This type of training is usually required by law or where a statutory body has instructed an organisation to provide training on the basis of specific legislation (i.e. the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999). Employers often describe this as ‘essential’ or ‘compulsory’ training and it ensures staff have the knowledge to maintain a healthy and safe working environment for themselves and their colleagues.
In the NHS, all new employees are required to undertake core health and safety awareness and training. This usually includes:
When you start a new job you attend an induction programme, usually within the first month of starting work. During your first year you are usually required to complete the statutory and mandatory training sessions that were not covered in your induction. Attendance at statutory and mandatory training usually forms part of your terms and conditions.Back to contents
Mandatory training is compulsory training that is determined essential by an organisation for the safe and efficient delivery of services. This type of training is designed to reduce organisational risks and comply with local or national policies and government guidelines. Some organisations use the terms essential or compulsory training as a ‘catch all’ to cover both mandatory and statutory training.
Mandatory training might include:
We believe mandatory training should be undertaken during work time. Your employer may require you to attend training or updates on your off duty - you should, however, be given the equivalent time off to compensate. If you work regular night shifts your employer should take this into account to ensure you can attend any regular training updates.
Any work related training is counted as 'working time' under the Working Time Regulations 1998 and as such count as work when weekly hours are being calculated.
Read more on working time and breaks.
Mandatory training usually requires attending annual updates, dependent on the role and organisational requirements.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) does not set specific requirements stating how often mandatory training must be undertaken or completed. However, the NMC does require that registrants remain trained and competent. Your employer is free to set their own protocols and policies on training which all staff are contractually obliged to follow.
There are many frameworks under which employers should be delivering mandatory training. The NHS for example is required to meet the standards for better health, NHS Resolution risk management standards and the Care Quality Commission inspection criteria. Frameworks will vary depending on:
The Equality Act 2010 places a responsibility on employers to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and promote equal opportunities. This means employers should consider those protected under the Act when designing and delivering statutory and mandatory training. The employer should consider what adjustments can be made for staff with a disability. This this could be to ensure the times and locations and delivery of the training is suitable and accessible. The employer should remove any physical barriers, or provide extra equipment or aids where required.
The Equality Act 2010 places a responsibility on employers to ensure any training policy and practice does not disadvantage or negatively impact protected groups. For example: arranging mandatory training sessions/updates only on certain days of the week which might prevent employees with a religious belief or faith from attending.
If you share a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 and are experiencing discrimination please call us for advice and to discuss local support arrangements.
For more information please see the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) publication, Your rights to equality at work: training, development, promotion and transfer (EHRC, 2011).
If you are based in Northern Ireland, see Equality Commission Northern Ireland.Back to contents
Your contract with the temporary work agency should outline your right to access essential/ mandatory training to ensure you work in a safe manner. Common training areas covered should include:
Agency and bank workers do not have the statutory right to request ‘time to train’ or paid time off to study.Back to contents
Generally, agency and bank nurses should receive mandatory training, but usually need to self-fund any further career development. NHS Professionals (bank only flexible workers) can access the majority of their online training courses.
We can provide careers advice to help with your development.
We also be running local study days, workshops, short courses and seminars in your area. Please go to the RCN events and conferences page for further information.Back to contents
For advice on referencing this web page, refer to your university's guidance. There are different styles of referencing so it's important to check which one is preferred by your course provider. You can read more about referencing on the RCN's library site.Back to contents