Damar has pioneered the development of a specialist apprenticeship for medical administrators within the NHS and other healthcare organisations, which includes the AMSPAR (The Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers and Receptionists) Award/Certificate in Medical Terminology. Using the Level 3 Business Administrator Standard we have embedded within the programme the specialist knowledge, skills and behaviours required of administrators working in healthcare.
Roles undertaken by Damar’s medical administration apprentices include:
- Ward clerk
- Medical secretary
Employers wanting to offer the Medical Admin Apprenticeship can contact us for further information. If you're looking for apprenticeship vacancies, please follow the link to see what we are currently offering.
Business Administrator Apprenticeship Standard
Apprentices undertaking this apprenticeship gain a highly transferable set of knowledge, skills and behaviours that can be applied across the healthcare sector. In addition to learning how to develop, implement, maintain and improve administrative services in their organisation, they will develop key skills and behaviours to support their own progression towards management responsibilities.
For AMSPAR, apprentices learn the basics of medical terminology including areas such as prescription abbreviations, anatomical names and cancer terminology. The apprenticeship will provide them with a basic knowledge of the structure of National Health Service and an understanding of health and safety, employment legislation and the principles of data protection.
Apprentices must deliver their responsibilities efficiently and with integrity – showing a positive attitude. As part of the apprenticeship they will develop and demonstrate strong communication skills and adopt a proactive approach to developing skills. The apprentice is also expected to show initiative, managing priorities and own time, problem-solving skills, decision-making and the potential for people management responsibilities.
The Damar Difference
Our Medical Administrator Apprenticeship standard has many unique features which healthcare employers can take advantage of:
- We have extensive experience in working with healthcare organisations, including the NHS
- We are able to match each apprentice with the most relevant coaches and subject specialists to help them achieve their full potential
- We offer an account managed service, with employers able to view and track the progress of all of their apprentices
- We provide the opportunity for apprentices to engage with each other, through the use of group workshops and discussion forums
Medical Admin Training Delivery Model
This apprenticeship takes about 15 months. Apprentices will have a coach who will help students and their employer to design their programme and keep the apprentice on track with their learning goals.
The delivery will be a blend of:
- Online content supporting the development of relevant knowledge, behaviours and skills
- 1:1 and group workshops with expert input, to underpin the e-learning content
- Review meetings with their Damar coach
Over the course of the apprenticeship, students will build an electronic portfolio of evidence that showcases their knowledge, skills and behaviours. If students do not already have maths and English at level 2 or above they will also study these as part of the apprenticeship.
The specialist content includes:
- Medical Terminology - Optional AMSPAR: This will teach apprentices the meanings of medical terminology relating to medical specialities and the various pharmaceutical abbreviations:
- Medical Administration: This will teach apprentices to understand the roles and responsibilities of the Medical Administrator:
- Managing Communication in a Medical Environment: This focuses on administering meetings, understanding oral communication and in turn summarising and presenting data to be used in a medical environment.
People of all ages and educational backgrounds can become apprentices, but there are some restrictions, the most important of which are:
- The employer and the training provider must ascertain that the apprenticeship will allow the individual to gain substantive new skills. The training therefore needs to be materially different from any prior qualification or previous apprenticeship;
- The apprentice must be employed, usually for 30+ hours a week, and work more than 50% of their time in England;
- The period of teaching and learning must be at least 12 months and, during this time, apprentices are expected to spend at least 20% of their time in “off the job” training.
Employers that pay the Apprenticeship Levy are able to pay all of the training costs from their Apprenticeship Levy account.
Employers that do not pay the levy, as well as large employers who have spent their levy budget, pay just 5% of the overall cost, with the government paying the balance. For employers with fewer than 50 employees the 5% contribution is waived for apprentices aged 16-18.
For a newly recruited apprentice, the current grants are £3,000 for employers taking on 16 to 18 year olds; £2,000 for 19-24 year olds and £1,500 at 25+.
There is never any cost to the apprentice, although apprentices’ salaries may reflect the investment being made by the employer.
Medical Administrator Apprentices can go onto higher level qualifications such as an apprenticeship in team leading and management or a part-time management degree.
The Benefits of Medical Admin Apprenticeships
Healthcare organisations can gain many benefits from using this apprenticeship standard to recruit new staff or upskill existing employees:
- Improve customer service and patient care
- Increase staff loyalty and retention
- Increase capacity of medical staff by reducing their admin duties
Damar Training has worked with many NHS Trusts across England for many years.
"The support for apprentices is incredibly useful for starting a career with us. At the beginning of the programme, they learn about the organisation’s structure, health and safety, policies and procedures. The apprentices also work in a number of different services during the programme, which gives them a taste of the many career opportunities available within our trust.
"Since joining us 12 months ago, our apprentices have grown in confidence, improved their communication and customer service skills and learned how to manage many different situations.
"They have a fantastic work ethic and play a major part in every team they work in. They are very fast learners who develop new skills every day. We have been hugely impressed by how reliable, adaptable, willing to learn and enthusiastic they have been from the very beginning.
Our staff and apprentices are learning new things from each other all the time. The apprentices have fantastic computer skills and are teaching our staff new ways of working."