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The Knowledge and Skills Framework explained

The Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) was developed through a partnership between management and staff side and is a development tool which contributes to decisions about pay progression. It is made up of 30 dimensions which form the main components of the framework.

Core dimensions

Six dimensions have been defined as core to the NHS, these dimensions will occur in everyone's job:

  1. communication
  2. personal and people development
  3. health, safety and security
  4. service development
  5. quality
  6. equality, diversity and rights.

Specific dimensions

A further 24 specific dimensions which apply if applicable to the post.

The specific dimensions have been categorised as follows:

  • health and wellbeing (HWB)
  • information and knowledge (IK)
  • estates and facilities (EF)
  • general (G).

Each dimension has four levels called indicators. The higher the level the greater the expectation required in relation to the knowledge and skills necessary for the post.

Health and well being dimension (HWB) 

There are 10 specific dimensions:

  • HWB 1- promotion of health and wellbeing and prevention of adverse effects to health and wellbeing
  • HWB 2 - assessment and care planning to meet people's health and wellbeing needs
  • HWB 3 - protection of health and wellbeing
  • HWB 4 - enable people to address their health and wellbeing needs
  • HWB 5 - provide care to meet individuals' health and wellbeing needs
  • HWB 6 - assessment and treatment planning related to the structure and function of physiological and psychological systems
  • HWB 7 - interventions and treatments relating to the structure and function of physiological and psychological systems
  • HWB 8 - biomedical investigation and intervention
  • HWB 9 - equipment and devices to meet health and wellbeing needs
  • HWB 10 - products to meet health and wellbeing needs.

Information and Knowledge (IK)

There are three specific dimensions:

  • IK 1 - information processing
  • IK 2 - information collection and analysis
  • IK 3 - knowledge and information resources.

Estates and Facilities (EF)

There are three specific dimensions:

  • EF 1 - systems, vehicles and equipment
  • EF 2 - environments and buildings
  • EF 3 - transport and logistics,

General (G) 

There are eight specific dimensions:

  • G 1 - learning and development
  • G 2 - development and innovation
  • G 3 - procurement and commissioning
  • G 4 - financial management
  • G 5 - services and project management
  • G 6 - people management
  • G 7 - capacity and capability
  • G 8 - public relations and marketing.

These core and specific dimensions help set the knowledge and skills required for each post called a KSF outline and are further described by level descriptors, indicators and references that express each level in more detail.

An individual would need to apply the knowledge and skills in a number of dimensions to achieve the expectations of their post. Most jobs will be made up of the six core dimensions and between two and six of the specific dimensions (although this will vary from post to post).