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Our strategic approach


Education, training and workforce development

Our main responsibility is to develop and deliver education and training for the NHS in Scotland and we play a similarly important role in relation to social care and social work. This includes undergraduate, postgraduate, and continuing professional development. We extend our offer and reach to support other public bodies through activities such as the National Trauma Training Programme.

In the next three years, we will work with Scottish Government, the health and social care sector, academia, and regulators to develop new leadership and innovation programs, support succession planning and talent management, and create new education and training routes that meet the needs of our population.

We will explore new models of education and training, in collaboration with partners, across health and social care disciplines. We will also support acceleration of skills development in areas key to service transformation including leadership, digital and data.

Data, Intelligence and Workforce Supply

Our role as the official provider of workforce statistics and strategic delivery partner of Scottish Government on technology and information resources is growing to meet the pressures faced by health and social care and societal need. Over the next three years, we will target skills development in digital and seek to improve the range, quality, detail, analysis, and reporting of workforce data.

Building on the role of the Centre for Workforce Supply, we will work collaboratively with health, social care and academic partners to utilise population health and workforce data. This will enable data informed workforce planning, service redesign, new models of care and creation of new roles and qualifications.

Educational Research

Our ambition is to be a world class organisation for education, training and learning, working with the Office of the Chief Scientist to the Scottish Government, as well as other partners,  to build research capacity within the health and social care system. We will focus on educational research and knowledge services, including the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in education, to shape the future of learning within health and social care and ensure best practice can be adopted across the sector.  We will also research how technology can improve the education and training of the health and social care workforce, encompassing both paid and volunteer roles.

Digital Innovation and Delivery

To support delivery of Scotland’s Digital Health and Care Strategy (a joint initiative between Scottish Government and COSLA), we will use technology to improve health and social care services, working collaboratively with partners. This includes building digital solutions and using cloud-based services to support better outcomes for the people of Scotland and address inequalities. We will develop a national digital platform that integrates data, intelligence and applications, and deliver a Digital Front Door to make it easier for people to access services and information. Our aim is to help health and social care staff work more efficiently and effectively by providing them with the information they need. We will also work collaboratively as part of Accelerated National Innovation Adoption to assess and scale innovation, supporting the sustainability of NHS Scotland.