Pay progression

NHS Terms and Conditions of Service - 2018

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 new pay progression system will be 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. 

The new system will come into effect on 1 April 2019 for new starters or those promoted to a new role on or after 1 April 2019. Promotion means moving to a higher banded role. 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. To prepare, the NHS Staff Council established a sub group to negotiate details of the new system and produce guidance materials. The sub group has developed documentation relating to pay progression changes for organisations, managers and staff which can be accessed below.

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. 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.


Watch our webinar to find out more about the implementation of the new pay progression system from 1 April 2019. 

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Guidance for organisations

This guidance is designed to help organisations prepare for implementation of the new pay progression system. Find out more.

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Guidance for managers

Download our resources to help managers prepare for implementation of the pay progression framework.

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Guidance for staff

Our new suite of resources for staff has been created to help employees understand and prepare for implementation of the new pay progression system.

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