Skills for Health Core Skills Training Framework

Skills for Health Core Skills Training Framework

Skills for Health Core Skills Training Framework (UKCSTF).

Question: What is the Skills for Health’s Core Skills Training Framework (CSTF) and should it be adopted by all healthcare and social care organisations in the UK?

Answer: The Skills for Health’s UK Core Skills Training Framework (CSTF) was developed to provide a national standard for the education and training of healthcare professionals across the UK. The CSTF is now widely recognised across the healthcare sector by NHS England and NHS Employers, Health Education England (HEE) and professional bodies such as the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and by health and social care regulators, such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England.

Skills for Health’s UK Core Skills Training Framework (UKCSTF)

The Core Skills Training Framework was originally designed to cover the statutory and mandatory subjects that are essential for safety and compliance with the law, the SfH framework has been extended to include clinical and care subjects. The framework can be used by any healthcare employer in the UK, including primary care. It can provide the basis for an organisations’ training policy, especially their policy relating to statutory and mandatory training, such as manual handling, infection control, fire safety training and resuscitation.

The framework clarifies what all providers need to be delivering. A suite of eLearning courses is available to enable staff to complete the necessary training to comply with the framework, with specific primary care versions for general practice staff.

Details of the training available can be found in the SfH publication, Elearning — Cost-effective, Quality-assured Courses for Essential Training. The web-based resources can be launched through the National Skills Academy for Health who host the courses.

Progress and test results can be tracked by managers for internal development purposes through the Workforce Information Reporting Engine Database (WIRED) self-service reporting tool. These training records can be used during regulatory inspections to provide assurance to inspectors that any required standards of training are being met. For example, in England, this includes training required under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 regulated by the CQC.

Many primary care employers find the framework especially useful to ensure compliance with statutory and mandatory training. This is training that is required by law or to comply with mandatory requirements in organisations or sectors, such as the NHS. Adopting the framework also makes statutory and mandatory training easily transferable. It allows staff to move from organisation to organisation with their training record intact and an assurance that common standards are being used. This saves staff and organisations from wasting time and money in repeating training unnecessarily.

Healthcare providers who have mapped their in-house training to the CSTF are eligible to submit a Declaration of Alignment, confirming which of their training programmes are aligned to the framework subjects.

Currently, the statutory and mandatory CSTF is listed as covering:

  • equality, diversity and human rights
  • equality, diversity and human rights (Scotland)
  • health, safety and welfare
  • NHS conflict resolution (England)
  • fire safety
  • infection prevention and control
  • moving and handling
  • safeguarding adults (8a Preventing Radicalisation)
  • safeguarding children
  • resuscitation
  • information governance
  • information governance (Scotland)
  • information governance (Wales)
  • violence and aggression (Wales).

Clinical and care subjects in the framework currently include:

  • your healthcare career
  • duty of care
  • person-centred care
  • communication
  • consent
  • privacy and dignity
  • fluids and nutrition
  • dementia awareness
  • blood component transfusion.

For each subject, detailed learning outcomes, standards and guidance are available in a number of framework documents (eg Subject Guides and Mapping Tools). The framework is fully mapped to the NHS Agenda for Change Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF).

A suite of National Competencies based upon the CSTF has also been added to the NHS Electronic Staff Record (ESR). Full information about the framework is available from the Skills for Health website.

Primary care employers can register via the portal. Further details of the eLearning courses available to support the framework can be found at The framework is continually being updated and new courses added to reflect current legislation and guidance. Other frameworks are also available.

Skills for Health Core Skills Training Framework.

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