ISDN Toolkit - elearning for healthcare
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This programme is in partnership with...
  • Health Education England_New logo 2021
  • Development Skills Network_Partnership

Available on the Learning Hub

This programme has moved to 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 ISDN Toolkit programme

This online toolkit provides you with advice, guidance, templates and examples that you can use when setting up a regional Informatics Skills Development Network. The content has been provided by the North West Informatics Skills Development Network, through their experience of establishing and growing an ISDN for over 10 years.

It describes the practical steps needed to set up an ISDN, maintain and develop it, from first steps to creating a flourishing, self-sustaining network.

The toolkit is aimed at anyone thinking of, or already involved in, a new ISDN.  For example this could be Chief Information Officers, to realise the strategic benefits of collaborating across their region, workforce development professionals in NHS and Social Care organisations to support development in their organisations or informatics professionals who want to collaborate and learn from each other.

The toolkit describes the functions that the mature NW ISDN provides. It is likely that new regions will want to start with just a few of these and develop others later according to regional need. The list below show the six areas provided by the NW, in the probable order they may be carried out or established.

You can dip into any area of the content as you need it or go straight to the resources section for templates and guidance documents. The key topics are:

  1. Getting started
  2. Year 1 training programme
  3. Annual workforce data collection
  4. Inaugural annual conference
  5. Accreditation programme
  6. Setting up special interest groups

The Resources section contains a wide range of template and example documents.

More information

Regional Informatics Skills Development Networks (ISDNs)

The flourishing ISDNs in the North West and Yorkshire & Humber provide a wide range of learning, networking, sharing and accreditation resources to support informatics specialists and departments across those regions.

Drawing particularly on the expertise of the North West network, Health Education England’s (HEE) Digital Readiness Programme has produced an online ‘ISDN Toolkit’, containing the resources to help the establishment of similar ISDNs in other regions.

HEE will also provide tailored practical support, such as limited initial funding for an in-region SDN coordinator and work closely with organisations such as the Federation for Informatics Professionals to develop the professional landscape.

For more information please visit the Digital Readiness Programme pages

To find out more about the HEE offer of support or discuss an ISDN in your area please email

For more information on the Skills Development Networks see

  • Di Bullman

    Di Bullman

    Supporting our Digital Experts Lead, Digital Readiness Programme, Health Education England
  • Christine Banks

    Christine Banks

    North West Informatics Skills Development Manager, North West Skills Development Network
  • Emma Nye

    Emma Nye

    Programme Manager, HEE elearning for healthcare
  • Angelina Montinaro

    Angelina Montinaro

    Lead Learning Designer, HEE elearning for healthcare
  • Hannah Denness

    Hannah Denness

    Stakeholder Officer, HEE elearning for healthcare

How to access

To access this elfh programme, you will require a Learning Hub account. If you do not have one, then you can register by selecting the Register button below. Note that if you hold a full elfh account, you can sign into the Learning Hub using your existing login credentials.


To view the ISDN Toolkit programme, select the View button below. If you already have a Learning Hub account, you will also be able to login and access the resources within the programme.


NHS healthcare staff in England – ESR

The ISDN Toolkit 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.
Further details are available here.

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 ISDN Toolkit 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 Learning Hub

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