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Clinical Coder

Level 3 - ST0535

L3 Clinical coder is designed for apprentices seeking a career in Reading medical notes or records and analysing the contents which then translate into alphanumeric codes that accurately represent the patient’s stay.

Level: 3

Duration: 18 months

Funding Band: £5000

Entry Requirements:

Individual employers will set selection criteria. This might include Level 2 in English Language, Mathematics and a Science subject (preferable Science / Biology)

Clinical coding is the process of translating medical information from patient records in hospitals, into alphanumeric codes. A Clinical Coder will spend time reading medical notes / records and analysing the contents which they then translate into alphanumeric codes that accurately represent the patient’s stay. Clinical Coders locate missing information by whatever process necessary including contacting Medical Secretaries or by pulling case notes and requesting diagnoses from clinical staff where appropriate. They input Clinical Codes onto the Patient Administration Systems, action outstanding clinical coding reports as required (including, bringing them to the attention of the appropriate team members, and senior Clinical Coding colleagues and/or manager(s) when necessary), as well as dealing with any queries or taking messages for the staff within the Clinical Coding Department, including data quality issues, bringing to the attention of senior Clinical Coding colleagues and/or manager(s) any problems encountered or any issues, affecting the Clinical Coding.

Every NHS Hospital in the UK and private healthcare companies has a Clinical Coding Team who are required to meet the NHS Digital Clinical Classifications Service and the World Health Organisation (WHO) requirements and national deadline. The codes are used in a variety of ways within Hospitals, such as:

  • Determining the payment required for patients seen or treated.
  • Clinically monitor and manage the care provided to patients, for example the frequency occurrence of a patient’s condition or how many patients have died and why.
  • Statistical use of the data by NHS Managers for beds, staffing and waiting list management and health trends.

Download the factsheet here.


Knowledge Test

Consists of 2 parts – A Multiple-Choice Test and a Clinical Coding Case Study Test.

Professional Discussion

A discussion between the apprentice and the End-Point Assessor

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