Fundamentals of Safer Staffing - elearning for healthcare
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This programme is in partnership with...
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Available on the Learning Hub

This programme is available on the NHS Learning Hub. We recommend you read the information on this webpage to find out more about the programme before you access the learning (

More information about the Learning Hub and the migration of elfh programmes can be found here.

About the Fundamentals of Safer Staffing programme

This programme provides an overview of the essential components required for nursing or midwifery staff planning, known as establishment setting. It introduces the main principles and underpinning policy context and discusses the other considerations which need to be factored in. It describes the links with patient safety and quality care, staff deployment and what good governance looks like.

The principles of safer staffing can be applied to all healthcare settings, this elearning is in partnership with NHS England and utilises those specific policies and framework. If you are accessing this elearning outside of England, then you will need to familiarise yourself with your safe staffing policies, guidance or legislation.

There are a series of modules on this subject that can be undertaken in any order for all healthcare staff, particularly nurses and midwives.

About the elearning sessions

This elearning programme includes 6 sessions.

  • Essentials of Safer Staffing
  • Safer staffing and quality of care
  • Impact of policy on workforce and safe staffing
  • Right place and the right time
  • Safe staffing governance
  • Safer staffing in maternity settings

The sessions are short (each taking approximately 30 minutes to complete) and may be ‘dipped into’ for reference. Certificates are available for each session completed and for the overall programme.

Each session includes reference links to further resources should learners choose to check their understanding throughout the programme.

More information

The impetus for this elearning programme originated from NHS provider organisations requesting support and training with nursing and midwifery workforce planning and safer staffing principles and processes. Building on the Chief Nursing Officer’s (CNO) ambitions to build a workforce that is fit for the future, the CNO Safer Staffing Faculty Programme was established in 2019. Due to the overwhelming response and demand for this programme, there was a necessity to offer accessible and flexible options to increase awareness and knowledge of the fundamental principles of safer staffing.  This elearning programme will provide every clinical manager / team leader across our healthcare systems with fundamental knowledge required to ensure a safe, sustainable and productive nursing and midwifery workforce.

The programme has been produced by the CNO Safer Staffing Faculty and system leaders, alongside a focus group of current ward managers / team leaders working in varies clinical setting across England, to support organisations to comply with National Quality Board (NQB) and Developing Workforce Safeguards (DWS) requirements. It includes such topics as: safer staffing approaches, establishment-setting, evidence-based staffing tools, benchmarking, ward to board reporting, measuring quality, and policies that support organisations to use to ensure ‘right staff, right skills in right place and time’

Primary and secondary audiences

Nurses and midwives new into management posts or workforce roles and will also be helpful for anyone seeking to learn more about the fundamental principles for safer staffing within the NHS.

Meet the team

  • Sinead O’Neill

    Sinead O’Neill

    Project lead and Clinical Workforce Lead, NHS England
  • Ann Casey

    Head of Safe Staffing Faculty, NHS England
  • Carol Stiles

    Carol Stiles

    Clinical Workforce Lead, NHS England
  • Karen Swinson

    Head of Nursing Clinical Workforce Productivity NHS England
  • Becky Southall

    Becky Southall

    Quality Governance Lead, Nursing Directorate, NHS England

Meet the HEE elfh team

  • Charlotte Devereaux

    Charlotte Devereaux

    Programme Manager, NHSE elearning for healthcare
  • Paul Tingle

    Paul Tingle

    Project Manager, NHSE elearning for healthcare
  • Claire Beattie

    Claire Beattie

    Lead Learning Designer, NHSE elearning for healthcare
  • Sonali Gupta

    Sonali Gupta

    Learning Designer, NHSE elearning for healthcare
  • Catherine Moran

    Graphic Designer, NHSE elearning for healthcare
  • Nicola Kipling

    Nicola Kipling

    Marketing and Communications Officer, NHSE elearning for healthcare

How to access

The Fundamentals of Safer Staffing programme is currently hosted on the NHS Learning hub. In order to access the fundamentals of safer staffing programme, you will need a Learning Hub account. If you do not have one, then you can register by selecting the Register button below.

Register >

To view the Fundamentals of Safer Staffing programme, select the View button below. If you already have an account on the Learning Hub, you will also be able to login and enrol on the programme from the View button.

View >

If you already have an account with elfh, then you can enrol on to the Fundamentals of Safer Staffing programme by logging in to the elfh Hub, selecting My Account > Enrolment and selecting the programme. You can then access the programme immediately in the My e-Learning section.

NHS healthcare staff in England – ESR

The Fundamentals of Safer Staffing programme is also available to NHS healthcare staff via the Electronic Staff Record (ESR). Accessing this e-learning via ESR means that your completions will transfer with you throughout your NHS career.

Not an NHS organisation?

If you are not an NHS health or care organisation and therefore do not qualify for free access to the Learning Hub, you may be able to access the service if you have an existing OpenAthens account. Please go to Learning Hub and sign in with your existing credentials.

If you do not have an existing OpenAthens account, please contact elfh directly to check whether you may be eligible for access.

Registering large numbers of users

If you are a HR, IT or Practice Manager and would like to register and enrol large numbers of staff within your organisation for access onto the Fundamentals of Safer Staffing programme, please contact elfh directly.

Organisations wishing to use their own LMS

For HR departments wanting to know more about gaining access to courses using an existing Learning Management System please contact elfh directly to express interest.

More information

Please select the following link for more information on how to use the elfh Hub.

Select here for more information on the authorisations process to run reports on the learning activity of staff.

Select the following link for more information about CPD points.

elfh is a NHS England programme in partnership with the NHS and professional bodies