The aim of the PGCert in the Interpretation and Clinical Application of Genomic Data is to develop the student as a self-reliant and autonomous learner, capable of independent and novel thinking and having developed the skills to enable them to apply their learning to clinical practice.
The learning objectives will be achieved through a teaching scheme delivered through three key domains: knowledge, skills and attitudes. The acquisition of knowledge will be achieved through a blended learning approach of face-to-face/online teaching sessions and workshops and self-directed learning through online and library resources. A secure knowledge base will then provide a platform to develop the skills of data interpretation in the context of clinical phenotyping. This will primarily be achieved through engagement at workshop sessions, assignments and portfolio development. The third domain, attitude, emphasises the need for the clinician to develop the skills to effectively communicate complex genomic data and discuss ethical considerations such as the identification of incidental findings.
The PGCert in the Interpretation and Clinical Application of Genomic Data consists of four modules to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to advance your understanding in the interpretation and clinical application of genomic data.
Understanding genetic technologies
- Demonstrate knowledge and applicability of the principles behind commonly used molecular techniques
- Evaluate which laboratory investigations are most suitable for a given clinical scenario
- Critically review the processes used in issuing a laboratory report from sample checking to issuing of a diagnostic report
- Demonstrate an in depth understanding of the methodology of at least four molecular genetic techniques
- Design a panel of genes for analysis using next generation sequencing technologies applicable to a specific clinical phenotype
Clinical Interpretation of genomic data
- Analyse the key features of a genetic variant which affect the prior likelihood of pathogenicity
- Critically examine the clinical context within which a genetic variant will be interpreted
- Apply in silico variant analysis tools to evaluate genetic variants
- Critically evaluate the report generated by in silico variant analysis tools
- Demonstrate the interrogation of population level genomic databases with respect to a specific genetic variant
- Demonstrate the interrogation of mutation databases with respect to a specific genetic variant
- Critically evaluate the medical literature regarding a specific genetic variant
Communication of genetic information and ethics
- Communicate complex genetic data to patients/families effectively and sensitively
- Critically evaluate the ethical issues surrounding consent for genetic testing with an understanding and explanation of incidental findings.
- Communicate complex information about variants of unknown significance effectively to patients/families
- Evaluate the ethical considerations of genetic testing and be able to formulate cogent arguments for and against testing in specific clinical scenarios
Personal and professional development portfolio
- Assemble a portfolio that demonstrates learning and progression in the application of genetic technologies, the interpretation of genomic data and the communication of complex genetic information to patients
- Demonstrate application of the approaches undertaken in the clinical interpretation of genomic data
- Critically appraise the medical literature relevant to the interpretation of genetic data
- Reflect on the effect of genetic test results on the patient and other healthcare professionals
- Reflect on their communication skills when imparting complex genetic information to patients/families and the language that should be used in the development of patient/family directed literature
- Propose and justify approaches to continuing professional development
Funding is limited to NHS healthcare professionals working in England from the full range of professional backgrounds and groups (such as medicine, nursing, healthcare scientists and technologists). To take the PGCert programme, individual professionals will be expected to meet the standard entry requirements for the university to which they are applying. Typically, this will include having a good first degree and minimum English language requirements. They will also need to have the support of their employing organisation.
Please check with your preferred university to obtain details of the entry criteria and timing before going through the funding application process.
The funding application process in full
To apply for HEE-funded PGCert in the Interpretation and Clinical Application of Genomic Data you will need to first apply to the Genomics Education Programme for funding to cover the course fees and you will also need to go through the master’s application process with your chosen university.
The process for applying comprises 6 steps. Please complete all of steps 1 to 4 to ensure your application is dealt with as quickly as possible.
- First, check that you are eligible for HEE PGCert funding according to the funding rules outlined above.
- You should then decide which of the universities you will be applying to. A full list university providers are identified below. Click on their logos for more information.
- You should discuss your proposed application, as well as your application for HEE funding with your line manager.
- Having secured your manager’s approval to undertake the PGCert, you should complete the appropriate university application process in addition to the HEE funding application.
- HEE Genomics Education Programme will assess completed funding applications within two weeks of receipt of your managers approval. Funding decisions will be made by the Genomics Education Programme team and ratified by the Senior Responsible Officer.
- If funding is approved, HEE Genomics Education Programme will inform:
- The applicant
- The employer
- The relevant training lead within the applicant’s HEE Local Education and Training Board
- The applicant’s NHS England Genomic Medicine Centre (where applicable).
Frequently Asked Questions
The NHS trust that employs me is not part of a designated Genomic Medicine Centre (GMC). Can I still apply for funding?
I have been awarded funding, started the programme but I am unable to complete the programme. What are my options?
Funding is awarded for the period specified in the application form and there is no automatic ability to defer completion of the programme. You should speak to your preferred University provider in the first instance about your situation and also contact the Genomics Education Programme team regarding funding.
You may choose to reduce the workload of your programme by switching from a full MSc to a Diploma or Certificate. See the relevant pages of this website for more information or contact your course provider.
How much study time is required to undertake this programme?
Study time will vary across the delivery partners. You are advised to visit your preferred University website site for more information or to contact the relevant course lead. Most modules generally involve approximately 5 days of face to face teaching, followed by between 2-4 weeks of independent study and assessment preparation.
A distance learning option is provided at Queen Mary University of London.
Can I build up my CPPD modules to a full Master’s, PGDip or PGCert qualification?
The process and ability to do this will be dependent on your preferred University and you should contact them to discuss available options.
I am eligible but have been refused a commissioned place – why?
This may be due to the following potential reasons:
- The University you have applied for has used up all its commissioned allocations
- The total number of available national commissions have been fully allocated
- We are now applying controls to the commissioned places based on healthcare profession roles to provide some equitable access across professions on a national scale
I am not eligible for a HEE funded commissioned place – can I self-fund?
This should be discussed with your preferred University
Do you have to have the university place confirmed before you submit an application for funding?
No – as long as the programme start date for your preferred University falls within the specified academic year for the funding application period.
I work for an organisation that provides services to the NHS – am I eligible to apply?
Yes – please provide details in the additional information section of the funding application form.