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Developing HCSW Roles

The following resources provide tools and guidance for planning and developing Healthcare Support Worker roles. The resources are categorised as follows:

Frameworks and Planning Tools 

Healthcare Support Worker Learning Framework - HCSW Guide
The Guide sets out the nationally agreed educational requirements and core skills for HCSWs at levels two, three and four of the NHS Career Framework.

HCSW National Learning Survey Rerport 2018
NHS Education for Scotland conducted a national survey of the learner profiles and learning preferences of NHSScotland staff employed in clinical healthcare support workers roles. Read the results.

Associate Practice Educator Project - NES and NHS Grampian Pilot Initiative Report
Between 2016 and 2018 a pilot scheme was launched to explore the potential of associate practice educators, a new concept in Scotland, to meet the training needs of healthcare support workers (HCSWs). Read the report to find out more.

Making the Most of Heathcare Support Workers - NES/NHS Grampian Masterclass project
NES and NHS Grampian piloted a Masterclass approach to clarify support worker roles and unlock their potential. It is centred on the HCSW Learning Framework created by NES to develop support worker roles and maximise their contribution to their teams. Read the report for more details.

Career Framework for Health
The Career Framework for Health is an overarching resource for NHS which can aid workforce flexibility locally, regionally and nationally.

Testing for the Best
Resource to help planners, learning and development specialists in NHSScotland think creatively about education and training.

Skills Maximisation Toolkits
NHS Education for Scotland toolkits for use by allied health professionals to make optimum use of staff with various levels of qualifications.

Workforce Planning
Learning resource for any healthcare professional in Scotland involved in workforce planning. Provides a range of information including toolkits, policy documents and training materials.

Mind Tools Toolkit
The toolkit provides a range of resources in areas including leadership, project management, decision making, communication and problem solving.

Good Practice Toolkits
The toolkits cover leadership, organisational development and developing yourself. (Please note an athens password is required for access)

6 Steps to Workforce Planning
The six steps methodology to integrated workforce planning is a practical approach to planning, that ensures you have a workforce of the right size with the right skills and competences.

Project Management Tools
Tools, tips, templates and guidance for project management.


Supporting Learning

NHS Qualifications
The site provides access to a database of voccational qualifications available across Scotland and is designed to help individuals and managers select the most appropriate qualifications for their individual's development needs.

Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework
The SCQF provides information about all mainstream qualifications in Scotland to assist in planning future learning.

Well Qualified Workforce
A guide to choosing the right work-related qualifications for your staff and your organisation.

National Occupational Standards
Skills for Health list of completed competences.

College Development Network
The point of contact for CPD, learning resources and teaching support. 

SVQ Employer Guide
Comprehensive guide to Scottish Vocational Qualifications for employers.

Modern Apprenticeships
Guidance for employers on Scottish Vocational Qualifications and Modern Apprenticeships.

The Admin Centre
The one-stop resource centre for NHSScotland staff working in administrative services in NHSScotland providing information and guidance about learning opportunities, career planning and development and good practice guides to support everyday admin activities.

Estates and Facilities Hub
The hub is a resource for NHSScotland staff working in estates and facilities and provides information and resources to help staff in their job, information about Education Pathways and guidance on learning and development.

RRHEAL Education
The RRHEAL Education Platform supports inclusive access and at distance educational engagement.  The platform hosts content and links to material that is specifically relevant for remote, rural and island healthcare teams.

Healthcare Support Worker Advisory Group

The Advisory Group was set up by NES in 2015 as a way of hearing directly from HCSWs working in Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Profession teams.
The HCSW "voice" is at the heart of our HCSW Programme and is enormously important in keeping NES in close touch with what support workers want and need and letting us know if we are getting it right.   

Recognition of Prior Learning

RPL Guidance
Summary leaflet providing guidance on recognition of prior learning.

RPL Profiling Tool
The RPL profiling tool aims to help learners recognise the ways in which they have applied, and built on, the skills and knowledge they have gained through experiences to their current social care practice. The process is designed to support learners in their achievement of a qualification.

RPL Managers Guide
This guidance is designed for learning and development staff, managers, supervisors and reviewers. It provides information on using RPL.

RPL Learners Guide
This guidance is designed for learners who wish to find out more about using Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).



Literacy and Numeracy Initial Assessment Tool
Online tool for assessing literacy and numeracy

Adult Literacies Online 
Provides access to a wide range of learning resources linked to the Scotland's Adult Literacy & Numeracy Curriculum Framework.

Adult Literacy and Numeracy National Programmes
The Workers Educational Association has taken a lead role in the development, promotion and delivery of workplace literacies.

Safe Practice

Patient Safety Programme
The Scottish Patient Safety Programme aims to improve the safety of hospital care using evidence-based tools and techniques to improve the reliability and safety of everyday health care systems and processes.

Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI)
NES have produced a number of educational programmes, online courses and  training resources to assist in reducing the number of healthcare associated infections within NHSScotland.