Soar Beyond was established in 2007 and is a service provider to the NHS, local authorities and pharmaceutical industry; we have been successfully innovating service redesign, medicines pathway and workforce transformation services and methodologies ever since. Our leadership team comprises a combination of former NHS medicines management, commissioning, clinical pharmacist, pharmaceutical industry and management consulting expertise.

In 2016, Soar Beyond became the first private provider of the Wave 1 pilot for NHSE new “GP clinical pharmacist” role in primary care with 11 practices in North London. At that time, GPs were part subsidising this novel clinical pharmacist role and were either reticent to invest or were sceptical about the impact they could make. This meant that, as a private provider, we needed to track the impact of this role, overcome concerns, and provide robust assurance about clinical competence whilst visibly demonstrating the value GP clinical pharmacists added to patient care and access.

Inventing a SMART solution

Utilising Soar Beyond’s experience of supporting Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and federations with their clinical pharmacist workforce, we developed SMART as the solution to systematically set and assess the competencies, capability map the workforce and identify gaps and training needs to enable organisations to recruit, develop and retain a stable and sustainable workforce.

SMART was initially created in 2019 and adopted by the whole of Northern Ireland for their 350 GP Pharmacists due to the immediate need for a standardised approach to development planning and providing clinical assurance about the safety and impact of their rapidly growing  team of senior and junior pharmacists.

Evolving SMART for the MDT

The more SMART became adopted and utilised by PCNs in England, the more we were getting asked to apply the same tools we developed for clinical pharmacists for other healthcare professionals and PCN ARRS roles (through the Aditional roles Reimbursement Scheme) as they found the circles of competence and capability mapping functionality so powerful. 


Similarities include:

  • many GPs and primary care professionals do not understand what the role is;
  • where the individuals fit within the primary care MDT
  • what is within their competence initially
  • how to grow and develop the role and individual safely
  • where the role best adds value
  • how to appropriately support and supervise the individual in the role

The SMART platform technology has now been developed to cater for any role (clinical, non-clinical and administrative) in any health or social care service, not just PCNs. SMART is already being used to support NHS organisations to drive the leanest and most patient-centred MDT (multidisciplinary team) pathway approach to long term condition management in diabetes, heart failure and more.

Setting and assessing all staff at all levels with consistent competencies whilst being able to map this workforce capability helps services to identify gaps and address these with robust workforce training and development plans whilst also informing the future recruitment strategy.