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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

Medical Associate Professions commission

Medical Associate Professions commission

Medical Associate Professions commission

The Scottish Government appointed NES to carry out a commission on Medical Associate Professions (MAPs). There is a background paper on our Turas Learn pages.

The commission included scoping of current and future demand. And opportunities arising for MAPs roles across Scotland. An educational needs analysis will also accompany this work.

The four roles under consideration in this commission are:

  • physician associate (PA)
  • anaesthesia associate (AA)
  • surgical care practitioner (SCP)
  • advanced critical care practitioner (ACCP)

Find out more about our work on our Turas Learn pages.

Work began in February 2022 and is now well underway.

Stakeholder workshop

Representatives from territorial and national boards, a range of professional and partner organisations and practitioners attended the first stakeholder workshop - which took place on 12 April 2022. The event generated valuable debate and received positive feedback.

The word cloud below captures people’s thoughts on the MAPs Commission.

NES conference

The MAPs team led a seminar on ‘Workforce Diversification and Opportunity Combined’ as part of NES Annual Virtual Conference in April 2022. It explored the work programme in NES, responding to the Scottish Government MAPs Commission.

The session enabled:

  • An understanding of MAPs roles in scope of the commission; role definition, development and potential for application.
  • Discussion and debate with delegates as stakeholders in this workstream.
  • Confirmation of the timeline and activity scoping these roles for application in NHS Scotland.

Anyone who missed either of these events can watch recordings.

Karen Wilson, NES Deputy Chief Executive (Clinical) and Director of Nursing, said:

“NES is pleased to be leading the work to further diversify the workforce through developing Medical Associate Professions such as Physician Associates, Anaesthesia Associates and Surgical Care Practitioners. We will be exploring workforce demand, educational routes, career development and on-going CPD needs. MAPs are a key element of health care teams supporting acute, primary and social care services and can work in many different settings such as mental health, national treatment centres, perioperative and acute care”

Professor Rowan Parks, NES Deputy Director of Medicine added:

“Critical to developing this part of the workforce will be NES’ engagement and collaboration with multiple stakeholders and partners, including Territorial Health Boards, Regional Workforce Groups, Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative, Scottish Ambulance Service, Professional Bodies including the Medical Royal Colleges and various Professional Associations”

Workforce scoping and Literature review

Following the first stage of workforce scoping, analysis is being carried out. And will be available in due course. The findings of which will support the next stage of work, by informing the educational needs analysis.

We have published a literature review by NES Knowledge Services which identifies the evidence base on four MAP professions in healthcare.

For more information or to join our mailing list contact us at

Follow us @NES_education #NESScotMaps


June, 22 2022