Programme news

General Pharmaceutical Council joins the ESR Professional Bodies Interface

In December 2021 the Professional Bodies interface began processing records for the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). 

An ESR interface has been processing updates to ESR records for professionals registered with the General Medical Council (GMC), the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the General Dental Council (GDC) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for several years. There are approximately 26,000 registered pharmacy professionals, defined as Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians, recorded in ESR, employed across 332 NHS organisations. The addition of the GPhC to the existing Professional Bodies interface ensures that all of these employing authorities are kept informed about registration changes for pharmacy professionals, as they are with other professionals. As a result of the implementation in December 2021, the 26,000 records within ESR were checked and updated where appropriate.

Data from the GPhC register is used to verify the professional registration details of applicants and employees already recorded in ESR and to advise the appropriate individuals at employer level of any changes to those registration details. This facilitates accurate employment check information for applicants and compliance and safe clinical practice of Pharmacy professionals employed within the NHS.

Enabling Proactive Management of GPHC Professional Registration Records

Deployment of the interface saves trusts time in managing records and notifies them of changes that they may otherwise be unaware of, or would require additional manual activity to check.

Automatic Updates of the Professional Registration Record

Key changes to the GPhC record, such as Registration Status and Fitness to Practice issues, are updated within ESR by the interface capability - following a change to the GPhC Register. Employing Organisations can benefit from a number of automatic daily updates to the following data items, where the information is not already reflected in ESR.

Notifications direct to ESR users

Where the ESR ‘Pharmacy Prof Registration’ role holder has been assigned, the following notifications are received to assist with managing ESR records for pharmacy professionals.

Update Notification

Where a full match is made on the matching criteria when comparing the ESR person record with the Professional Body details, the ESR Professional Body record is updated, and a notification is sent to the role holder highlighting the new details. These notifications will be colour coded in Red, Amber and Green to easily highlight the urgency of each update. Full details can be found in the GPhC FAQ here.

Matching criteria for GPhC: Professional Registration Number, First Name and Last Name.

Decision Notification

Where there is a mismatch on First Name or Last Name, but the Professional registration number matches, this notification is sent to the role holder asking them to confirm whether the details for the person are correct.  If the role holder accepts the match, then the Professional Registration changes are applied to the Professional Registration record.

Data Cleanse Notification

In addition to the Update Notification and the Decision Notification, a Workflow notification is generated weekly which lists invalid, erroneous and incorrectly assigned registration numbers. The notification lists registration numbers that have been found to have an invalid format or assigned to incorrect individual(s). The receiver of the notification is asked to check with the GPhC Public Register and update any registrant information as appropriate.

Registrations Expiry Notification

In line with the other professional bodies, GPhC registrants and their supervisor’s benefit from the existing Registration Expiry Notifications. Please refer to the ESR-NHS0060 – Workflow Notifications Guide for full details.

Where can I find more information?

The FAQ document is available on the ESR Hub.

The ESR User Manual (accessible via the ESR Hub) has also been updated to reflect the addition of the GPhC.

The GPhC has a wealth of information on their website which may assist users and the register is publicly available. The link to their website is here:

If you need the assistance of the NHSBSA ESR Team, please raise a Service Request on the ESR Service Desk where a member of the Support Team will be more than happy to help.

Modernising ESR Integration Services to deliver benefits to Recruiters

Every year ESR successfully processes more than 250,000 applications for new starters and over 1.2 million individual employment check updates.

This information is transferred into ESR from external recruitment services, via our automated links, known as the e-Recruitment Interfaces. These interfaces link with services such as NHS Jobs and help recruiters by automatically creating applicant records for new starters and updating their employment check records within ESR, saving the NHS valuable time and money.  

Delivering Innovation results in Savings for the NHS  

To modernise and innovate our technical solutions the NHSBSA Workforce Services Teams have been running a programme of activities to enhance ESR e- Recruitment integration services. NHSBSA Workforce Services manage the ESR and NHS Jobs service on behalf of the NHS. These improvements also help support the rollout of the new NHS Jobs Service and other recruitment systems providers.

The ESR and NHS Jobs services are heavily integrated by the e-Recruitment Interfaces, exchanging applicant and employment checks information on an hourly basis, meaning that all enhancements which improve ESR, or NHS Jobs naturally results in mutual benefits.  

It is anticipated at the end of this programme of activities, the changes will deliver the following benefits:

  • Saving the NHS approximately £2.9 million per year by reducing the recruitment teams’ time and effort when processing applications and capturing employment checks.
  • Delivering a 99% performance improvement on processing time for applicant and employment checks within ESR, with updates that have previously taken hours to complete, now taking just seconds!
  • Providing an early response to the feedback gathered during the recent ESR Discovery project - where stakeholders told us they felt improved integration services between ESR, and other NHS workforce systems was key.  
  • Supporting strategies such as the NHS People Plan and Enabling Staff Movements.

Steps to Success

The major milestones in the ESR e Recruitment service modernisation programme are illustrated in the image below; highlighting that Milestones 1 and 2 are already complete:  

The next steps within the programme will focus on the final stages of delivering technical API capability within ESR (Milestone 3) and then planning for the migration of all legacy e-Recruitment services to the end to end API within Milestone 4.  

Benefits Realisation

Lynn Scott, NHS Jobs Senior Service Delivery Manager said, the joint ESR and NHS Jobs programme benefits are already being demonstrated, commenting:

The opportunities delivered by Milestones 1 and 2 are already being highlighted by private beta partners of the new NHS Jobs service, with them confirming that they are seeing tangible benefits, where we have refined the business processes between ESR and NHS Jobs. Key stakeholders at Liverpool Heart and Chest Foundation Trust have reported that managers are already able to add vacancies to the new system with minimal support or handholding from recruitment teams,” adding:

“The recruitment team are now receiving fewer queries as managers have  greater visibility of the process on this system. This has also freed up some much-needed time for the Resourcing Officers to spend on their candidates.


Looking to the future 

With the delivery of a full API service for e-Recruitment firmly in sight, it is anticipated that further benefits will be delivered to the wider NHS by the NHSBSA Workforce Services Teams.

Lynn Scott outlines how the NHS Jobs service will continue to evolve:  

The NHSBSA team has built and are iterating the new NHS Jobs platform based on feedback from our users, and throughout the project we will continue to seek feedback to ensure that we deliver a service that’s fit for purpose, future proof and meets the needs of recruiters and managers. We’ll continue to measure the benefits of the end-to-end ESR and NHS Jobs integration.


David Booth, NHS ESR Head of Systems Integration, describes how plans are already taking shape to support the move to the new technology, assuring users that:

The e-Recruitment interfaces are available to all suppliers of recruitment systems, and engagement is already underway with key stakeholders from suppliers that have expressed an interest. This means that Employing Organisations using other recruitment systems than NHS Jobs will also have the opportunity to achieve the 99% processing improvement for their applicants and employment checks, contributing to additional savings for the NHS.


Firm timelines for the migration activities for all suppliers will be shared in a future edition of ESR News. 

If you would like further information about the ESR and NHS Jobs integration, please contact your NHSBSA ESR Functional Account Manager or the NHSBSA Jobs Team. 

Welsh language portal goes live on ESR

The Electronic Staff Record for NHS Wales staff is now available to view in both Welsh and English.

A 4-month collaborative project between NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership and the ESR teams within NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) and IBM during the autumn of 2021 has resulted in the ability to view and transact certain ESR tasks in the medium of Welsh via the ESR portlets. 

NHS Wales organisations have a statutory duty to comply with the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 and the Welsh Language Standards that outline the obligations of all NHS organisations in the delivery of Welsh language services and facilitating the use of the Welsh language within NHS Wales.

Work on the portlets commenced in September 2021 and following extensive translation work, the portlets were developed and quality assured prior to launch in December 2021.   

The feedback on this progressive development has been encouraging to date.

Knowing that the ESR portal is now bilingual is a great help. Seeing bilingual systems like this is important and staff are able to choose without asking.  This is a significant step forward to promote the proactive offer internally within NHS Wales. To be able to see the Welsh language existing, consistent and on an equal level with English gives it fair status.

J.Williams, Velindre University NHS Trust


Since I started my working life, I have had to deal with HR matters in my second language, which is English. This has been difficult at times, especially when dealing with work related matters that have been quite stressful.  Not having the option of discussing matters through the medium of Welsh has added to the stress. With the development of a Welsh ESR, it shows that I am now welcome to use my first language.

A.Williams, C&VUHB

It’s really encouraging to have the ESR portal available in Welsh.  It’s a significant development and a step in the right direction.  It demonstrates that NHS Wales respects my language of choice, and that I have the freedom to use my language of choice.  It is important to recognise Welsh language users and to ensure that the Welsh language is not treated less favourably than English.

E.Jenkins, DHCW

Making the ESR interface available in Welsh is a significant development for our Welsh speaking workforce. For many of our staff who speak Welsh, Welsh is their first language, and as such, the language in which they feel most comfortable operating and communicating. We look forward to further developing the functionality of ESR in the Welsh language.

N.Ellis, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Porth y Gymraeg yn mynd yn fyw ar ESR

Mae'r Cofnod Staff Electronig (ESR) ar gyfer staff GIG Cymru bellach ar gael i'w weld yn Gymraeg ac yn Saesneg.

Mae prosiect cydweithredol 4-mis rhwng Partneriaeth Cydwasanaethau GIG Cymru, a’r timau ESR o fewn Awdurdod Gwasanaethau Busnes y GIG (NHSBSA) ac IBM yn ystod hydref 2021 wedi arwain at y gallu i weld a thrafod rhai tasgau ESR yn Gymraeg drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg drwy byrth ESR.

Mae gan sefydliadau GIG Cymru ddyletswydd statudol i gydymffurfio â Mesur y Gymraeg (Cymru) 2011 a Safonau’r Gymraeg sy’n amlinellu oblygiadau holl sefydliadau’r GIG o ran darparu gwasanaethau Cymraeg a hwyluso’r defnydd o’r Gymraeg o fewn GIG Cymru.

Dechreuodd y gwaith ar y pyrth ym mis Medi 2021 ac yn dilyn gwaith cyfieithu helaeth, datblygwyd y pyrth, a sicrhawyd ansawdd cyn eu cyhoeddi ym mis Rhagfyr 2021.

Mae'r adborth ar y datblygiad blaengar hwn wedi bod yn galonogol hyd yma.


Mae gwybod bod porth ESR bellach yn ddwyieithog yn help mawr. Mae gweld systemau dwyieithog fel hyn yn bwysig ac mae staff yn gallu dewis heb ofyn. Mae hwn yn gam sylweddol ymlaen i hyrwyddo’r cynnig rhagweithiol yn fewnol o fewn GIG Cymru. Mae gallu gweld y Gymraeg yn bodoli, yn gyson ac ar yr un lefel â’r Saesneg yn rhoi statws teg iddi.

J.Williams, Ymddiriedolaeth GIG Prifysgol Felindre


Ers i mi ddechrau fy mywyd gwaith, rwyf wedi gorfod delio gyda materion AD yn fy ail iaith, sef Saesneg. Mae hyn wedi bod yn anodd ar adegau, yn enwedig wrth ymdrin â materion yn ymwneud â gwaith sydd wedi bod yn dipyn o straen. Mae peidio cael yr opsiwn o drafod materion trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg wedi ychwanegu at y straen.  Gyda datblygiad ESR Cymraeg, mae’n dangos bod croeso i mi ddefnyddio fy mamiaith bellach.

A.Williams, Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Caerdydd a’r Fro


Mae’n galonogol iawn cael y porth ESR ar gael yn Gymraeg. Mae’n ddatblygiad arwyddocaol ac yn gam i’r cyfeiriad cywir. Mae’n dangos bod GIG Cymru yn parchu fy newis iaith, a bod gennyf y rhyddid i ddefnyddio fy newis iaith. Mae’n bwysig cydnabod defnyddwyr y Gymraeg a sicrhau nad yw’r Gymraeg yn cael ei thrin yn llai ffafriol na’r Saesneg.

E.Jenkins, Gofal a Iechyd Digidol Cymru


Mae sicrhau bod rhyngwyneb ESR ar gael yn Gymraeg yn ddatblygiad arwyddocaol i’n gweithlu sy’n siarad Cymraeg. I lawer o'n staff sy'n siarad Cymraeg, Cymraeg yw eu hiaith gyntaf, ac o'r herwydd, yr iaith y maent yn teimlo'n fwyaf cyfforddus yn gweithredu a chyfathrebu ynddi. Edrychwn ymlaen at weld ymarferoldeb ESR yn cael ei ddatblygu ymhellach yn y Gymraeg.

N.Ellis, Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Aneurin Bevan



ESR Education – a new way of working

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ESR Education team had to follow government guidelines and cease all face-to-face education delivery. Whilst this presented new challenges it also gave the team the opportunity to look at alternative ways to continue to train ESR professional service users.

Working with the NHSBSA ESR team, the Education team developed a plan to deliver some courses by webinar and move those courses with low attendance to e-learning.

The webinars proved to be successful; many ESR professional service users were working remotely and by giving them the opportunity to continue to develop their knowledge and skills of ESR, the ESR Education team had found a winning formula.

The success of both webinar and e-learning methods of delivery enabled the team to begin to plan the post-pandemic education delivery and in collaboration with ESR users - in a series of focus groups, feedback was gathered that enabled the ESR team to deliver further improvements to user education.

The focus groups highlighted that smaller, targeted/ad-hoc educational webinars would be beneficial in all areas of ESR. Delivery of these ad-hoc webinars commenced in October 2021, with an initial focus on payroll hot topics.

Both the formal and ad-hoc courses have been received positively - with excellent attendance as highlighted in the comparison data below – over 230% increase in the number of delegates reached by delivering ESR education in this way.

Education Attendance Year

Number of Delegates





The focus groups also highlighted that both the BI and OLM courses, whilst working well via webinar, worked better when delegates had the opportunity for practice and networking. With this information, and following the recent lifting of restrictions, the ESR Education Team is pleased to announce that face-to-face education will recommence in June 2022, at the Warwick site - a User Notice will be distributed in May 2022 with dates and joining instructions.

The ESR Education team will continue to review the education being delivered, using feedback from ESR users, SRs, IBM CRMs, NHSBSA ESR team and the Education team to ensure delivery continues to meet user needs.

If you are reading this and think there is something missing from the ESR education offering that you or your colleagues would like to see covered, please contact your IBM CRM or NHSBSA ESR team Functional Account Manager - all feedback and ideas are welcome.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank those users who took part in the focus groups and who took time out of their working day to assist the ESR Education team in making these latest changes to the Education offering such a success.

A Spotlight on ESR Data Quality

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust – Data Quality Transformation Success

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has undergone a significant transformation over the past two years to provide an enviable platform of workforce insight that underpins our strategic, tactical, and operational workforce planning.

To support our transformation, we undertook several initiatives to enhance our data integrity, starting with ESR. In February 2019, our Trust ranked 302 out of 423 Trusts with a score of 8,635 in the WoVen rankings, so we were clear on our starting position. With this in mind, Penny Wright, our Head of Workforce Planning, Information & Resourcing, set the challenging task for us to achieve number #1 rank in the region and number #1 rank nationally.   

Joanne Penfold, ESR Lead told us:

I began to analyse the key areas for improvement and worked with colleagues in other departments to identify the challenges. This was not a small task, so I needed to draw on my subject matter expertise and understanding of ESR to pilot changes through education, training, and system adjustments. The analysis guided our focus to improving the data we had captured for new starters e.g., sexual orientation, ethnic origin, and disability.

I contacted colleagues directly and where necessary, via their manager to capture any additional data such as unknown email addresses.  I encouraged and supported them by explaining that as an equal opportunities employer it was vital to capture this information for all employees. Other initiatives also helped to improve the data held, such as reducing coding errors.


Within 12 months, the Trust started to see a significant improvement in the ranking, moving up 256 places, to 46 out of 423 Trusts by February 2020. As the project continued, the WoVEN ranking was promoted across the Trust, which helped Joanne to generate a real desire across the organisation to achieve #1 in the national rankings. The Nationality field was finally populated for all staff by March 2020, and this pushed ESHT ‘over the line’. ESHT achieved the coveted No.1 spot in July 2021 led by Joanne Penfold and supported by her team, Recruitment, Medical Staffing, ESHT EDI Lead and the operational teams.

Huge congratulations, a massive achievement – very proud of you. Fabulous work!

Chief People Officer


Well done all #proud.

Chief Nurse


That is brilliant news! Congratulations to everyone involved.



Well done, Joanne. This is a really great achievement by your team. You do ESHT proud.

Non-Exec Director


Joanne continued:

At ESHT, we continue to strive to maintain top rankings and are proud of the audits now in place to deliver a high level of confidence in our data integrity and accuracy. As an integrated Trust undergoing significant transformation, we continue to experience significant changes, however robust processes, web-based forms, and stringent audits play a key role in our delivery. What we are most proud of at East Sussex Healthcare Trust is a collective desire to deliver excellence in everything we do.


 How Trust data quality helps Health Education England

Having access to a broad spectrum of relevant and accurate ESR data helps Health Education England (HEE) to deliver on its mandate to ensure we train the right people with the right skills to be in the right place at the right time. Training insufficient numbers leads to a gap between demand and supply of staff, which drives costs up as locums and agency staff are hired to close that gap. High vacancy rates can place an extra strain on the existing workforce which in turn could drive up sickness and absence due to stress along with increased turnover rates and retention problems; all of which quickly develops into a vicious circle of events which is hard to break. 

Training too many can cause recruiting problems in the future, along with reputational issues for both the Universities and the health service. Training pipelines for the clinical professions in the NHS are complex and long, making it harder to recover from a shortfall or a mistake caused by poor data quality. 

As a service we need to be able to look-into the future and plan accurately for the recruitment and training of our workforce - who will join the service and carry the baton of responsibility for delivering health care to the population.  Ultimately, it is the service user who will suffer if we get it wrong.  We mustn’t let poor data quality be the cause.

Simon Orr

Applied Workforce Planning Lead

Workforce Education Transformation Team

HEE South East


How can Self Service help your data quality?

ESR Employee Self Service enables employees and applicants to review and update their data at source. 

The My ESR Employee Dashboard provides the My Personal Information and My Equality and Diversity portlets:

Your local ESR Portal Administrator can add portlets to the various ESR Dashboards. 


For more information regarding the WoVEn report, and to download the WoVEn England / Wales organisation rankings and scores reports, please go to the NHS Digital website.


The ESR BI > NHS ESR Data Quality Dashboard provides a comprehensive suite of data quality tests.  These are intended to help organisations identify missing or incorrect information.


Midlands & East of England

An ESR Journey at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust provides a full range of acute services to North Derbyshire’s population and beyond and employs more than 5,000 people to deliver these services.

In a project that started in summer 2020, the organisation worked tirelessly to hit the deadline of getting ESR set up and the workforce transferred over from their legacy system to allow the first payroll to be run in April 2021.

To ensure the project was delivered on time, a steering group was formed. Initially members met every month, and then more frequently as the project drew closer to completion. The team consisted of members from the organisation’s finance and workforce teams working alongside colleagues from the regional NHSBSA ESR team. It is a testament to how hard the team worked to achieve the successful transition from the legacy system to ESR, with all Chesterfield employees being paid via ESR in month one, with minimal issues - all during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As part of their roll out, Chesterfield implemented the e-recruitment interface and the junior doctor interface, making the recruitment process far more efficient than it was previously. 

From go-live, the organisation’s newly formed ESR team began adding employee email addresses into ESR, enabled employees to reset their own passwords and supported the organisation’s aim to switch off paper payslips in October 2021. This saw Chesterfield join nearly 89% of the NHS in supplying their payslips electronically only, leaving only five organisations in the East Midlands region to make the switch to online payslips and 47 nationally (as of February 2022).

To support individuals with the transition to using ESR Employee Self Service and access their payslips online, the Chesterfield ESR team held numerous ESR education sessions to promote the system and to teach people how to:

  • Log into ESR;
  • Reset their own passwords; and
  • Access payslips, be it through the ESR app or through the ESR Hub website.

Will Ogden, Chesterfield’s ESR Project Administrator, who delivered some of the education sessions, told us that he received a myriad of positive feedback about the move to online payslips. Comments saying that having payslips online is “incredibly handy”, “it is very easy to use” and the move was an “excellent” one. Will added that staff members were also pleased about the positive impact that no longer printing paper payslips has on the environment.

The education sessions paid dividends - by January 2022, 85% of staff had logged into ESR via Employee Self Service.

The payroll team has been incredibly busy transitioning activity onto ESR and have also reaped the benefits of moving to online payslips; sorting, batching, and distributing paper payslips across the organisation is now a thing of the past. This has saved the organisation administrative time and improved one aspect of Information Governance for the Trust.

Organisations can determine how many days prior to payday employees are able to access their online payslip by setting a ‘payslip offset date’ and at Chesterfield, currently, payslips are released three days ahead of payday. This allows employees access to their payslips much earlier than when they received them on paper and gives the payroll team more time to deal with queries.

As part of their move away from paper payslips, the organisation found the Implementing Online Payslips section of the ESR Hub invaluable.  The ESR Hub has a wide range of reference material and practical guidance including the benefits of moving to online payslips, guidance on mitigating myths and barriers to implementing online payslips using ESR, frequently asked questions related to implementing online payslips using ESR and, when they were ready to turn off paper payslips, they used the implementation guide to moving to online payslips alongside advice from their regional NHSBSA ESR Functional Account Manager.

The Future

Now that Chesterfield is using ESR, they are exploring other areas of functionality they can use to optimise the way in which they work. This is impressive given they have been using the system for less than a year.

They have ambitions to use ESR for Establishment Control, Manager Self Service and Annual Leave for non-rostered colleagues and they still hold monthly steering group meetings, which are attended by the regional NHSBSA ESR team, to plan and discuss maximising the organisation’s ESR footprint over the next 12-24 months.

Caroline Wade, Deputy Director of HR and OD, said:

The Trust is looking forward to increasing their use of ESR in the future, recognising the benefits of using management information systems to understand the workforce and support decision making.

We are delighted to have Chesterfield Royal Hospital as part of the NHS ESR family.

If your organisation is looking to maximise its use of ESR capability or if you have any queries, please contact your regional NHSBSA ESR Functional Account Manager. Details are available on the ESR Hub here.



Innovation at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust Implementing ESR Learning Management

The Northern Care Alliance (NCA) NHS Foundation Trust contains four hospitals and extensive community services across Salford, Oldham, Bury and Rochdale. At the beginning of 2020, Pennine Acute and Salford Royal began discussing the merging of the two organisations. As part of the harmonising and aligning of policies and processes, the learning management systems in use at both organisations were reviewed.

Sharon Taylor - Associate Director of People, For People Information & Systems, and Occupational Health Department explained:

Our NCA family is based over multiple sites and locations; we work together to utilise best practise and standardise our systems and processes to work together for the benefit of our People; our strategy meant one learning management system was the right way to move forward.

Following a review of learning management systems used by Pennine Acute and Salford Royal, ESR Learning management was selected. Work began to standardise ESR Learning Management across the Trust utilising a Shared Training Centre model. In the summer of 2020, the NCA submitted a request to merge the two organisations in 2022. Work then began in earnest to use ESR Learning Management across the NCA.

Preparation and Implementation

A project team was established with representatives from both Pennine Acute and Salford; a project manager was appointed who led the project, with the assistance of the NHSBSA ESR Functional Account Manager and ESR Implementation Advisor. Although the project team met on a regular basis, the project was slow to achieve some objectives in 2020, but in January 2021, a date was agreed for ‘go live’ for all Statutory and Mandatory training requirements.

Whilst agreement was being finalised on the requirements for the NCA, the team began exploring the learner’s journey when using ESR Learning Management.

Making use of the web portlets

The Digital Learning Manager for the NCA quickly saw the potential in the ESR Web portlets using Bootstrap HTML code to produce collapsible menus, and accordions acting as a min-catalogue for learners.

This method of engagement was important for the NCA to support the transition to ESR Learning Management as a new system.

Preparation continued at pace during the summer of 2021 - this involved updating learning records to reflect training history, setting of competency requirements across both organisations at business group, organisation, job role and position. Creating certifications to match the training requirements utilising pre-requisite’s enabled a blended learning approach of e-learning and face to face.

Highlighting the way that he approached setting the courses up in ESR, Kevin Mahon, Technical Systems Manager, People Information & Systems, Northern Care Alliance NHS Group told us:

Most of the non-mandatory courses that were already on our third-party platform were built in a way that were not SCORM compliant but utilised the built-in features of the platform such as seminars, documents, workbooks and tests. I had to find a way to transfer these courses into ESR Learning Management with limited resource. To overcome this challenge, I built a template using Lectora software that allowed me to create HTML pages. Using this approach, I could mimic the third-party platform pages so they looked familiar but within ESR Learning Management instead. We transferred over 50 of these courses using this template, including setting up the associated tests in ESR Learning Management.

In total the team built 89 courses (55 e-learning with tests) and renamed over 450 courses, certifications and offerings to ensure they follow a new NCA naming convention across both VPD’s in preparation for the Merge.

On the 16 August 2021 ESR Learning Management went live across the NCA.

Evaluation and Next steps

Learning completion data, week upon week and month upon month, indicates learners have adapted to the change and can navigate around the system. Work now continues to align Job Essential training requirements; this work will be ongoing prior to the merge of the two organisations and after the merge.

Between go live and to 1st January 2022 there were:

  • 20,975 certification subscriptions
  • 18,665 completions (89% of enrolments)
  • 6133 classroom enrolments

The NCA are also experimenting with QR codes and ESR Learning Management and Hyperlinks can be created by the ESR Learning Administrator, at the offering level within ESR Learning Management.

Free online software can convert these to QR codes, which can then be placed on posters, leaflets and other communication materials, making it more flexible on how staff can book onto their training.

For further information please contact Norther Care Alliance Project Manager – Kevin Mahon


Implementing Self Service at East Kent Hospitals

East Kent Hospitals (EKH) is one of the largest hospital Trusts in England, with five hospitals and community clinics serving a local population of around 695,000 people.

EKH also provide specialist services for a wider population in Medway, Maidstone and Ashford.  As a teaching Trust with approximately 12,000 staff, they play a vital role in the education and training of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, working closely with local universities and Kings College University in London.

The Trust made the decision to roll out Manager Self Service to improve the timeliness of changes, quality of data and to streamline processes to become less paper reliant and reduce duplicated data entry.  The organisation also wanted staff and managers to feel empowered to be the owners of their own data.

Having established the project, a pilot group was selected to trial the various Self Service functions and the intended approval methods - the pilot started in January 2021. 

Before planning the full roll out across the organisation, the team assessed the outcomes of the pilot. All managers within the pilot group had reviewed the data available to them and no paper change forms were received from these users.  It was therefore decided to roll out self-service to the rest of the organisation, from June 2021.

Because East Kent chose to utilise the Payroll Approval role, it is important that relevant members of the Finance Team are also aware of changes and able to approve them.  The manager (or their proxy user) therefore includes their Finance representative - as the ad-hoc approver on relevant changes.

All ESR Self Service functionality is being used, except the ability for managers to hire external candidates; a reliable trust wide process is already in place for this. However, managers are using ESR self-service to hire internal candidates.  A combination of Manager, Supervisor and Admin Self Service URPs are in use along with the ability to delegate to Proxy users.  There is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to the URPs used - this is assessed and agreed with each department before their roll out commences.

At the start of March 2022, approximately 800 managers have access to ESR Self Service, and full roll out is expected to be completed by the end of April 2022. 

Feedback from managers has been positive and there has been recognition that ESR Self Service could be utilised further.  The ability to see team information and real time compliance data has been a popular benefit for Managers.

Midwifery Matron, has praised the implementation of Self Service stating that:

Changing employee hours, adding appraisal dates and extending contracts work seamlessly on the online platform.

The original project plan didn’t include the utilisation of the Applicant Dashboard, but this was soon identified as a quick win to introduce new hires to the organisation.  This implementation has also improved the onboarding experience for applicants and has sped up the process.  The main improvement has been a decrease in time taken to move new starters from Applicant to Employee and large increases in engagement with Applicant / Employee Self Service – the trust no longer relies on paper for this process. New starters are increasingly using the system, including completing statutory and mandatory training, booking onto courses such as Manual Handling, adding their EDI information and payment information all before their start date.

The Learning and Development Team have also increased their use of ESR Learning Management to allow self-enrolment onto classroom training, local eLearning content and directing applicants to the Applicant Dashboard to review their compliance before their start date. 

As part of the project plan, the use of online payslips was reviewed.  Approximately 5,000 employees were already accessing their payslips online.  The Self Service project supported the decision to move forward to online only payslips from July 2021.  The development was widely publicised to staff in advance and the transition has gone well. 

The use of Smartcards and the considerations when building the manager hierarchy was one of the key lessons learned from the pilot review. Because Self Service URP requirements vary between each team, the hierarchy requirements can be different and time should be allocated to create these within ESR.

In terms of next steps for ESR in East Kent Hospitals the team plans to review the use of Appraisals.  Managers are currently entering appraisal dates only, but the trust are aware of the ability to recreate the EKH Personal Development Review within ESR and the additional appraisal reporting benefits; this is something that is being considered once the Self Service roll out is completed.

Sarah Todd-Blaber, HR Systems Project Manager adds:

Implementing ESR Self Service within our Trust has been an enjoyable challenge, moving to an online platform has meant the Trust now has a robust paper lite process for employee changes which is more visible to all parties and far easier to audit and track.  The regional ESR team are always there to support me and to answer all my questions and investigate problems I haven’t been able to resolve myself.  The ongoing improvements to ESR are also a benefit as we use more of the system functionality.

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