NHS Learning Accounts - the NHSU project
The NHS Learning Account Scheme was introduced in April 2001 as part of a firm commitment in The NHS Plan to widen learning and development opportunities for staff who do not have a professional qualification.
Although the take up and use of NHS Learning Accounts has been very successful overall, information collected by the Department of Health indicates that some staff groups are benefiting more than others from the Scheme.
Given this evidence of variability of take-up, NHSU set up a pilot scheme with the aim of seeking practical ways of involving a wider range of staff in taking up their entitlement to an NHS Learning Account.
A key aim of the pilot was to open up progression routes to 'non-traditional' learners, leading to a better-trained workforce for the NHS as a whole, and an increased supply into professional training.
In partnership with the Institute of Employment Studies, NIACE was asked to evaluate the NHSU pilot and to identify the elements necessary to ensure widespread and equal access to the NHS Learning Accounts Scheme.
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