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Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) occupational framework development

The overall purpose of this project is to define the health informatics and digital workforce terminology and create appropriate job architecture to describe skill levels, through either agreeing and establishing a modernised capability framework or adapting and adopting pre-existing frameworks into the NHS and Social Care.

The current project is a pilot to map a discrete area of the current GDS DDaT Capability Framework to health and care job roles and test its implementation.

Vision of Success

To have a job architecture framework for digital health roles that is:

  • Agreed (by stakeholders – they have been engaged in its development) ​ 
  • Used (by all NHS and Social Care organisations in England, e.g. informs planning, aids recruitment) ​ 
  • Universally recognised (outside of immediate stakeholder groups, has broader awareness) ​ 
  • Sustainable (has a governance framework that can manage it on an BAU basis)  
  • Able to serve as a blueprint for future work for introducing additional job families and roles.

Background to the project

Health Informatics does not describe an occupation. It currently contains a diverse and discrete set of individual occupations in health and care each having their own niche skill sets but also having common skills across the functions, such as the necessary leadership and distinctly human skills needed to lead digital services and digital transformation projects at pace and scale.

Without a systematic analysis of job architecture, NHS and care organisations run the risk of building their digital teams based on financial systems, such as compensation structures (AfC) and variable pay programs, on a faulty foundation. Job architecture places further importance on a consistent approach to identifying job levels, career paths, mobility criteria, and pay values. When job architecture is outdated or misaligned, workforce management becomes more about reacting than planning, and people practices can no longer leverage individuals’ skills and abilities or meet changing business needs. 

Our current analysis of the informatics workforce in the Electronic Staff Record System (ESR) indicates that without an overarching informatics occupational career framework, standardised roles and governance structures to review and assure them, we risk not being able to attract the right people with the right skills. Marketing campaigns for schools and colleges, for example, will benefit from some skill levelling, by being able to better describe pathways and routes in and onwards.