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National guidance  emphasises the importance of providing appropriate training and support to all healthcare workers who may be involved in the care of these patients. Patients will present to primary, community and urgent care workers, and role-specific appropriate education should be available to ensure that they have the skills required to recognise acute oncology presentations and know how to access support and advice. 

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From June 2022 to June 2024, the Co-design of Acute Oncology Competence Assessment Documents and their Evaluation (CASCADE) project has been underway to create and pilot multidisciplinary standardised Passports to benchmark AO knowledge and skills across four levels of practice. This was a collaborative project funded by NHS England Workforce Education and Training Directorate with support from UKAOS, UKONS and Macmillan Cancer Support, hosted at the Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance. 

We're now pleased to announce the national launch of the AO Competence Assessment Passports at the UK Oncology Forum. The Passports and associated resources can be accessed via the following links:

The project team would like to thank all the acute oncology clinicians who have contributed their time and expertise to the development of the multidisciplinary AO Passports. We hope you find this suite of documents a useful tool in practice to demonstrate achievement of AO competence. 


Much of the training and education is suitable for all members of the multidisciplinary team, so do please move between the page links below and explore what is available.

UKONS Acute Oncology Knowledge and Skills Guidance  

This guidance has been developed by a multidisciplinary group of clinical professionals. The guidance aims to support the delivery of appropriate education and training to address competency for people working in healthcare who may be involved with patients who present with acute oncology problems. The guidance is not discipline specific, but has been developed to address the level of acute oncology skill and knowledge that is required for each worker to fulfil the requirements of their role in the acute oncology patient pathway.







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Guy’s Cancer Academy and King’s College London are welcoming applications for a new online module for registered health professionals who are required to assess and/or manage the care of patients with an acute oncology indication. This includes staff working in emergency services, acute medicine and community services.

Level 6 and Level 7 30-credit online module

Application deadlines: 4 May 2022 for start date 9 May 2022; 1 Sept 2022 for start date 12 Sept 2022




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Developing a Standardised National Acute Oncology Competence Assessment Passport for Staff  Working in the UK
  • A project to develop national standardised acute oncology competence assessment documents (Passports) for healthcare staff that treat and care for patients with an acute oncology indication 
  • The aims of this innovative project are to develop four levels of practice/role-specific acute oncology competence assessment Passports; a version for each of the levels 1 to 4 of the knowledge and skills defined in the
  • UPDATE - The education group are working as part of the ACCEnD programe and have recieved funding to support a project manager to lead on the devlopment of the AO Passports. 

            UKONS Acute Oncology Knowledge and Skills Guidance 



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Guy’s Cancer Academy has published a new free online learning course for staff who care for people with cancer who are required to achieve the following Level 2 Acute Oncology Learning Outcomes:

  •            Understand local Acute Oncology Services and how and when to contact these services
  •            Recognise patients presenting with an acute oncology indication
  •            Initiate the management of urgent / emergency treatment
  •            Be able to refer patients to the local Acute Oncology Service appropriately
  •            Ensure patients with an acute oncology indication have appropriate ongoing management.

The learning resource also includes an introductory section on cancer, it’s treatment and side effects, for staff who are not yet familiar with these topics. At the end of the course, learners are invited to complete an online evaluation form. They will then be able to download a certificate of completion. 

The course can be accessed by clicking on the link below. 




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ACCEnD Aspirant Cancer Career and Education Development programme

Developing an aspirant cancer career and education development programme for nursing and allied health professionals

Commencing Autumn 2021 provide guidance and direction on the knowledge, skills and capabilities required by all nurses and allied health professionals who care for people affected by cancer in generalist and specialist cancer services and roles as part of multi-professional teams across the four UK nations. Outputs planned to be completed by 2024.

The ACCEnD programme will seek to address and provide solutions to key issues that challenge the cancer workforce both now and into the future.

Using a national collaborative approach, ACCEnD aims to:

  • Attract Registered Nurses and Allied Health Professionals into a career in cancer care to secure the future specialist workforce
  • Develop and promote a nationally agreed,multi-level education framework and career pathway for those nursing and allied health professionals aspiring to work at all levels in specialist cancer roles/services;
  • Use the agreed career pathway and education framework from(2) to ensure the future and existing workforce delivering general and specialist cancer care have access to relevant pre and post-registration education, learning and development opportunities which enable practitioners to achieve the underpinning knowledge, skills and competencies required for their role/service, wellbeing and career aspirations, and enable employers to deliver high quality services to people affected by cancer, support workforce transformation and the health and wellbeing of staff
  • Enable all nursing and allied health professionals to evidence their knowledge, skills and capabilities in a national digital portfolio
  • Promote the agreed career pathway and education framework from(2) and the range of pre and post-registration education, workplace-based and e- learning development opportunities through the creation of national e-lfh cancer hub.


  • The National Acute Oncology Education, Training and Assessment Working Group is a group of key individuals who have come together to try and standardise education and training in Acute Oncology. This is a multi-disciplinary group with representatives from a range of stakeholders including the UKONS Acute Oncology Members Interest Group, the newly formed UK Acute Oncology Society, the UK Chemotherapy Board, Health Education England, Greater Manchester Cancer and Macmillan Cancer Support. The group has representatives from each of the 4 Nations of the UK.  The group is chaired by Dr Verna Lavender, UKONS President.

  • The main strands of the work involve developing an on-line learning programme, building an over-arching Acute Oncology Competence Framework (for nursing, medicine and other disciplines involved in delivering acute oncology) and producing an Acute Oncology Competence Assessment ‘Passports’, building on the success of the UKONS SACT Passport. The group is actively seeking funding for a project manager role to drive these objectives forward.

  • The overall purpose of the group, and workplan above, is to develop a knowledgeable and skilled workforce for all health professionals that treat and care for patients with any acute oncology indication. This will ensure that all acute oncology services, wherever they are situated, are fit for purpose, and optimise outcomes (particularly safety outcomes) for patients with cancer.

  • UKONS, and the wider group, are very keen to ensure that they capture all of the current work taking place in the field. To this end can we ask that all teams working on:

b) Online acute oncology learning programmes please contact : verna.lavender@gstt.nhs.uk  and/or philippajones@nhs.net

c) Competence assessment contact Philippa Jones - philippajones@nhs.net and the UKONS Acute Oncology MIG Lead - Emma Earnshaw -emma.earnshaw@nhs.net 



Educational Resources   - links to on line training/articles/papers and useful information

  •  Many organisations have developed bespoke resources and tools that can support acute oncology training and education.
  •  We would be very happy to share your work in this area and make it available for other teams by including it in our resources area.

   Contact us here





Please do contact us if you would like us to add information and links to any relevant education/training courses that you provide or are developing

Please note that you should always assume that the website group, society and authors /owners of any of these documents links or guidance make no representations or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of any of the content and make no warranties express implied or otherwise and cannot be held responsible for any liability, loss or damage whatsoever caused by the use of the content. You should always act within the limits of your competence and seek senior advice or support where appropriate.