A group of nurses walking through a hospital

Have your say on the key genomics competencies required of all nurses in the UK

A revised genomics competency framework for nurses is being opened to consultation

We are inviting feedback on a revised framework that sets out the key competencies required of all nurses in a modern genomics health service.

Developed in partnership with nurses, the framework is a revision of an existing competency framework from 2010, which was itself a revision of the original framework established in 2003 for the Department of Health. This latest revision reflects the advances in genomics within the NHS. We would now like to open this framework for wider consultation.

What is in the framework?

The framework defines eight core competencies that the Genomics Education Programme and associated expert authors believe all nurses will require as genomics becomes embedded in routine care. These core competencies can then be built upon or incorporated into other frameworks for more specialist roles.

An expert steering group has provided advice and guidance on the approach to the revision, and a consensus workshop involving representatives from nursing practice, education and policy has been used to develop the framework using patient case studies, identifying additions, omissions and deletions to the existing eight competencies.

Why is the framework needed?

Expansion of genomic services within the NHS is leading to increased utilisation and routine application of genomic testing. Forming the largest workforce in the NHS, nurses will play an integral role in supporting patients and their families undergoing genomic testing and will need the right knowledge, skills and behaviour to help them do so effectively.

How will the framework be used?

The framework aims to provide a comprehensive learning foundation for all practising nurses. It can be used by individuals as a guide to help them identify their learning needs, and by managers to ensure their nursing staff have the required knowledge and skills. For educators and trainers, the framework provides a mechanism to recognise training needs, to define curricula and structure training so that genomics education can be delivered consistently and appropriately in pre- and post-registration environments.

A second piece of work is planned to define learning outcomes and practice indicators for each competency, with associated educational resources that will support the use of this framework in practice and education.

Have your say

Before the framework is finalised, we are inviting stakeholders to review and comment on the current framework in an open consultation.

Whether you’re a practising nurse or nurse educator, or you work in other areas of nursing – or even if you’ve simply been treated by a nursing team within the NHS – help shape genomics education in nursing by reviewing the revised competency framework and completing our feedback form. The consultation will be open until 8 November 2022.

If you have any questions while reviewing the framework, please get in touch with Edward.Miller@hee.nhs.uk.


We would like to thank everyone involved with this piece of work, including those who shared their stories for the case studies.