Scottish Government: Allied Health Professions – education and workforce policy review: recommendations

Julie Rankin, Professional Officer of Scotland, briefly outlines the five themes of the Scottish Government officials' implementation plan

Published: 05 April 2023 Scotland

In 2021, the Scottish Government commissioned a National Allied Health Professions (AHP) Strategic Oversight Group to review AHP Education including workforce considerations.

The reviews aim was to consider necessary actions to deliver an AHP education and workforce plan that would fit the purpose of future needs for Scotland. Contributions from varied and extensive stakeholders provided output used to form recommendations on five themes.

In February 2023 the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Mr Yousaf, instructed Scottish Government officials to develop an implementation plan based on these five themes. 

The five themes consisted of:

  1. Workforce and Recruitment
  2. Education Solutions
  3. Practice Based Learning
  4. Advancing Practice
  5. Research, Innovation, and Relationships

A brief outline of the themes is below with a link to the document for full consideration.

Workforce and Recruitment

Centralisation of AHP data is essential to better align current and future AHP workforce requirements.

National job planning.

Analysis of professional specific challenges to recruitment and retention of staff.

Improved data on student attrition and destination to support workforce planning requirements for education and service providers.

Workload measurement tools to encompass the Four Pillars of practice.

Education Solutions

Flexible “Earn as you Learn” routes aligned to the NHS Career Framework.

Urgent implementation of accessible, innovative, sustainable solutions to fund earn as you learn routes to increase the AHP workforce.

Practice Based Learning

Proportionally equitable distribution of NHS-based practice-based learning opportunities between Higher Education Institutes (HEI’s) and NHS Boards.

A central digital quality management system to support efficient, effective governance and quality management of practice-based learning, minimising workload.

Value Practice Based Learning as a core element of everyone's practice. Inclusion of Practice Based Learning in individual career conversations, career pathways including a formalised framework for all career levels.

Advancing Practice

Advancing Practice maximisation for AHP’s developed using a national approach through a consistently named and applied career framework and educational pathway

Service Needs Analyses to identify AHP workforce requirement across Scotland

Consistent national learning needs analysis for AHP’s linked to national learning framework and clear career pathways

Building on the Scottish Radiology Transformation Programme (SRTP)

Sustainable mechanisms for accrediting practice at Agenda for Change level 7

Facilitate budgets for a coordinated and equitable approach to sustainable Scotland wide advancing practice education structure.

Research, Innovation and Relationships

Create an active, inclusive research strategy that addresses the capacity, capability, leadership and culture within all AHP services

Develop collaborative relationships between HEI’s, Further Education Institutes and all NHS Boards to facilitate a culture of research activity by AHP’s

AHP leaders at all levels actively promote research as a core part of service delivery.


The full policy review can be found here:

Allied Health Professions – education and workforce policy review: recommendations


The Society of Radiographers will be working nationally to explore how the SoR can work with and influence these outcomes for Radiography.  The SoR are members of the Allied Health Professions Federation Scotland who will be engaged to support the emerging workstreams.


Julie Rankin

Professional Officer for Scotland and Radiation Protection