The NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework and Personal Development Planning and Review

The NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) applies to all staff who are employed under Agenda for Change (AFC) terms and conditions. It is a useful tool to identify the knowledge, skills and learning and development that staff need to do their job well. The KSF is a broad framework which supports a fair and consistent approach to Personal Development Planning and Review known as PDP&R in short.

PDP&R is a regular conversation between the manager and the staff member which helps staff to:

  • be clear about what is expected of them in their job
  • have regular feedback on how they are performing at work
  • show how they contribute to the team objectives and purpose
  • show how their job supports safe and effective services for patients and their families
  • plan for any new learning that they need to gain new skills or improve their existing skills and agree their own personal development plan
  • discuss any ideas they have for improving the services that they help to provide

The principles of PDP&R using the KSF are based on effective leadership and good people management – it is about treating all staff fairly and equitably. In turn, individual members of staff are expected to develop and apply their knowledge and skills to meet the demands of their post and to work safely and effectively.

More information on the principles and values around PDP&R in NHSScotland are detailed in the Partnership Information Network (PIN) policy Personal Development Planning and Review PIN Policy.

You may also find it helpful to read about the commitment of the NHS in Scotland to ensure that all staff are fairly and effectively managed. The Staff Governance Standard sets out your rights and responsibilities as an employee of the NHS in Scotland. Read the standard

The Personal Development Planning and Review (PDP&R) cycle is shown on the diagram below.   PDP&R should be an ongoing process with at least one summary meeting between manager and staff once a year.  Click on any of the links in the diagram to find out more about each section.

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Understanding KSF Dimensions