Back to all Motions

2007 Health Care Service Group Conference
20 December 2006

Conference notes that the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework is a system that defines and describes the knowledge and skills which NHS staff need to apply in their work in order to deliver quality services. It provides a single, consistent, comprehensive and explicit framework on which to base review and development for all staff and lies at the heart of the career and pay progression strand of Agenda for Change. The KSF gives every member of staff a contractual right to learning and development opportunities in their work, including an annual development review and a personal development plan with agreed learning objectives.

Conference further notes that the timetable for implementing the KSF has suffered serious delays and is concerned that its enormous potential for supporting service improvement and realising benefits for NHS staff is being threatened on a number of fronts:

a.Resources for KSF implementation are being wound down as SHA networks have disbanded and the role for best practice facilitators has come to an end;

b.Growing numbers of KSF staff side leads have had their facility time reduced or have been unable to extend their secondment arrangements to complete implementation;

c.There is evidence that at least one employer – Chesterfield Foundation Trust – has opted not to implement the KSF on grounds of cost;

d.Budgetary deficits in England have forced organisations to cut their training budgets, thereby preventing staff from accessing development opportunities.

Conference reaffirms its expectation that implementation of the KSF should bring a rapid expansion of learning activities among NHS staff and fully supports UNISON’s continuing work to promote a culture of lifelong learning and to ensure that all staff have equal access to the opportunities afforded by the KSF. Conference therefore calls upon the Service Group Executive to continue to resource and support the KSF agenda by:

i.Campaigning for the provision of adequate resources to ensure the successful implementation and use of the KSF across the NHS;

ii.Working closely with the national KSF Group to support implementation, monitor and maintain the KSF;

iii.Promoting a culture of lifelong learning through joint work with UNISON’s Learning & Organising Services;

iv.Raising awareness of the role of union learning reps in supporting members through the KSF process;

v.Encouraging branches to use KSF and the learning agenda to build union organisation.