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Frequently asked questions

If you have a question about the trainee information system project, you may find the answer below. Otherwise, please email hee.tis@nhs.net.


What is the Trainee Information Systems (TIS) Programme?

The Trainee Information Systems (TIS) programme is a national HEE initiative that formally began in late 2014 to develop the information system(s) to support the management and administration of trainees and learners. However, the work can trace its origins to 2013 when some staff started to focus on the how to manage the some of the large information systems, such as Intrepid.

What is the governance of TIS?

Currently TIS is transitioning from a project structure to a programme structure. However, the programme is led by Dr Nicki Latham, Director of Performance and Development as the Senior Responsible Owner (SRO). The SRO is responsible for reporting progress to the Executive and HEE Board. Robert Pink is the Programme Manager.

What projects are being managed by the TIS programme?

There are two projects under the TIS Programme, the TIS Project and the Intrepid Projects. The Intrepid system, otherwise known as V10 is a major system used to administer trainee doctors and will - in time - is subsumed into the TIS Project. There is a confusion of terms, which is why we are seeking to change the name of the TIS Project.

Trainee Information System Programme

What are the aims of the TIS project?

Succinctly, the aim is to introduce a new set of modern information systems designed to support the management and administration of our trainees and learners.

What are the benefits?

There are a range of strategic and operational benefits that are anticipated detailed below. From a corporate level, TIS will deliver the following:

  • Data management improvements - There are complex information flows within HEE, between local teams and with external organisations, such as Trusts and regulators. TIS will improve and simplify these flows through the introduction of common data standards and processes, and improve data-driven activity and decision-making e.g. workforce planning and research.
  • Information system improvements - HEE inherited over 100 separate information systems from SHAs and deaneries. Many of these systems are not fit for purpose, approaching obsolescence, or obsolete. In many cases functions are run without structured systems in place and this can hinder efficient process development and data management. TIS will seek to replace many of these legacy systems.
  • One HEE - Where appropriate TIS will facilitate pan-HEE process alignment enabling improved cross-local team and geographical management and oversight. It will also be easier to introduce a new “user-driven” model for system development and improved supplier management.
  • Cost - On a purely financial basis, the reduction of the number of information systems will reduce costs and new improved systems will also to improve staff efficiency and productivity.

Who will TIS impact?

TIS will impact all those responsible for managing trainees and learners, and will also benefit those functions that require improved data outputs, such as local and national business intelligence and workforce planning teams. Users include local and national teams, colleagues in Trusts and elsewhere in the NHS, organisations and stakeholders who work on our behalf, or who we exchange data with, and learners who we educate and train.

How was the decision on the scope and scale of TIS Project made?

The original steer was to look at delivering a multi-professional solution for HEE, although the detail was not fully understood. To provide greater clarity an options appraisal was conducted.

What are Directly Managed Programmes?

Directly Managed Programmes (DMP) is a term that came out of the Options appraisal. The term covers the management of trainees and learners where HEE has a direct relationship, and is responsible for ensuring progression through a defined training programme. These are doctors, dentists, public health practitioners, and also likely to include scientists and pre-registration pharmacists.

In the past this area was traditionally referred to as “medical”, but with the formal inclusion of other professions the term is no longer applicable - hence “directly managed”.

What are Commissioned Programmes?

Commissioned Programmes (CP) is a term that came out of the Options appraisal. This was an area of work that engaged with learners who have very little or no contact with HEE but delivered education and training programmes. These groups could include pre-registration nursing students, specialist nursing post-registration, allied health professionals and other technical and therapeutic students/trainees/learners.

Through the options appraisal phase we found learners are traditionally managed through education commissioning teams and arrangements can vary across local teams.

Therefore the commissioned programme is a reference to "non-medical" groups who will be targeted in the research to record training for medical and dental undergraduates.

The (Comprehensive) Spending Review 2015 resulted in the TIS Project pausing on developing an approach for learners associated with commissioned programmes.

What are the requirements for TIS?

Essentially, the requirements for TIS are for an information system (or systems) to support the trainee and learner lifecycle.

With Directly Managed Programmes, the Options appraisal described an intention to develop functionality over and above what was currently in place. For Commissioned Programmes the intention was originally to make modest changes by moving all local teams onto a system(s) to record student records, pending wider strategic change. However, the Spending Review 2015 has impacted and work in this area has been placed "on hold".

In 2015 local teams, users and user communities were asked to develop their requirements for TIS and this led to the production of the Output Specification that defined the boundaries of what TIS would be. The Output Specification was further informed by the work of the Discovery Phase on how TIS can be delivered.

How will TIS be procured?

We started to engage with the market in December 2014 to develop pre-procurement relationships with potential suppliers and have since held four Supplier Days. The original intention was to undertake procurement in November 2015 for a supplier to deliver TIS, and for that supplier to be engaged for April 2016.

However, intervention from the Cabinet Office led to a re-think of our procurement options and the November 2015 procurement was cancelled. In January 2016, the view was agreed that TIS should be built rather than bought and to enable this, a Digital Delivery Partner would be procured to work with us to develop and build TIS.

When and how will TIS be implemented?

Even with the changes in direction regarding procurement, it is still hoped that TIS will start to deliver products by the end of 2016.

Apart from actual systems to use by our staff and stakeholders, we need to develop and implement the "means" to develop and build TIS.

Currently, apart from the technical and change aspects of TIS, we will be looking to concentrate on Revalidation and a Trainee Portal.

It must be noted that we understand that TIS is a large change programme and we are sensitive to the impact of change on users and operational delivery.

Information governance and TIS

TIS will conform to high standards of information governance at various levels, including:

  • Developing formality of how (and what) data is transmitted outside of HEE, and how data is received from other organisations.
  • Reducing duplication where records are repeated across multiple systems.
  • Implementing measures to protect data (often highly sensitive) within and between local teams by ensuring only those users who have job roles to “see” data are able to do so.

How does Intrepid fit in?

Intrepid is major information system being used to support the administration of doctors, dentists and public health trainees. The system has been in use by local teams for upwards of 20 years and contains a vast amount of data and invested time and effort of staff.

We do not yet know how Intrepid fits in to the future, except that TIS needs a "core database" to run. At the moment (at end March) the intention is to continue to use Intrepid until the end of 2016 and possibly beyond.

However, we much make sure we get our terms right, because Hicom as a company provide a range of systems to HEE and the Intrepid product (i.e. what users see) is the front-end of a substantial database.

To note, we have over 110 separate information systems in use and all will be impacted by TIS in some way. No system should be considered immune, or exempt from change.

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