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Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital merged on 1 February 2023. More about the merger.

Electronic Staff Record Data Quality Reports (WoVEn)

The Workforce Validation Engine (WoVEn) is a monthly data quality report on data in the Electronic Staff Record (ESR). This is sent to individual organisations, allowing them to correct their data at source. It also provides national rankings for data quality scores against an agreed list of criteria.

Why we have WoVEn

The ESR Central Team and NHS Digital have worked together to create a validation and data quality reporting system designed to drive up data quality in the ESR, for both primary and secondary uses.

The rollout of the ESR system to most of the NHS, and improving the quality of the data it holds, has enabled NHS Digital to replace burdensome data collections with direct extracts from an administrative source for the majority of its workforce related collections. The WoVEn process helps to ensure that the quality of this data continues to improve.

How to access the WoVEn reports

WoVEn reports are sent directly to NHS organisations' ESR contacts. Relevant people should automatically receive them. If you think you should receive the WoVEn reports and currently do not, please email

Please read the WoVEn user guidance and other information, including how to raise a validation override request:

WoVEn score summaries

Summary level information regarding individual WoVEn scores is provided below in response to requests to provide more clarity on the data quality associated with NHS workforce nationally, regionally and at individual organisations.

The WoVEn scores are produced to assist organisations identify weaknesses in their data so that they can be corrected. The scores in themselves are purely for information purposes. The purpose of WoVEn is to help drive up data quality.

It is important to bear in mind that whilst the WoVEn scores and rankings give a good indication of an organisation's progress with its workforce data quality, it is not an end in itself. Organisations are discouraged from making changes to solely improve their score without actually improving, or potentially reducing, the quality of the workforce information that they hold. Whilst changes in an organisation's score or ranking may give an indication of improvements in its workforce data quality, it does not in itself indicate that one organisation is in some way 'better' or 'worse' than another, as there may be various factors which impact upon an organisation's score and therefore complicate this picture.

It is understood that the vast majority of organisations have put a considerable amount of effort into improving their workforce data quality since the rollout of ESR, and that there is significant positive engagement with the WoVEn process. The continued use of the WoVEn process is not intended to ignore this hard work. Rather it is intended to help ensure that we all get the maximum potential benefit from the information which can be derived from the ESR and used to improve workforce planning and the development of the future healthcare workforce.

You can find guidance and more details about the WoVEn process and the meaning of the scores and rankings in the Workforce Validation Engine (WoVEn) report above.

You can access the WoVEn reports, along with the verifier tool (an Excel version of the verifier background tables), via the National Workforce Data Set guidance documents. You can also see the ESR BI DQ reports, which are tools that are available to help organisations in the quest for good quality data.

Welsh organisations are no longer included in the WoVEn process after 31 March 2022.

Download the WoVEn England/Wales organisation rankings and scores reports

Last edited: 17 January 2023 8:46 am