Workforce planning helps you find and keep enough staff who have the right values, skills
and experience to provide high-quality, person-centred care now, and in the future.
(Skills for Care, 2020)


National Workforce Reporting System

What is it?

The National Workforce Reporting System (NWRS) is the tool used by general practices and PCNs in England to report data on their workforce.  The online reporting system is accessed by NHS Digital and use it to publish official statistics.

The Primary Care Training Hub have created a NWRS Helpful Guide for Practices document to provide further information and guidance on the importance of NWRS data.


Why is it important?

Understanding staff capacity in the health service is more important than ever before. This information ensures that investment, training and resources are allocated appropriately across the Primary Care Network.

The National Workforce Reporting Service is used by general practices and primary care networks in England to include data on their current workforce. It is critical that this is updated regularly and the information submitted is accurate and complete.

Provision of workforce data is also a contractual requirement for practices and primary care networks as it is crucial for understanding changing capacity across the primary care workforce. The information provided by practices and PCNs shapes local and system workforce planning. It also informs national policy and investment decisions on new workforce supply and training pipelines, and additional support across the primary care workforce.

NHS Digital – Keep your NWRS up to date


What data is required?

Each member of staff on the NWRS has a record which should include:

 Name | Date of Birth | NI Number | Proof of Registration (if medical/dental role) | Contract Type & Hours | Previous Work | Relevant PCN | Staff Group | Staff Role | Any Other Areas of Work

When a member of staff leaves a practice, the above information can be transferred to their new practice.


What is the data used for?

The information is published by NHS Digital and is used for a variety of purposes, including addressing workforce pressures in primary care.

The data that comes from NWRS can be used to calculate regional allocations for CPD funding, to then be broken down into locality allocations. This can be used locally for specific staff group funding.

The latest statistics following the NWRS can be found here.


How do I access it?

The NWRS is now accessed via Strategic Data Collection Service (SDCS) using the same login you use to complete other data collections, such as the General Practice Annual Electronic Self-Declaration, also known as eDEC.

Visit the NWRS support page for more information about how to register for the NWRS.


What support is available?

NHS Digital have provided some additional support for GP practices and primary care networks who use the National Workforce Reporting Service (NWRS).

More information surrounding the NWRS and improvements made to the service can be found here.

User Guide FAQ

If you require additional support, email NHS digital on: and please quote 'NWRS' in the subject line of the email.


The below video created by NHS Digital outlines the importance of NWRS data and how this help us to plan and deliver safe care for patients.

Follow @NHSDigital on Twitter for more updates on the work the team are doing.

Tools for Workforce Planning

The PCTH have below collated a range of resources to support you with workforce planning:

 HEE Resources: Star: Accelerating Workforce Design | Framework for Workforce Innovation

 E-LfH Resources: Six Steps to Workforce Planning | System Workforce Planning

Workforce Development

The Primary Care Training Hub work with partner teams and organisations to provide opportunities and support for workforce develoment.


eWIN have provided this research for those looking to develop placements in primary care.

If you're looking at increasing your use of placements in Primary Care, please click here to see how our Enabling Effective Learning Environments can help you.

HEE are finalising a process that will allow a larger organisation such as a PCN to apply to be an Educational Environment for the whole range of learners by completing one approval form. Please click here for more information and to complete an Expression of Interest. 

Netherfield House Practice have created the below video to show what student placements can do for your practice!

Follow @JoannaPracticeNurse on Twitter to see more of the work the student nurses at Netherfield House Practice are doing.

The PCTH have arranged and posted the below webinars on Workforce Planning. Please click on your locality for further information.