Frequently asked questions


Frequently asked questions


How do you decide what is commissioned in the continuing workforce development portfolio?

Each year Health Education England (HEE) asks organisations working across the NHS in the north east to state their education and training requirements for the following year. Throughout the commissioning process to ensure high quality courses are commissioned for the benefit of the whole region, achieving an economy of scale. Courses are funded if they are required by several organisations or for regional specialist services such as mental health or paramedic services. We consult with our stakeholders to prioritise the courses and set the strategic direction of the commissioning process.

I was not happy with an aspect of my course. What can I do?

We are very sorry that sometimes courses do not meet expectations. It is important to raise concerns or queries so improvements can be considered for future deliveries. There are different ways you can feed back your comments. If you feel particularly strongly you can use all three channels!

Firstly, you can raise your concerns via the evaluation process at the university and communicate it separately with the university as feedback. The universities will raise any significant feedback and any actions they have taken as part of our quality assurance processes.

Secondly, you can contact your CWD lead in your organisation or your CCG link if you are in primary care. They will address your concerns within the organisations and raise it at our regional CWD meeting as appropriate.

Thirdly, we are very happy to receive direct feedback about any of our commissioned courses. Please contact

I am employed by a NHS/non-NHS/primary care organisation outside the north east. Can I still access CWD funded by Health Education England

Unfortunately the funding HEE allocates to the contracts for CWD in the north east is restricted to the workforce employed within the north east. Each local office holds contracts with universities in their regions for CWD. You can contact the Yorkshire and Humber office by emailing and the North West local office by emailing

I am employed by a non-NHS organisation – am I eligible to access CWD?

Yes – we make 10% of our commissioned continuing workforce development (CWD) courses available to non-NHS providers of NHS care and have a policy in place to support this. Please see this section of our website for further details.

I am employed by an organisation delivering NHS care in prisons. Am I eligible to access CWD?

Yes – you can access as a non-NHS organisation delivering NHS care. Please see this section of our website for further details.

I would like to return to practice. Are there any opportunities for me within CWD to update my skills?

In order to access CWD you need to be employed and delivering NHS care. Specific return to practice programmes are funded by Health Education England in the north east at Teesside and Northumbria universities. Please visit the Come Back to Nursing website or contact for further information.

I have enrolled on a CWD course but I can no longer attend. How can I cancel my place?

You can cancel your place directly with the university if it you are cancelling more than six weeks before the start date. Any place cancelled less than six weeks from the start date is charged to our contract (£700 per module and £100 per masterclass). For this reason cancellations within six weeks have to be agreed and signed off by your employer. As per the conditions of access, you may be subject to a charge if you cancel less than six weeks before your start date. It is at the employer’s discretion whether they authorise cancellations and discontinuations.

If an employer does not authorise the learner’s non-attendance, but the learner still chooses to not attend they will be subject to any appropriate employment sanctions and the penalty charge of £350 per 10 credits and £100 per masterclass, to be collected by and paid to the employer. Learners who do not attend a course, without notifying their employer or university will be subject to the penalty charge.

In order to cancel a place six weeks or less before the course start date you need to complete the cancellation form and ask your employer to authorise it. The form can be found here.

I am interested in undertaking a full programme (e.g. BSc, PG certificate, PG diploma, Master’s). Are there any opportunities for me within the CWD portfolio?

The CWD contract does not include programmes of study, for example degree or masters provision. There may be some modules that form part of programme pathways and employees may access these, as long as their employer confirms they are required for service delivery, and the credits may be recognised against a programme of study. For any modules that form part of a degree pathway but do not fall within the CWD portfolio the learner will have to find an alternative funding source. The employee should seek advice from their CWD lead and the relevant university.

Can I part fund and additional module if my employer won't fund it?

The universities have a huge range of modules and programmes available outside the CWD portfolio, which you can choose to self-fund if you wish. The universities will also be able to advise students about potential loans or staggered payment options. You would need to make arrangements with your employer to attend university during your non-working days.

Will I have to work in the trust for a period of time following the completion of my course?

This will depend on your trust’s study leave policies and whether they apply a study bond. You will need to seek advice from your CWD lead or your local HR team.

I've already studied half of a module but had to discontinue, do I need to complete the whole module again or can I resume where I left off?

You would need to seek advice from the university, but in most cases you would need to start the module again. If you discontinued a module that was HEE funded it would be at your employer’s discretion whether they supported you to retake the module.

I need a period of time off (temporarily withdraw) due to maternity or another personal extenuating circumstance, what the process for this? Will I be able to step off and step back on?

If you are studying a module within our CWD portfolio you cannot interrupt your studies. If you decide you cannot complete the module it would be noted as a discontinuation and you would need to follow the cancellation/discontinuation process

If you are studying a programme you started before 31 March 2015 (Northumbria University) or 31 July 2015 (Teesside University) you will need to follow the interrupt process via the university. It is important to note that the contract and funding for this contract is in rollout and students must complete before 31 March 2019. Please see the information here.

I work part time, can I still access CWD?

Yes you are still eligible, but you would need to seek your employer’s approval and support.

I work nightshifts / unsocial hours, can I still access CWD?

Yes you are still eligible, but you would need to seek your employer’s approval and support and work with the universities to ensure you are able to attend the contact days at university.

The CWD course I want to attend is not available or is fully booked, is there a waiting list?

The universities are not permitted to hold waiting lists for our CWD courses. You may apply for a later cohort, if there is one scheduled, or the university may note your interest and send you information when a future cohort becomes available.

Can I study by online or distance-learning?

Many of the courses available on our portfolio are delivered by blended learning, with some time spent at university and some self-guided study. There are also some courses available that are delivered wholly online. Separate from the HEE contract, The Open University have a facility called Open Learn, which has thousands of online courses anyone can access, free of charge. If you haven’t studied for a while these may be helpful.

I don't have the required prerequisites how can I access courses in my trust to enable me to gain these?

We recommend you speak to the university directly about any prerequisites for your chosen course. The university and your CWD lead will be able to advise you on your options. Separate from the HEE contract, The Open University have a facility called Open Learn, which has thousands of online courses anyone can access, free of charge. If you haven’t studied for a while these may be helpful.

I'm currently on secondment, am I able to access CWD?

You would still be eligible to access CWD if you are employed within the NHS, primary care or non-NHS delivering NHS care. You would need to follow the process for your current employer and ensure that your current line manager is supportive of you undertaking the course. If the course will overlap your period of secondment and your substantive role you should speak to both your current and previous line managers to gain their support. If you have any queries about this you should contact your CWD lead or local HR team.

Who will my personal data be shared with?

Personal data that is provided to the university and information around students academic achievements will be disclosed to HEE as education commissioner and students employer or (for primary care) lead CCG and CEPN. This will be used to monitor course completions, success and withdrawal rates and to inform how courses are commissioned in the future. All data is treated as confidential and is held and transferred securely.