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NHS 'skills passport' set for national rollout


A year-long 'skills passport' pilot tested by seven NHS trusts has received ringing endorsement by sector skills council Skills for Health, in what is hoped could lead to a full national rollout.

The system allows workers to create a verified online record of their skills, qualifications and experience, and enables prospective or existing employers to save duplicating training where it is not needed – especially stautory mandatory training if staff move between employers.
Alison Strode, divisional manager, Skills for Health, said: "There’s an awful lot of internal movement within the NHS, so there is a real need for a proper record of workers’ skills. Also, much of the experiential training workers receive over their years working goes unrecorded."
The passport is accessed online, and self-updated, but verified by qualified line managers. John Rogers, Skills for Health CEO, said: "This pilot has demonstrated there is clear ‘proof of concept’ for a passport for the health sector. It is a very exciting tool with huge potential to deliver real benefits to all health sector employers and staff members."
The project to pilot a skills passport for the nursing workforce was a recommendation in the Government’s ‘Modernising Nursing Careers, Setting The Direction’ consultation (2006), and was carried out under the guidance of the deputy chief nursing officer for England, David Foster.

 Foster said: "The nursing workforce has repeatedly called for some form of competency passport to support the modernisation of nursing careers and this pilot was a direct response to that call. Not only has the pilot confirmed the case for a skills passport, but has also highlighted a range of potential additional benefits for employers, health workers throughout the UK."