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KSF - Q & As

What about career progression and progress through the pay bands?

In most years pay progression will take the form of an annual increase in pay from one pay point in a pay band to the next unless there are serious concerns about how the individual is undertaking the current role.

At defined points in a pay band - known as 'gateways' - staff will be able to access higher pay points. At these points staff will need to demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills to a defined level.

Gateways occur at two points:

  • foundation gateway
    relates to the knowledge and skills that need to be applied from the outset in a post coupled with the provision of planned development for up to 12 months
  • second gateway
    relates to the knowledge and skills that need to be applied and demonstrated by someone fully developed in a post. This will be formed from the full NHS KSF outline for the post. Having gone through the second gateway, individuals would progress to the top of the pay band provided they continue to apply the knowledge and skills contained within the NHS KSF outline for that post.

Knowledge and Skills Framework 2013 update

Following agreement at the NHS Staff Council, there are changes to pay progression and increments, in England only, that impact on the use of KSF at the workplace in the NHS.  A copy of the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook 2013 Annex W (England): Pay Progression can be found on the NHS Employers website.

Position of pay band gateways 

Pay band - position of second gateway
Pay band 1 - before final point
Pay bands 2-4 - before first of last two points
Pay bands 5-7  - before first of last three points
Pay band 8, ranges A-D -  before final point

The gateway review should take place in time for staff to progress on their normal incremental date. Successful development will allow staff to progress up the pay points until they reach the top of the pay band.

Although the first gateway in each pay band will be after one year in post, existing staff with at least 12 months experience in post will be assumed to have met the criteria for passing through this gateway.

When nursing staff reach the top of their pay band, they will not move onto the next band. Band assignment can only be done through job evaluation.

How would the KSF fit with lifelong learning and continuing professional development (CPD)?

The KSF will help to enhance lifelong learning within the NHS and is consistent with the RCN's education objectives and those of the Nursing and Midwifery Council. The KSF will place the onus on the employers to facilitate the CPD for nurses by:

  • providing staff with clear and consistent development objectives
  • helping staff to apply the knowledge and skills appropriate to their level of responsibility
  • allow staff to identify and develop knowledge and skills that would support their career progression.

Further information on the KSF can be found on the NHS Employers website.