Removing ESR Blue Competency Notifications reduced the number of support calls.

East Cheshire NHS Trust is an integrated community and acute trust, providing healthcare across Macclesfield, Knutsford, and Congleton in both acute and community settings. With over 2,500 dedicated staff it serves a local population of around 470,000 people.

ESR competency requirements are used to report on employee’s mandatory training compliance and East Cheshire have competency requirements set against Business Group, Organisation and Job Role levels within ESR.

East Cheshire have robust processes in place to maintain competency requirements, however it becomes difficult when employees move around the Trust into different roles which have different training requirements. This can mean that some of the competencies that were previously gained in their previous role are no longer needed. When this happens, the employee keeps hold of all competencies they have obtained, however as it is no longer a requirement for their new role, the competency on ESR turns blue (indicating that it’s not a requirement of their current role).

An enhancement to ESR in June 2020 enabled organisations to suppress the notifications on blue competencies.

Kate Joynson is the manager of the Workforce Information Team at East Cheshire. Commenting on this enhancement, Kate told us:

When we heard about the functionality to suppress the blue notifications in ESR, we implemented it as quickly as possible, as we knew this would save us lots of time in support calls. Implementation was a simple task and we immediately saw the impact with a significant drop in support calls from employees.

With only a small team to manage Statutory and Mandatory Training (stat-mand) compliance it is very important that we use ESR as efficiently as possible and make best use of the system to help us meet these demands.

Prior to this enhancement in ESR, whenever an employee had a blue competency and it was about to expire, they would still receive an expiry notification to inform them that the competency was about to expire. This was causing confusion for our employees as they didn’t understand why they were receiving these as they were no longer a requirement in their job and in many cases, the employees would automatically repeat the training to ensure their competency profile remained complete. This caused numerous phone calls and emails to our team asking us to remove the competency or stop the notifications.

We were reluctant to remove the competency as it was evidence of completed training which was still valid and would be useful evidence if they further changed role or left the organisation. We also had no control over the competency expiry notification being sent and all this was very time consuming.

Since implementing the functionality to suppress these notifications, we have seen a drop in employees contacting us over this issue. The reduction in queries is around 20% which has not only increased our capacity to deal with other tasks, but it has also given our employees some level of confidence that they are now only receiving competence expiry notifications that are relevant to their current role.

For further information or to discuss how East Cheshire removed the blue competency notifications please contact Kate Joynson, Workforce Information Manager, East Cheshire NHS Trust at

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