Core Skills Training Framework

With a highly mobile workforce, employers often need to assess the quality of new recruits’ previous training. Where information is lacking, people can repeat training unnecessarily, wasting time and money.

The Core Skills Training Framework addresses this issue. It allows employers to recognise training to a standard, trust that information and reduce duplication of training.

The original Core Skills Framework for statutory/mandatory subjects has now been extended to include selected clinical/care subjects.

For each subject, detailed learning outcomes, standards and guidance are available in a number of Framework documents (e.g. Subject Guides and Mapping Tools).

  • To register and access the Framework documents click here.

  • CSTF alignment and healthcare providers

    Healthcare providers which have mapped their in-house training to the Framework are eligible to submit a Declaration of Alignment, confirming which of their training programmes are aligned to the Framework subjects. Aligned healthcare provider organisations may also be listed on a Directory; by sharing this information, employer organisations can recognise where training delivered in other organisations is in compliance with the Framework and thereby help to prevent unnecessary duplication of training as staff move between roles and organisations.

    • See the CSTF Directory of Aligned Healthcare Providers here

    NB. The Directory of Aligned Healthcare Providers is open to healthcare provider organisations in ‘not for profit’ sectors, for example NHS Trusts delivering in-house staff training and public sector education institutions which have incorporated the requirements of the Framework within curricula. This Directory is not intended as a list of ‘approved’ training providers and it does not include commercial suppliers.

  • CSTF alignment and commercial training suppliers

    The CSTF is available for any organisation or individual to access. Commercial training suppliers may choose to complete a self-assessment of alignment to the CSTF by completing the CSTF mapping tool. When such organisations have identified that their training aligns with the CSTF then they may describe their training provision as ‘aligned to the CSTF’ - as required by various staff agency procurement frameworks. However, such organisations are not required to submit their declaration of alignment to Skills for Health and are not permitted to state or imply any assurance or endorsement from Skills for Health.

    During 2016, Skills for Health is also developing a new CSTF Directory of Commercial Training Suppliers. This represents an additional and optional level of quality assurance beyond the standard CSTF alignment by self-assessment and is for commercial organisations which have had their course content verified by Skills for Health as aligning to the CSTF.

    • See the CSTF Directory of Commercial Training Suppliers here

    For further information about the process and costs for verification of CSTF alignment, please contact the Skills Framework Manager (see contact details below).

Benefits for your organisation and your workforce

  • The Framework can be used by any healthcare employer in the UK
  • Used by NHS and independent healthcare providers, bank staff and agency organisations, and educational organisations
  • Gives confidence that training standards have been met
  • Standardises the interpretation of statutory/mandatory or clinical/care training
  • Guides the focus and aims of training delivery
  • Ensures the educational relevance of the training
  • Can improve the quality and consistency of training provision
  • Applicable across all four UK countries

  • Statutory/Mandatory subjects in the UK Core Skills Training Framework

    1 Equality, diversity and human rights

    2 Equality, diversity and human rights (Scotland)

    3 Health, safety and welfare

    4 NHS conflict resolution (England)

    5 Fire safety

    6 Infection prevention and control

    7 Moving and handling

    8 Safeguarding adults

    8a Preventing Radicalisation

    9 Safeguarding children

    10 Resuscitation

    11 Information governance

    12 Information governance (Scotland)

    13 Information governance (Wales)

    14 Violence and aggression (Wales)

  • Clinical/Care subjects in the UK Core Skills Training Framework

    1. Your healthcare career
    2. Duty of care
    3. Person-centred care
    4. Communication
    5. Consent
    6. Privacy and dignity
    7. Fluids and nutrition
    8. Dementia awareness
    9. Blood component transfusion

  • Learning Disabilities Core Skills Education and Training Framework

    The Learning Disabilities Core Skills Education and Training Framework was launched in July 2016. The framework was launched by Skills for Health in partnership with Health Education England and Skills for Care. The framework sets out the essential skills and knowledge necessary for all staff involved in learning disablity care.  The framework covers the following subejcts:

    1. Learning disability awareness
    2. Communication in learning disability care and support
    3. Identification and assessment of learning disabilities
    4. Person-centred care and support for people (children, young people and adults) with learning disabilities
    5. Healthcare for people (children, young people and adults) with learning disabilities
    6. Wellbeing and independence
    7. Relationships, sexuality and sexual health
    8. Supporting children and young people with learning disabilities 
    9. Preparing young people with learning disabilities for adulthood
    10. Families and carers as partners in learning disability care and support
    11. Supporting people (children, young people and adults) with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD)
    12. Supporting people (children, young people and adults) with a learning disability and at risk of behaviours that challenge
    13. Supporting people (children, young people and adults) with a learning disability and a mental health condition
    14. Supporting people (children, young people and adults) with a learning disability and autism
    15. Supporting older people with learning disabilities
    16.  Equality, diversity and inclusion in learning disability care and support
    17.  Law, ethics and safeguarding in learning disability care and support
    18. Research and evidence-based practice in learning disability care and support
    19. Leadership and management in learning disability care and support settings

    Download the framework here

  • Dementia Core Skills Education and Training Framework (England)

    In October 2015, Skills for Health, Health Education England and Skills for Care launched a Dementia Core Skills Education and Training Framework for England. Organisations will in future be able to map and align their dementia training to the framework, covering the following subjects:

    1. Dementia awareness
    2. Dementia identification, assessment and diagnosis
    3. Dementia risk reduction and prevention
    4. Person-centred dementia care
    5. Communication, interaction and behaviour in dementia care
    6. Health and well-being in dementia care
    7. Pharmacological interventions in dementia care
    8. Living well with dementia and promoting independence
    9. Families and carers as partners in dementia care
    10. Equality diversity and inclusion in dementia care
    11. Law, ethics and safeguarding in dementia care
    12. End of life dementia care
    13. Research and evidence-based practice in dementia care
    14. Leadership in transforming dementia care

    Find out more here.

  • In development

  • Making a difference – reporting to a single standard

    • The Framework defines expected learning outcomes and standards of training
    • Covers common statutory/mandatory and clinical/care training subjects within the health sector
    • Linkages between the Framework, E-Learning, WIRED compliance reporting and the Skills Register / Passport puts all the right information in the hands of employers in a new and powerful way
    • Using these tools together, data can be shared across the organisation, regions and networks in a cost effective way
    • New standards being added on a continuing basis including Dementia CSTF

  • How it impacts on your organisation

    • Saves time and money by giving you the confidence to accept previous employers’ training and avoid overtraining
    • Rationalise costs, training only those that need it
    • Once registered, employers can access the Framework online, with support from our technical team
    • Healthcare providers aligned to the Framework may be included in our Directory – helps avoid unnecessary duplication if recruiting staff from other organisations who are delivering compliant training

  • CSTF competencies on the NHS Electronic Staff Record (ESR)

    • A suite of National Competencies based upon the CSTF has been added to the NHS Electronic Staff Records (ESR). In England and Wales, the CSTF National Competencies can be used by NHS organisations utilising the ESR OLM functionality for recording and reporting training activity which has met the requirements of the CSTF.

    NB. The CSTF National Competencies on ESR must only be used by NHS organisations which have submitted their CSTF Declaration of Alignment. The ESR Central Team provides quarterly reports to Skills for Health - these reports are audited to ensure that only those organisations listed on the CSTF Directory are using the CSTF National Competencies on ESR.

  • Comments from Framework users

    • It is an excellent guide to best practice and clarifies what all providers need to be delivering
    • We feel it should become a statutory requirement and part of CQC and other auditors requirements
    • I believe this framework makes statutory & mandatory training easily transferable
    • Useful docs when linked to other similar national training and development standards such as the Intercollegiate Document (2014)
    • We are still only part way through them but it has enabled us to "Re-brand" Statutory and Mandatory training for staff to a framework of core and essential skills that they must complete in order to fulfil their role.
    • We see the greatest benefit of the framework as providing consistency between providers meaning that training can be recognised when employees and healthcare students move between organisations
    • I was delighted to see this initiative and think it is the best thing Skills for Health have done.
    • This has been a useful framework in enabling us to benchmark against other Trusts and clarify learning outcomes to ensure that overtraining is not taking place.
    • Has significantly helped rationalise training both in terms of timing and frequency, it supported discussion at subject matter expert level.

To register your organisation and access the Framework click here.

To view the Directory of Aligned Organisations click here

Click the links below to download reports of recent CSTF User Surveys:

Further Information

For further information please email the Skills Framework Manager at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Colin Wright on 07768 998 109.

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