This page has guidance on developing post outlines for the original KSF which may be helpful to those trusts who are still using all or parts of the full KSF. Please be aware that we have published new guidance (November 2010) on a simpler, more flexible approach to the KSF for employers.
Post outines - full KSF
KSF outlines focus on the post and not the indvidual. They describe what is needed in the post rather than the individual's own unique mix of knowledge and skills.
The KSF post outline differs from a job description. A job description sets out the duties and responsibilities of the post, whereas the KSF outline describes the knowledge and skills that are needed to carry out those duties and responsibilities.
Developing a KSF post outline
KSF outlines at foundation gateway
The national library of KSF post outlines
Consistency checking KSF post outlines in an organisation
Codes of practice
KSF outlines are made up of:
- six areas that the NHS needs everyone to do, known as the core dimensions. These are communication; personal and people development; health, safety and security; service improvement; quality; equality and diversity
- a small number of other areas, known as specific dimensions, which relate more directly to the job, for example, information processing, health protection.
Once the dimensions relating to your job are identified, the KSF post outline describes these in more detail, including:
- the level at which you have to apply the knowledge and skills on a range from 1 to 4
- the indicators that describe the types of skills and knowledge that apply in each of the dimensions
- areas of application that give practical hands-on examples of the skills and knowledge relating to the particular post.
The process of developing outlines should be agreed in partnership by representatives of managers and staff. Outlines should meet organisational needs and be realistic for staff to deliver. Outlines should be shared at the earliest opportunity with the staff who are employed in that post. This is so they can be clear about the basis of their learning and pay progression.
For the foundation gateway, some of the full KSF post outline is taken away and a reduced outline (a subset of the full outline) is used. This sets out the knowledge and skills that have to be applied after one year in post. Again this is based on joint agreements between representatives of managers and staff to make sure that the subset is set at the right level.
There are no centrally determined KSF post outlines, because even similar jobs in different organisations may vary in their skill requirements. However, the KSF group (KSFG) has agreed in partnership a library of approved outlines that are considered good examples for organisations to use as a reference in the development of their own. See www.e-ksf.org for more details.
Organisations can develop and use a consistency checking process that meets their local needs. The basic criteria to check are that:
- the outline has been developed in partnership
- the dimensions and levels make sense for the post concerned
- the areas of application for the post are clearly specified.
Professions that have a code of practice governing the way they work still require a KSF post outline. Codes of practice have a different function, which is to set out the standards that those professions need to meet in order to join and remain on their professional register. Professional codes of practice can be captured in the KSF post outline, but the remainder of the outline will need to include all the other skills and knowledge required to undertake a particular job.