lot of detail and content, so we acknowledge that some people may find it difficult to review them all. This is because the full listing of the competences document aims to capture and reflect the diversity in the MH PA role across a number of settings, and to ensure that training and development is inclusive and standardised. An accessible summary or easy read version of the framework will be developed for the final publication.

How to give feedback

  • Add your feedback to the comments table (available below), including which document and section you are referring to.
  • If you are suggesting changes, please suggest specific text/content that you think we should use, and indicate clearly where it should be.
  • Please send your completed comments table to  Eva.Gautam-Aitken@rcpsych.ac.uk
  • The deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Monday 15 November 2021.
  • Feedback will not be accepted if it is (a) submitted in any format other than the comments table provided or (b) received after the deadline. 
  • If you have any queries about the consultation or feedback process, or about the project, please email  Eva.Gautam-Aitken@rcpsych.ac.uk.

Please consider the following questions when reviewing the documents:

  • What are your overall thoughts on the competence framework, including the language and tone?
  • Is there anything substantial missing from the competence framework or supporting background document that should be included? If so, please specify and indicate the text or content that could be included.
  • Is there any text/content you think does not belong in the framework or supporting document? If you think something should be removed, please explain why.
  • Are there any sections or topics that you think should be changed? If so, please suggest specific changes that can be made to the text or content.

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