New competency framework for genomic testing

The GEP has developed a cross-professional framework to support clinicians facilitating genomic testing

With the roll-out of the NHS Genomic Medicine Service, patients across England gain equity of access to genomic testing for the first time, including whole genome sequencing for certain rare diseases and cancers. Healthcare professionals will need to be equipped to facilitate patient consent to these tests, and provide the information and support required.

To support this, the Genomics Education Programme has developed a competency framework that identifies eight areas of proficiency to facilitate and consent patients to genomic tests. It is intended as a cross-professional guide for best practice, and has been designed around four categories of healthcare professionals based on their training and experience with genomics.

Using the framework

The competency framework can be used by individual healthcare professionals as a guide to help them identify their learning needs.

For educators, the framework provides a mechanism to recognise the training needs of health professional groups, and to structure training so that consent conversions about genomic testing can be delivered consistently across different specialties.

In addition, the competencies can be used to evaluate how consent is being facilitated in different practice areas to enhance the delivery of genomic medicine.

Feedback on the framework

The consent competency framework was developed in consultation with healthcare professionals, professional bodies and medical Royal Colleges. We will continue to review the framework on a regular basis, and welcome feedback. You can view the framework here.