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Improving the National Workforce Reporting Service (NWRS)

The National Workforce Reporting Service is used by general practices and primary care networks in England to report data on their workforce. We extract information directly from the system, and use it to publish official statistics.  

We have improved the way we collect information on staff in primary care

The new National Workforce Reporting Service has been designed in response to direct feedback from users, making it much easier to use than the previous system. 

We wanted to make the task of data submission as simple and efficient as possible to minimise the burden placed upon practices and Primary Care Networks (PCNs). 

Here’s a short video showing why your primary care data is so important for the provision of patient care.


Registering for the National Workforce Reporting Service

From July 2021, users will access the new NWRS via the 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. 

If you need to register, signing up is straightforward and will ensure you have access to the improved NWRS when it goes live in July 2021. If you already have access to SDCS you do not need to re-register, but please login to your SDCS account before 1 July to check that your username and password are still valid.

Further information about how to register

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

Check your junk folder for any registration emails (from or password reset emails (from

If you are not the correct person to submit your workforce data, contact us at to tell us who is responsible for this task in your practice or PCN.

NWRS help and how-to videos

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

Why workforce data is important

Understanding staff capacity in the health service is more important than ever before. It is this information that shapes how investment, training, and resource is directed across the primary care workforce  ensuring the right support goes to the right place at the right time. So, it is critical that the information you submit to us about your staff 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. 

It’s essential for any effective healthcare system to have high quality and transparent workforce data. Without NHS Digital data publications, it would not be possible to plan and deliver safe care, improve patient outcomes or preserve the morale and wellbeing of staff. 

NWRS news

November extraction reminder

GP practice data will be extracted for the preparation of workforce statistics at the end of November, while both GP practice and PCN data will be extracted for the preparation of workforce statistics at the end of December.

Please log into your Strategic Data Collections Service (SDCS) account before each extraction deadline to check your workforce details and update as necessary. 

New mandatory fields

The “First Name”, “Last Name”, “Gender” and “Date of Birth” fields are now mandatory in the new NWRS, users will need to complete these in order to submit their GP practice or PCN data.

Practice data submissions taken monthly

In July 2021 the NWRS resumed monthly practice extractions and publications for practice data. PCNs will move to monthly extractions later in the year once the data completeness and coverage have increased.

Underlying dashboard data files now available 

Visit the new NWRS dashboard section which has been updated to allow users to undertake their own analyses.

NWRS dashboard

The NWRS dashboard has been designed to support improvements to the quality and completeness of workforce information collected from GP Practices and primary care networks using the National Workforce Reporting Service (NWRS). The dashboard also enables stakeholders to monitor progress at a local and regional level.

This tool is in Microsoft PowerBI which does not fully support all accessibility needs. If you need further assistance, please contact us for help.

Organisation level data files

To allow users to undertake their own analyses, organisation level data files for GP practices and Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are provided below. These are updated each week following dashboard refresh. Refer to the accompanying metadata file for more details on the information within each data field.

Extraction timetable

Extractions of GP practice data take place monthly, whilst PCN data extractions will still take place quarterly for the time being. We recommend entering changes as they occur to minimise burden and ensure records remain up to date.

November 2021 December 2021
Practice submission Practice and PCN submission
Deadline: midnight 31 November 2021 Deadline: midnight 31 December 2021

The regular submission of data enables Health Education England (HEE), NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE/I), and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to have more frequent, accurate, complete and timely information to aid in their decision-making and workforce planning processes, without increasing the burden to practices and  primary care networks.

Once information has been entered it remains on the system data only requires amending if staff details change, or when absences or vacancies have occurred.

Have your say

All NWRS users are invited to complete a short survey to help us better understand your experiences when submitting workforce data to NHS Digital.

Your feedback will help us continue to learn, allowing us to enhance the new NWRS so that it continues to suit your needs.

Complete the survey

Fair Processing Notice (FPN) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

A Fair Processing Notice (FPN) template was produced as an information leaflet to inform practice  and primary care network staff that they will be supplying their workforce information to NHS Digital. Read more about this.

Please direct your staff to the notice, which explains how their personal data is collected, why it is collected, and how it will be processed.

The NWRS is fully GDPR compliant and a summary of why and how we process your data, including your rights, can be found on the National Workforce Reporting System (NWRS) extranet data: GDPR information page.

How we use the data you provide

Details of your workforce are collected by NHS Digital through the NWRS. The information you provide is then used to monitor government targets, develop policy and inform workforce planning.

The detail contained in the data is used at both national and local level for workforce planning purposes. It is the only national collection of the workforce in  General Practices and Primary Care Networks at individual staff level. This allows for staff to be uniquely identified and their whole contribution to NHS staffing accurately determined. Learn more about how we use the workforce data you provide.  

How to contact us

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

Further information

internal Strategic Data Collection Service (SDCS)

The Strategic Data Collection Service (SDCS) is a secure data collection system used by health and social care organisations to submit data to NHS Digital.

Last edited: 2 December 2021 9:39 am