Implementation of Supervisor Self Service to complete Pay Progression

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) operates across 5,400 square miles, serving 7 million people in Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire, and Glossop. It delivers care across 5 integrated care systems (ICSs) and runs the 111 service and provides patient transport services.


Following implementation of the 2018 pay award, a new Agenda for Change pay progression framework was agreed, (these details can be found in Annex 23, England of the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook (NHS TCS)). As part of the framework, it was agreed that with effect from 1 April 2019, all new starters to the NHS, and existing staff who were promoted would be included in the new Pay Progression arrangements and from 1 April 2021, all staff would be included in the new arrangements.

Annex 23, England sets out that staff who fall under the new Pay Progression arrangements and who are approaching a pay step date, will require a pay step review meeting to facilitate the move to the next pay point in ESR.

ESR functionality allows the recording of the Pay Progression meeting via Self Service. It was decided that the implementation of Supervisor Self Service would meet this requirement.


A project team was established, and an agreed project plan and timeline was approved. To support the Supervisors, bespoke training sessions were delivered by the project lead and team and using ESR Tply (training environment) they were trained in how to complete the Pay Progression Meeting in ESR.

Due to the agile working patterns and locations of NWAS, supervisors were given access to ESR using Supervisor Self Service Limited Access URPs - which allowed them to use mobile devices. The project commenced rollout in February 2022, with a phased approach in four groups with full implementation achieved on 28 November 2022.

The Project and Outcomes

North West Ambulance Service required supervisors to record that a Pay Progression meeting had taken place with employees who were approaching a pay effecting pay step point. Recording directly into ESR using Supervisor Self Service has ensured the Pay Progression meetings are completed in a timely manner for payroll processing, removing the need for a local process and reducing central inputting time and costs.

In addition to recording the Pay Progression meeting, supervisors also now record Appraisal information into ESR to support decision making for the Pay Progression Meeting. The appraisal and compliance portlets play a key role in supporting supervisors with planning appraisals and monitoring compliance in line with pay progression terms and conditions for pay-affecting pay progression outcomes.

During the rollout Supervisors and Proxy users were supported with a 2-hour training session. User guides and FAQs are now available on the dashboard, with a bespoke video on Appraisals and Pay Progression

Throughout the project the team was supported by their NHSBSA ESR Functional Account Manager and Implementation Advisor, who not only helped to keep the project on track but also helped the NWAS team with development of customised portlets for their Manager Dashboards. Supervisors were able to review the guidance at any point prior to completing a Pay Progression Meeting.

Manager Dashboard


Key Benefits and Next Steps

The move to ESR Supervisor Self Service has been a long-held ambition for the Trust. The impact of the pandemic pushed back our timeline, but we are delighted that we now have ESR Supervisor Self Service implemented into the Trust. Feedback from managers who have moved onto ESR SSS has been particularly positive and it is already feeling embedded into the organisation.

Vickie Camfield - Head of HR Corporate Services

Project Lead Sarah Moss on the conclusion of the project reports:

Feedback so far has been very good, with supervisors very happy to have access to live staff information, and it helps them with day-to-day staff management responsibilities. Implementing Pay Progression Meetings in ESR has emphasised future potential opportunities beneficial to staff and managers.

These include:

  • Applicant Dashboard
  • Bespoke induction guide, aligned to roles – in progress with Applicant dashboard
  • Annual leave portlet for staff and managers to book/approve leave. Suitable for corporate areas and requires further discussions for operational areas using rostering systems to record annual leave.
  • Bespoke Bi reporting for compliance and appraisals.
  • Property Register.
  • Conflict of Interest.
  • Flexible Working Requests.
  • Exit Questionnaires.

The move to Supervisor self-service is one step on the road to improve this situation and forms part of our digital road map to deliver improved experience for our staff and teams.  Running in tandem with other digital developments, the roll out of supervisor self-service has already started to deliver added value through easier access to data and intelligence, direct input improving data quality and greater ownership of data from management teams.  It is also delivering time saving in respect of administrative reporting from ESR.

Lisa Ward – Director of People North West  Ambulance Service NHS Trust

December 2022 will see the conclusion of the Supervisor Self Service Project, and in 2023 the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust will begin to explore how they can optimise other areas of ESR functionality.

For further information please contact Sarah Moss, Project Lead,

Flexible working implementation

In June 2019 the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care system was created. As an integrated care organisation, we work side by side with partners and the wider community to join up health and care for patients.

We provide hospital and community health services to half a million people. We’re responsible for delivering over 70 services across 15 main locations across North Cumbria and employ over 6,500 members of staff.

Following changes to national terms and conditions, we decided that we needed to undertake a policy and process review regarding Flexible Working Requests. Managing Flexible Working Requests are extremely important for organisations and are crucial in helping them deliver their retention plans and supporting the ambitions of the NHS People Plan. Functionality has been developed in ESR to assist organisations in delivering those commitments around flexible working requests.

Rebecca Robinson, ESR System Lead, said:

For many colleagues flexible working can mean the difference between being able to stay in the NHS or considering leaving. As an Organisation, we undertook a policy and process review in respect of flexible working, with engagement from the wider workforce on what they wanted to see in flexible working opportunities.

 We also wanted to effectively monitor requests to ensure that they were complying with terms and conditions, legislation, and local policy.

Once the review had concluded the following actions were implemented:

  • Policy amendments to include changes to include hybrid approach to home working.
  • Process for application as amended to be via ESR to allow for effective monitoring.
  • Guidance and comprehensive toolkits were made available to support updated policy. This included guidance on how to use flexible working functionality in ESR as both a manager and employee.
  • Policy go-live was 7th February 2022 and was supported with live training sessions from both the policy and systems team.

Following a successful implementation of the ESR functionality and changes to the local policy for flexible working, we have reported the following achievements:

  • A total 735 flexible working requests in ESR from 7th February so far.
  • Effective reporting and monitoring of requests to facilitate compliance with local policy and legislation.
  • Requests are readily available centrally if required, with a documented and auditable timeline.
  • Joint engagement and training sessions to support employees and managers with both policy and system queries to ensure engagement and effective use of the system.

Commenting on the success of this project Rebecca Robinson said:

Since we have implemented flexible working requests in ESR we have seen a real uptake in employees submitting these requests. It has also enabled us to monitor these requests much more effectively and it has given us assurance that we are compliant with national and local policies. I would certainly encourage organisations who are yet to implement flexible working requests in ESR to do so.

For further information about implementing flexible working requests, please contact

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