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Core Skills Training Framework (CSTF) and Enabling Staff Movement in NHS Trusts in England

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Commencing in 2020, a new programme of work will ensure the sustainability of a robust Core Skills Training Framework (CSTF) with agreed requirements for learning outcomes, training standards and frequency of refresher training for NHS Trusts in England. The aim is to ensure CSTF alignment which is assured and related data which transfers efficiently, safely and accurately between employer organisations.


The Department of Health and Social Care mandate to Health Education England: April 2019 to March 2020 states the requirement to ‘further develop the core skills training framework to reflect the future service needs to the NHS’. Additionally, NHS England and NHS Improvement has committed in its Long-Term Plan to enable “staff to more easily move from one NHS Employer to another”. This aim was reinforced in the NHS People Plan for 2020/2021and with the release of the NHS England and NHS Improvement Enabling Staff Movement Toolkit.

A key commitment is to reduce the unnecessary repetition of statutory and mandatory training and ensure data is accepted and trusted by all NHS providers.

Alignment to the CSTF is a key component of the NHS England and NHS Improvement programme to enable staff movement.

List of Statutory/Mandatory subjects in the CSTF

  • Conflict resolution
  • Equality, diversity and human rights
  • Fire safety
  • Health, safety and welfare
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Information governance and data security
  • Moving and handling
  • Preventing Radicalisation
  • Resuscitation
  • Safeguarding adults
  • Safeguarding children

Alignment to the Statutory/Mandatory CSTF

The majority of NHS Trusts in England have declared their alignment to a previous version of the statutory/mandatory CSTF (UK v1.6 or earlier). These aligned Trusts are listed on the CSTF Directory of aligned organisations.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and alignment to the CSTF

During the response to Covid-19, whilst the normal expectation is that statutory and mandatory training will continue to be undertaken in all subjects:

  • Required refresher training for existing staff may, if needed, be temporarily suspended, or limited to updates required in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Any outstanding training should be completed at the earliest opportunity once the immediate pressures have passed.
  • E-Learning or other virtual learning methods should be used as far as practicable, in place of training which may previously have been delivered by face to face / classroom learning. A significant amount of resource is available via e-Learning for Healthcare including an open access Covid-19 Programme.
  • For returning healthcare staff, four statutory/mandatory e-learning modules should be prioritised as part of induction (health, safety and welfare, fire safety, infection prevention and control, resuscitation) alongside induction training on local procedures for the safety of staff and patients. All other statutory/mandatory training should be completed as soon as practicable.

Full guidance for Employers of NHS staff on statutory and mandatory training during the Covid-19 outbreak can be found here.

Future plans

Future work will focus on ensuring all NHS Trusts in England have updated their alignment to the updated CSTF (England) v1.0. This includes updated training standards and requirements for frequencies of refresher training / assessment.

In the longer term, the emphasis will be on an in-depth review of the CSTF to ensure its continued relevance and currency and the development of a more rigorous process of quality assurance to ensure that CSTF alignment by NHS Trusts is verified and trusted.


National bodies and employers will be assured of a statutory/mandatory training standard i.e.

  • All Trusts aligned to the current nationally recognised CSTF.
  • Consistency in training standards and frequencies of refresher training/assessment.
  • NHS staff only complete necessary statutory and mandatory training, without unnecessary duplication.
  • Trusts only complete necessary processes to on-board, induct and train staff.
  • Savings in time and resources.

Further Information

Download Statutory/Mandatory CSTF documents here

(including: CSTF Subject Guide, Mapping Tools and Declaration of Alignment)

See here for Frequently Asked Questions

For further information please email