quote HEE facebook linkedin twitter bracketDetail search file-download keyboard-arrow-down keyboard-arrow-right close event-note

Community Education Provider Networks

Community Educational Provider Networks (CEPNs) are an exciting new development which are intended to support healthcare provider communities through the consolidation and skilling up of their workforces. 


The potential of community based networks to identify workforce and training needs and to respond and deliver on these, is recognised by Health Education England (HEE) as being an important step in sustaining and transforming primary and community care.

In the south west, the establishment of these networks is being driven by a joint Health Education England and West of England and South West Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) collaboration and in the longer term it is intended these networks become self-supporting and directing.

What is a CEPN?

Learning networks have a variety of names; Community Educational Provider Networks in London (the name we have adopted), Advanced Training practices in Yorkshire and Training Hubs in this national programme which HEE is funding.  The functions however are the same in all of them;

  • Supporting workforce planning;
  • Responding to local workforce need;
  • Coordinating educational programmes;
  • Ensuring educational quality;
  • Developing a faculty of trainers;
  • Supporting development of the existing workforce and fostering innovation.

What a CEPN should look like?

  • CEPNs will be led by primary care providers, i.e. groups of GPs and GP practices. In areas where there is a well-established network or federation of provider practices this group may be able to take over the CEPN function. In areas without such existing groupings GP practices will need to work together to establish a network. CCGs and other parties may be able to assist with this.
  • CEPNs must include other local stakeholders in setting up their network.  Examples include; CCGs, RCGP faculty, LMCs, community pharmacies, local Community of Practice leads for Nursing, Universities, Community Trusts, Voluntary organisations, NHS England and patient groups
  • Each CEPN will be required to have a clinical lead.
  • Each CEPN will need a project manager (usually part-time) and will be supported by the AHSN.
  • A CEPN must have a steering group or board to monitor its activity and provide accountability. This group should have representation from the stakeholder organisations and patient groups.
  • CEPNs should provide evidence of achievement against agreed outcomes to receive continuing funding. These may be different for different networks and can be set using some of the functions listed above. We encourage you to try to come up with a small number of achievable targets initially; ‘quick wins’.

The role of the AHSNs in the CEPNs includes:

  • Reviewing bid proposals;
  • Providing feedback;
  • Assisting with next steps;
  • Mapping the CEPNs coverage to ensure 100% of the geography of the region is covered;
  • Resolving any boundary issues to ensure that 100% of GP practices have the opportunity to be included. This may require discussions with the CCG and GPs in localities where no expression of interest or proposal has been received;
  • Awarding the HEE funding when appropriate in a phased and timely manner;
  • Supporting the networks to get established and to develop their workforce planning;
  • Supporting the networks to access HESW funded workforce development education resources;
  • Supporting the development of new roles in primary and community services to address workforce priorities;
  • Sharing best practice across the south west, identify opportunities for collaboration between deferment geographies who have common interests;
  • Developing  a communication strategy and supporting arrangements which keep the relevant stakeholders engaged;
  • Providing a quarterly performance report to the HEE south west team.

There is funding available to support the network setup costs.  There is no new funding for the provision of education.

The networks will be abel to access the recently awarded contracts for the provision of primary and community education, which were awarded to the University of Plymouth and University of the West of England.

Information on CEPN developments by other HEE teams can be viewed via the links below: 

For further information on the south west CEPNs, please contact the Programme Management Office pmo.projectteam@southwest.hee.nhs.uk

CEPN or hub page

Find out more about the national training hubs programme (CEPN) and other training hubs’ work through the national page.

Population health page

Find out more about our national activity on population health, what other areas are doing to promote this area locally, on the dedicated national page.


This Page was last updated on: 5 May 2016

If you found this content useful you can share it on your favourite social network:

Or just grab the url to share wherever you like: