Core Skills Frameworks

Statutory/Mandatory Core Skills Training Framework (CSTF)

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

The Statutory/Mandatory CSTF addresses this issue. It allows employers to recognise statutory/mandatory training to a standard, trust that information and reduce duplication of training. Launched in 2013, the Statutory/Mandatory CSTF is maintained and updated by Skills for Health.

  • Click here to see a list of Statutory/Mandatory subjects in the CSTF

    • Equality, diversity and human rights
    • Health, safety and welfare
    • NHS conflict resolution
    • Fire safety
    • Infection prevention and control
    • Moving and handling
    • Safeguarding adults
    • Preventing Radicalisation
    • Safeguarding children
    • Resuscitation
    • Information governance and data security
    • Violence and aggression (Wales)

CSTF Guidance and Documents - please select using the buttons below

NHS Trusts in England - Use CSTF (England v1.0)

Other organisations in England or the UK - Use UK CSTF v1.6


Alignment to the Statutory/Mandatory CSTF

Many organisations have already declared their alignment to the statutory/mandatory CSTF. By sharing this information, employer organisations can recognise where training delivered in other organisations is in compliance with the Statutory/Mandatory CSTF and thereby help to prevent unnecessary duplication of training as staff move between roles and organisations.

Click here to see the Directory of CSTF Aligned Organisations


Benefits of the Statutory/Mandatory CSTF

  • Provides a national ‘benchmark’ for the content of statutory/mandatory training.
  • Sets out minimum learning outcomes, frequency of refresher training and links to relevant legislation or expert guidance.
  • Can be used by any healthcare employer in the UK including NHS, independent healthcare providers and educational organisations.
  • Standardises the interpretation and delivery of statutory/mandatory training.
  • Applicable across all four UK countries.
  • Linkages between the Framework, E-Learning and WIRED compliance reporting puts all the right information in the hands of employers in a new and powerful way.


Core Capabilities Frameworks

Core Capabilities frameworks are offered as guidance and good practice for development of the current and future workforce. Unlike the Statutory/Mandatory CSTF, there is no formal process for declaring alignment to these frameworks.

Each framework sets out the core capabilities – the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed – for safe and effective practice. They can be used to commission or design services, education or training, for identifying key skills and knowledge needed, for developing new teams and roles, in recruitment and selection processes, to ensure consistency in training standards and for quality assurance purposes.

  • Advanced Clinical Practice (Nurses) Working in General Practice / Primary Care in England (2020)

    This framework provides a standard and greater clarity on the capabilities for nurses working at the advanced clinical practice level within general practice.

    The framework was commissioned by NHS England GPN Ten Point Plan Team and Health Education England.

    Access the framework details here

  • Learning Disability and Autism frameworks (2019)

    Supporting autistic people and/or people with a learning disability. Capabilities frameworks describe the skills, knowledge and behaviours which people bring to their work and are used to:

    • support development and planning of the workforce
    • inform the design and delivery of education and training programmes

    Access the framework details here

  • Paramedic Specialist in Primary and Urgent Care (2019)

    The Paramedic Specialist Core Capabilities Framework comprises the following capabilities, grouped into four domains:

    Domain A. Person-Centred collaborative working

    • Capability 1. Communication
    • Capability 2. Person-Centred care
    • Capability 3. Working with families and carers
    • Capability 4. Referrals and integrated working
    • Capability 5. Law, ethics and safeguarding

    Domain B. Investigation, assessment, advice and clinical impression or diagnosis

    • Capability 6. History-taking and consultation skills
    • Capability 7. Physical and mental health assessment
    • Capability 8. Investigations and diagnosis

    Domain C. Condition management, treatment and prevention

    • Capability 9. Treatment and care planning
    • Capability 10. Pharmacotherapy
    • Capability 11. Health promotion and lifestyle interventions

    Domain D. Leadership and management, education and research

    • Capability 12. Leadership and management
    • Capability 13. Education
    • Capability 14. Research

    Download the framework here

  • Frailty (2018)

    The Frailty Framework of Core Capabilities comprises the following capabilities, grouped into four domains:

    Domain A. Understanding, identifying and assessing frailty

    • Capability 1. Understanding frailty
    • Capability 2. Frailty identification and assessment

    Domain B. Person-centred collaborative working

    • Capability 3. Person-centred approaches
    • Capability 4. Communication
    • Capability 5. Families and carers as partners in care
    • Capability 6. Collaborative and integrated working

    Domain C. Managing frailty

    • Capability 7. Preventing and reducing the risk of frailty
    • Capability 8. Living well with frailty, promoting independence and community skills
    • Capability 9. Physical and mental health and wellbeing
    • Capability 10. Managing medication
    • Capability 11. Care and support planning

    Domain D. Underpinning principles

    • Capability 12. Law, ethics and safeguarding
    • Capability 13. Research and evidence-based practice
    • Capability 14. Leadership in transforming services

    Download the framework here

  • Musculoskeletal (2018)

    The Musculoskeletal Core Capabilities Framework comprises the following capabilities, grouped into four domains:

    Domain A. Person-Centred Approaches

    • Capability 1. Communication
    • Capability 2. Person-centred care

    Domain B. Assessment, Investigation and Diagnosis

    • Capability 3. History-taking
    • Capability 4. Physical assessment
    • Capability 5. Investigations and diagnosis

    Domain C. Condition Management, Interventions and Prevention

    • Capability 6. Prevention and lifestyle interventions
    • Capability 7. Self-management and behaviour change
    • Capability 8. Pharmacotherapy
    • Capability 9. Injection therapy
    • Capability 10. Surgical interventions
    • Capability 11. Rehabilitative interventions
    • Capability 12. Interventions and care planning
    • Capability 13. Referrals and collaborative working

    Domain D. Service and Professional Development

    • Capability 14. Evidence-based practice and service development

    Download the framework here

  • Dementia (2015, updated 2018)

    The original Dementia Core Skills Education and Training framework was launched in October 2015. In June 2018 a revised and updated version was released, entitled the Dementia Training Standards Framework.

    The framework was commissioned and funded by the Department of Health and developed in collaboration by Skills for Health and Health Education England (HEE) in partnership with Skills for Care. Development of the framework was guided by an Expert Group including a wide range of health and social care organisations, relevant Royal Colleges and education providers.

    The framework sets out the core skills and knowledge which would be transferable and applicable across different types of service provision. It includes expected learning outcomes for training delivery, key policy and legal references and is aligned to related national occupational standards. The aim is to help ensure the quality and consistency of dementia training, and to help prevent unnecessary duplication of training.

    The framework comprises 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

    Download the framework here

  • Person-Centred Approaches (2017)

    Health Education England commissioned Skills for Health in collaboration with Skills for Care to develop this core skills education and training framework for person-centred approaches.

    The value of a person-centred approach in health and care is increasingly recognised - much has been written about what it is and why it is important. However, it is less clear how to develop the workforce to put this into practice – which is the purpose of this framework.

    The framework launched in July 2017 and comprises the following subject areas:

    • Values
    • Core communication and relationship building skills
    • Step 1. Conversations to engage with people
    • Step 2. Conversations to enable and support people
    • Step 3. Conversations with people to collaboratively manage highest complexity and significant risk
    • Delivery of training, education and learning opportunities
    • ‘Enablers’ for embedding a person-centred approach.

    Download the framework here

  • End of Life Care (2017)

    Health Education England commissioned Skills for Health in collaboration with Skills for Care to develop this Core Skills Education and Training Framework for End of Life Care. Launched in March 2017, the framework expands on the Common Core Principles and Competences for Social Care and Health Workers Working with Adults at the End of Life and aligns with the current Dementia, Mental health and Learning Disabilities frameworks all of which will sit under an overarching framework for Person-Centred Care. In particular, it aims to promote community development and asset-based approaches to education and training, considering the strengths, abilities and potential of communities in supporting end of life care. The framework comprises the following subjects:

    • Subject 1: Person-centred end of life care
    • Subject 2: Communication in end of life care
    • Subject 3: Equality, diversity and inclusion in end of life care
    • Subject 4: Community skills development in end of life care
    • Subject 5: Practical and emotional support for the individual approaching the end of life
    • Subject 6: Assessment and care planning in end of life care
    • Subject 7: Symptom management in end of life care
    • Subject 8: Working in partnership with health and care professionals and others
    • Subject 9: Support for carers
    • Subject 10: Maintain own health and wellbeing when caring for someone at the end of life
    • Subject 11: Care after death
    • Subject 12: Law, ethics and safeguarding
    • Subject 13: Leading end of life care services and organisations
    • Subject 14: Improving quality in end of life care through policy, evidence and reflective practice

    Download the framework here.

  • Mental Health (2016)

    The Mental Health Core Skills Education and Training Framework was commissioned and funded by the Department of Health and developed in collaboration by Skills for Health, Health Education England and Skills for Care. The framework supports workforce development specific to implementation of the national mental health strategy, No Health Without Mental Health. The aim of the framework is to support the development and delivery of appropriate and consistent cross-sector mental health education and training.

    The framework describes core skills and knowledge i.e. that which is common and transferable across different types of service provision. The framework covers the following subjects:

    1. Mental health awareness
    2. Establishing positive relationships with individuals who have mental health problems
    3. Promoting general health and well-being for individuals with a mental health problem
    4. Promoting mental health and preventing mental illness
    5. Self-harm and suicide: Understanding and prevention
    6. Enabling a recovery focussed approach to mental health
    7. Coaching conversations in supporting recovery in mental health
    8. Families, carers and friends as partners in promoting positive mental health
    9. Supporting children and young people with mental health problems
    10. Supporting children, young people and adults with a learning disability and a mental health problem
    11. Mental health identification and assessment
    12. Biopsychosocial formulation in mental health
    13. Appropriate and effective use of medication in mental health care
    14. Using technology to promote positive mental health and deliver effective support
    15. Equality, diversity and inclusion in mental health
    16. Law, ethics and safeguarding in the context of mental health
    17. Research and evidence-based practice in mental health
    18. Leadership in transforming mental health services

    Download the framework here.

  • Clinical/Care (2015)

    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

    Download the framework here


In development


Evaluation of impact

In 2019-20, Skills for Health was commissioned to carry out evaluations of several frameworks, to better understand how they are being used and their impact. Click the links below to download the evaluation reports:


Further Information

See here for Frequently Asked Questions

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