Doctors in training and staff passporting


The work to enable staff movements and develop digital passporting nationally has commenced and is being led by NHS England and NHS Improvement, in partnership with NHSX, Health Education England, NHS Employers, NHS Business Services Authority and including staff side representation through the British Medical Association (BMA).

The vision of NHS England and NHS Improvement is to enable staff to easily move from one NHS organisation to another, leading to a more mobile, flexible and agile workforce.

Too often staff comment that their experience when moving from one NHS organisation to another results in unnecessary duplication of paper work, employment checks and mandatory and statutory training.

Improving the processes that contribute to enabling staff movements helps ensure staff are not hampered by unnecessary pre-employment checks and repetition of training. It also builds on the spirit of collaboration by recognising and accepting the employment checks and training of other employers, that have been delivered to accepted national standards. It gives recruitment teams, occupational health services and learning and development teams the opportunity to use modern, safe processes that make the best use of existing and emerging technology and recognised good practice.

Doctors in training

Doctors in training are a priority staff group, there are approximately 55,000 in training at any one time within the NHS and over a 10-year training career, they can move organisations an average of ten times. This high frequency of movement reinforces the need to get the rotational process right to ensure a good experience for the trainees, while enabling trusts to run an efficient and effective process.

Staff passporting

To support the urgent needs of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the coming weeks NHS England and NHS Improvement with NHSX will be trialling a temporary digital staff passport that will create an embedded licence to attend agreement and store a minimum of verified credentials securely on the staff member’s smartphone.

Therefore, there will be no requirement for employers to create a separate workforce sharing agreement if you don’t yet have one, and the digital passport with an embedded licence to attend will be available to participating employers nationally. These passporting solutions will help NHS organisations move staff safely, quickly and without unnecessary bureaucracy.

In the longer-term, broader passporting systems will be embedded to give assurance to employers and employees that training data is accurate, up to date and secure, for all staff groups, following a pilot this year with selected doctors in training.

Further information

At present focus is on the fast-track development of staff passporting systems to specifically support the workforce needs of COVID-19.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are developing a wider shared online space, for NHS organisations to learn more about the themes and requirements of enabling staff movements and share knowledge in the longer-term.


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