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Enabling staff movement - doctors in training

As part of our ongoing work to improving staff experience, and set out in the interim People Plan, NHS Long Term Plan and the 2016 Junior Doctors Contract negotiations, we are working with partners to enable staff to more easily move from one NHS employer to another.


All NHS employing organisations have the same overarching legal, regulatory and national policy framework when employing staff. Each must satisfy themselves that individuals being employed are who they say they are, are fit to be employed and competent to fulfil the role offered to them.

However, employing organisations interpret national requirements slightly differently, resulting in marginally different policies, processes, practices and standards leading to unwarranted variation, as highlighted in Lord Carter’s report - Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: unwarranted variations.


Doctors in training programme

Doctors in training represent approximately 20-25% of all staff movements, as they rotate around trusts at least once annually. To enable us to drive forward the improvements to the pre-employment experience and tackle the issues around mobility within the NHS, our initial scope of work concentrates on resolving issues for the doctors in training, and thereby unblocking the systemic issues that all staff groups face. 

Working alongside NHS England and NHS Improvement, and other national partners including the BMA, we are making improvements to the pre-employment, induction and rotation process for doctors in training. This is the first system-wide programme addressing national barriers to improve the deployment and induction experience of doctors in training.

Our ambition is to support an agile workforce which will move seamlessly between providers. This means:

  • Enabling a more robust new starters process with reduced repeated administration
  • Being able to update employment records online instead of using paper forms
  • Having an onboarding process that is efficient and professionally managed
  • Having previous training and skills records recognised and transferred
  • Experiencing a relevant and value adding induction


Further information is provided in the attachments at the bottom of this page.

Learn more about the programme and find out what you can do to support this work by viewing the About the Doctors in Training Programme document below.

A toolkit has been developed to provide comprehensive guidance on setting up a workforce sharing agreement, find out more on the NHS England and NHS Improvement website.