Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust

ESR Competencies and Manager Dashboard

Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership Trust (CWPT) is a community based organisation providing mental health and learning disability services across Coventry, Warwick and surrounding areas, employing circa 3,800 employees. Merging two Trusts into one as part of an organisational change programme highlighted a need for more accurate workforce data to report to our Commissioners, our Board of Directors and divisional management teams. Historical data in ESR work structures meant the newly merged Trust had difficulty in reporting on the correct work-location of staff, training records and training needs analysis (TNA). Prior to utilising ESR competencies for training compliance, the Trust monitored and reported using a collection of ESR course histories, paper records and manual data collection exercises. A lengthy process of data capture and validation between the Workforce Information Team and operational leads was needed to ascertain the desired training reports. Furthermore, as a result of the merged work structures, only high level reporting was possible as the Trust was unable to say with any certainty where staff were based geographically. A separate database was used to generate the previous set of reports, taking ESR reports and merging them to generate the monthly compliance data. This required a lot of maintenance and often generated erroneous results. This database took up a lot of IT storage space. As a result, ESR had earned a reputation for poor data quality.

The Project
A previously established ESR Board had lapsed in interest which meant the strategy for managing Workforce data had lost direction. A primary task for this project was to reinvigorate the enthusiasm for ESR. Subsequently, the renamed HR Systems Board met monthly and then bi-monthly and recruited a Project Manager and a Project Assistant. The Board was chaired by the Associate Director of HR and had representatives from Workforce, Training, Operations and Finance. To aid management and tracking of this project, Prince2 project methodology was used.

Primarily, 3 work streams were identified which, collectively, would help the Trust achieve the desired outcome of more efficient and robust workforce information;

1 - Establishment Control
Working with Finance colleagues this work stream corrected the ESR work structure and ensured the organisation’s hierarchy reflected accurately the finance reporting structure, which also led to a data cleanse of ESR, creating new and purging unwanted positions. A key aspect of this exercise was to identify employees who required moving to correct position numbers and to work with the HR transactional teams to ensure records were amended appropriately with no impact to the employee.

Operational leads and service managers were included in the data capture to verify the location of each employee which meant, for the first time, the Trust had accurate records of where employees were based across the entire organisation.

In addition, a process of maintaining the Full Time Equivalent (FTE) data against positions was introduced enabling the Workforce Information Team to report on the variance between staff in post figures and the funded establishment.

2 - Introducing ESR Competencies and Training Needs Analysis (TNA)

An exercise to map each course topic to a specific competency within ESR was conducted, allowing the Trust to decide which ones would be used for reporting and monitoring. Consideration was given to which national framework competencies to use and/or the creation of local competencies where national ones did not exist. In collaboration with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), competencies with the correct title and expiry periods were selected and allocated to the relevant courses (face to face and e-learning) in OLM.

Having held course completions within ESR, the Trust used this data to identify which employees required the appropriate competencies adding to their record for training they had already undertaken. It was important not only to identify what training employees were required to complete, but also what they were already in date with. To reduce the manual correction of historic data, a Service Request (SR) was submitted to the ESR Central Team to request a data load of competencies against person records.

The conclusion of the work structures data cleanse exercise meant the next task of creating an ESR TNA could begin, as all active organisations, job roles and positions were ready to be used. The Trust invoked a requirement that staff should achieve specific competencies based on either where they worked in the Trust or what role they were in. Once each competency was mapped to the appropriate requirement field, an SR was raised to the ESR Central Team to request a data load of competency requirements.

3 - New Reporting and Business as Usual (BAU)

In addition to improved board level reporting, it was apparent the Workforce Information Team needed to be able to extract data on a more ad-hoc basis. Moreover, the completion of the preceding establishment control and competency management tasks meant the Trust was in a position to begin using ESR for more accurate workforce information. Therefore, a task of creating a common standard of reports and analyses began.

Using ESR Business Intelligence (BI) data, the Trust produced a monthly Manager Dashboard incorporating compliance, staff in post and establishment statistics. This allowed additional items to be included such as Appraisal, Professional Registration and Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS). The Manager dashboard is made available to budget holders and line managers on a monthly basis.

To ensure the continued accuracy of workforce data the Trust needed to design robust business processes of keeping ESR updated in a timely manner. Working alongside the stakeholders within the HR Systems Board, process flows were created to indicate how, where and who would update ESR. Each process was given a migration timeline from old to new, with progress being monitored as part of the project governance structure.

Related projects

The Trust had previously deployed ESR Self Service to managers and employees, providing the workforce with the right tools to have sight of, and manage their own records. As the Competency project progressed any inaccurate data became easily visible to our Self Service users, and we were able to gradually improve the accuracy of compliance data for employees.

Benefits and Achievements

The Workforce Information Team can now report training compliance data far more easily. Additionally, through the Manager Dashboard the Trust can be further assured that all staff are compliant for other key HR elements such as DBS, Professional Registration and Appraisal. Similarly, the Trust can now report compliance by geographic location confidently, which is a requirement of its Commissioners that the Trust was previously unable to fulfil without significant effort.

Through the use of competencies a more accurate picture of training compliance is available to staff and managers. As a result, the Trust has seen an increase in compliance. Prior to utilising competencies in December 2013, compliance for statutory and mandatory training was reported at 73.5%. Conversely, the Trust compliance figure in December 2014 was 84.22% with a peak of 87.36%.

In conclusion, there has been a huge time saving for operational services; we don’t have to hold and maintain local training records and we are no longer completing manual training returns. Prior to the introduction of competencies, each operational area spent approximately 180 hours per year maintaining and reporting on this data. As this is no longer required, the project has resulted in a Trust wide operational saving of approximately 720 hours annually, enabling valuable time to be reinvested into patient care.

Associate Director of HR, Cheryl Clemments comments; “When I commenced in post there was limited assurance in relation to ESR data. Operational services were unable to rely on the data for planning and reporting and there were occasions when ESR and Finance data were reporting different figures. It is much improved now as a result of this project and the ongoing work and services know they can now rely on the data.”

Tips and Advice

Our key recommendation would be not to underestimate the amount of data collection and validation required. Often, it is only when the analysis begins that the volume of work will be determined. Moreover, a clean and up to date ESR work structure is essential.

Although engagement with the project was high, the Trust did need to follow up on data returns from some operational areas. Consideration should be given to the impact on project timescales if not all stakeholders provide their input in a timely manner. 

The Next Steps

Now the Trust has regained confidence in its use of ESR workforce information, the primary objective is to use the data to support managing compliance and providing the Commissioners with the information they require.

Furthermore, as a result of the success of the Manager Dashboard the Trust Performance and Information Team is now scoping out a wider data management project, incorporating workforce statistics using ER BI. 

For more information

For more information please contact Danielle Petch, HR Systems & Services Manager at