This guidance is designed to help organisations understand and implement the pay progression system. The system will ensure that all staff receive the help and support needed to gain the appropriate knowledge and skills they need to carry out their roles.
The 2018 framework agreement on the reform of Agenda for Change introduced provisions to move to a new pay system with faster progression to the top of pay bands through fewer pay step points.
The system is underpinned by local appraisal policies that deliver the mandatory annual appraisal process. It is intended to ensure that within each pay band, staff have the appropriate knowledge and skills they need to carry out their roles, allowing them to make the greatest possible contribution to patient care.
To prepare, the NHS Staff Council established a subgroup to negotiate details of the new system and produce guidance materials. The subgroup has developed documentation relating to pay progression changes for organisations, managers and staff which can be accessed below.
The system ensures that all staff receive the help and support needed to gain the appropriate knowledge and skills they need to carry out their roles. Effective use of appraisals will enable trusts to identify those staff that would benefit from further development opportunities. This will help to create a culture based upon continuous learning which in turn will help improve the patient experience.
We have worked collaboratively with employers and unions to develop resources, endorsed by the NHS Staff Council, for organisations to understand and prepare for the pay progression framework.
The pay progression framework
- The new system came into effect 1 April 2019 for new starters or those promoted to a new role on or after 1 April 2019. Staff in post before 1 April 2019 will retain their existing pay step date (previously referred to as incremental date) and move automatically through their pay journey during transition.
- On their pay step date, (if they have not already benefited from deletion of a pay point) it is expected that they will automatically move to the next pay point reflecting their additional complete year of experience. The ESR system is able to progress existing staff automatically.
- For all other staff who were in post before 1 April 2019, current organisational pay progression procedures will continue to apply until 31 March 2021, after which time they will also be subject to the new provisions.
Download and share the resources below for more information.
- Read the revised annex 23 on the pay progression system as agreed by the NHS Staff Council.
- Read the joint statement from the NHS Staff Council on pay progression from 1 April 2021.
- Use our employer guidance and checklist to help you prepare for implementation of the pay progression framework system.
- Use our manager guidance and checklist to help you prepare for implementation of the pay progression framework system.
- Use our staff guidance and checklist to help you prepare for implementation of the pay progression framework system.
- Use our flow chart to follow the pay-step submission process for the pay progression system.
- View the scenarios which describe various circumstances relating to the pay progression.
- Read answers to frequently asked questions relating to pay progression.