Publication - Corporate report

Transforming Nursing, Midwifery And Health Profession (NMaHP) roles: review of Clinical Nurse Specialist and Nurse Practitioner roles within Scotland

Published: 5 Aug 2021
Chief Nursing Officer Directorate
Part of:
Health and social care

The report of the Short Life Working Group (SLWG) set up by the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) to review the role of the Clinical Nurse Specialist as part of the Transforming Roles Programme, and improve national consistency in Scotland for Clinical Nurse Specialist and Specialist Practitioner roles.

Transforming Nursing, Midwifery And Health Profession (NMaHP) roles: review of Clinical Nurse Specialist and Nurse Practitioner roles within Scotland
Annex H CNS Data Cleansing Guidance: Part 1

Annex H CNS Data Cleansing Guidance: Part 1

For an individual to be recorded as a Level 6 Clinical Nurse Specialist or Nurse Practitioner (CNS or NP), a Level 7 Advanced Practitioner (Advanced CNS or ANP), or NMaHP Consultant Practitioner, they must meet two requirements:

1. the post must be a Specialist Practitioner, Advanced Practitioner or Consultant Practitioner post (as articulated in the job description) and

2. the post-holder must have met all the knowledge, training and experience required for the role.

Data cleanse action flow:

1. Remove Band 5s from the CNS dataset.

2. Examine all posts between Bands 6 and 8C. In consultation with this document, remove individuals who are no longer working as a Clinical Nurse Specialist. Pay particular attention to roles that do not involve face-to-face patient contact.

3. Record all remaining Band 6 posts as Level 6 Clinical Nurse Specialists.

4. Lead CNS posts at Band 7 may undertake the same clinical role as a Level 6 CNS, but have additional managerial, leadership or other responsibilities or they may be Advanced CNS posts, or be a combination of the two.

a. All lead CNSs should be recorded as Level 6.

b. The Job Description of potential ACNS roles should be compared against TR criteria.

i. If it meets ACNS criteria, record as a Level 7 ACNS.

ii. If it doesn't meet ACNS criteria then record as a Level 6 CNS.

5. Posts at Band 8a and above include senior ACNS posts, consultant posts or other leadership roles. Senior ACNS posts are likely to be predominately clinical whereas consultant posts will have significant leadership, education and research responsibilities which will comprise 50% or more of the role.

i. Senior ACNSs should be recorded as a Level 7 ACNS.

ii. Roles meeting Consultant criteria should be recorded as NMaHP Consultants.

iii. Roles that don't clearly meet these criteria should no longer be recorded as CNSs.


  • Trainee CNSs should not be recorded in this dataset until they have completed training and have been appointed into a Band 6 post.
  • The CNS identifier on SWISS is attached to an individual and may still be attached to the individual, and may need to be removed if the individual moves post.
  • Categorising lead CNS posts at Level 6 will have no impact on pay as this is set by Agenda for Change banding.
  • In light of new qualification requirements, data cleanses should be carried out with discretion in regard to staff already working in CNS/ACNS roles.