Derbyshire Healthcare Case Study

A Case Study from Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

A Passport to Learning


For Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust achieving efficiency savings and improving the patient experience are two key elements of our strategic objective as a mental health service provider.

Helen Marks, Director of Workforce & Organisational Development says "We are an organisation with a diverse workforce, with hundreds of teams spread across over eighty inner-city and remote rural areas, and this means that our approach to training and development best practice has had to be radical and forward thinking".

Following implementation of core ESR in 2007 we established an ESR Benefits Realisation Board led by Paul Lumsdon, Chief Nurse/Executive Director of Nursing, Quality & Research. Supporting project groups including HR, Training and IT were also established and in April 2009 we implemented OLM and Talent Management. This led to the development of a trust wide training framework that included the creation of a training profile for every individual post across the trust. With Supervisor Self Service and eLearning implementation the following April we began to see a range of benefits for managers and staff.


By innovatively tapping into the potential of ESR we have revolutionised the way we collect, use and act on, workforce data. Paul Lumsdon explains "We are one of only a few trusts in the NHS that uses the Talent Management module of OLM to track and record training requirement competencies against every single position in our organisation, and this has really paved the way for the creation of a training passport for all our employees and posts. This bespoke model equips us with the ability to gain a real-time, accurate insight into the individual training record of all 2,500 employees at the simple touch of a button and provides assurance to the senior management team that the right employees have received the right training through identifying the correct training target group"

How they did it

Liam Carrier, Workforce Planning and Information Manager explains: "The biggest challenge we faced was attaching the training passport to the ESR post, not the employee. This would have the added advantage of ensuring new starters had a passport to identify their training needs and chart their progress from day one. We adopted a unique methodology in our trust by introducing competencies denoted by either ‘C’ for Compulsory, or ‘R’ for Role Specific which helps employees to prioritise their training. It gives the expiry date of a competence and a green or red colour code to highlight training that has been completed (meets requirement) or needs to be completed (does not meet requirement). To remain in line with the trusts training framework a yellow and blue colour is also used to easily differentiate between compulsory and role specific training. 



Above: example of the Training Passport

There were three main areas that would support the project and be key to its success:

1. Layout – the new passports had to be easy to follow and understand for both employees and managers. Training competency type, refresher period, delivery method, status and expiry date were all key elements that had to be included on the passport to ensure its success.

2. Communication – partnership working between passport leads, course booking leads, the training department and the Workforce Planning & Information Team was essential to ensure that ESR could be fully explored and utilised to create and deliver the new training passport.


3. Frequency - receiving passports on a regular basis would ensure that staff were kept fully up to date with their training status and most importantly allow staff to forward plan their future training needs and therefore continue to remain in date with their training.

Key Benefits and Achievements

  • Overall Compulsory Training completion rates have increased by more than 20%
  • It enables both employees and managers to easily know exactly what training has been completed and identify gaps in training that is required. By running a standard ESR report and using a simple Excel Macro, training passports are emailed automatically to individual employees on a monthly basis providing employees with a regular reminder of their training status.
  • Training has been propelled to the forefront of employees’ minds and has been embedded within team meetings and appraisals, providing a new-found community of interest to managers already using and benefitting from ESR Supervisor Self Service.
  • Employees bring their passports to supervision meetings and the passports have very much become business as usual across the trust.
  • Creation of the employee training passport paved the way to supply a daily feed from ESR to the Trusts local KPI Dashboard, providing real time data on several key KPI’s including compulsory training compliance rates.
  • Efficiencies have been achieved by identifying the right post for the right training, therefore creating a reduction in unnecessary training being undertaken. Deployment of eLearning has seen a 75% reduction in classroom based courses, delivering additional efficiency savings on training venues, travel expenses and course tutors, and with the majority of eLearning courses having the competency attached to the course, employee training records are updated automatically, removing the need to manually update training completion dates.
  • By attaching individual training competency requirements at post level, and therefore creating the ‘employee training passport’, it provides assurance that the correct training target group is being reported on.
  • Adding and removing Compulsory Training competency requirements to employee passports requires authorisation by the Trusts Compulsory Training Board, providing additional assurance that the right posts are identified for the right training.
  • The new system gives a clear performance position on compulsory training compliance rates, providing assurance to the senior management team and to the community we serve of the commitment to staff training and determination to improve patient care.

Graham Wilkes, Consultant Clinical Psychologist - "They are particularly helpful in clarifying compulsory and role specific training in an extremely simple format. They enable individual staff members to take more responsibility for their own training and provides a clear summary of their progress."

Claire Biernacki, Service Manager - "I have found the system an invaluable aid in managing team members training requirements. The colour system is great for at a glance check that individuals are up to date and quickly identifying where they are not. I am responsible for 40 staff so having everything in one place, easy to read and available to staff themselves makes this part of my job much easier. Previously keeping track of individual’s completed and outstanding training was very difficult and I was never fully confident that I had the full picture or indeed that everyone had undertaken aspects of essential training, and that was a big concern."


Stage 2 – Implementing Establishment Control

Following successful rollout of the training passport using the individual post and coding concept, this innovative idea paved the way for ESR Establishment Control. Liam continues: “The trust required a system to track and monitor all Workforce Cost Improvements (CIP’s) and in particular support the Trusts Project Office who had a single aim of providing real time assurance that quality was not being negatively affected through implementing efficiency plans”.

By using existing work structure functionality within ESR and working in partnership with the Trusts Finance Team, we seized the opportunity to create and record individual uniquely coded posts for all funded establishment. This enables us to perform unique tracking of individual posts and allows enhanced vacancy control.


Posts are allocated a unique ESR position number and using existing reporting functionality within ESR, real time reports can be run on Fte Establishment, Fte employees in post and Fte vacancy. These reports can also clearly identify division, service line, ward/team, cost centre, staff group, band, and Fte and employee name as required. Establishment is controlled in ESR by flagging posts as either ‘Active’ or ‘Eliminated’ and can be tracked in detail to identify CIPs (including skills mix) by the use of individual coding to an eliminated position title.

Monthly validation checks between the finance ledger and ESR ensures that the establishment remains in line and monthly meetings with Finance Managers ensure CIP’s and any changes to establishment are mapped accordingly.

Enhanced workforce profiling is now made possible by running reports on funded Fte establishment, whereas previously reporting was limited to traditional Fte staff in post only.

Ifti Majid, Chief Operating Officer/Deputy Chief Executive explains "As we deliver efficiencies, all too often it can be difficult to clearly link posts to efficiency gains and cost reductions. ESR Establishment Control has assured we can pinpoint efficiency reductions down to specific posts, avoiding 'double counting' and providing a clear audit trail – a revelation in efficiency mapping"

For more information

If you want to talk to the team at Derbyshire about their Training Passport or their work to implement ESR Establishment Control please contact Liam Carrier at or call 01332 623700 ext.