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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.  

Providing primary care workforce information

The new NWRS system was launched in July 2021 in response to direct feedback from users, making it much easier to use than the previous system and reducing the burden for Practices and Primary Care Networks (PCNs).

You can access the system via the Strategic Data Collection Service (SDCS) using the same login used to complete other data collections, such as the General Practice Annual Electronic Self-Declaration, also known as eDEC. For help, please go to the support page.

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. 

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

NWRS guidance and help

A suite of resources including how-to videos, frequently asked questions and downloadable guidance’ is available on our support page.

These cover the full user journey from registering with NWRS through to entering and updating your records and includes information on dealing with organisational changes’.

We also provide information for stakeholder organisations.

NWRS news

From Monday 10 July 2023, please email: [email protected] for support relating to NWRS.

Persisting filters – April 2023

Applied staff table filters will now persist for your whole NWRS session, so you no longer need to re-filter the main table after going into a staff record and returning to the staff table.

New Direct Patient Care and Nursing roles – March 2023

There are 4 new roles in the Direct Patient Care Staff Group: General Practice Assistant, Social Worker, Peer Support Worker, and Applied Psychologist – Clinical. There is one new role in the Nursing Staff Group: Community Mental Health Nurse. Please update your records as soon as possible if you have staff with these role titles.

New Mental Health Practitioner role options – March 2023

There is new functionality to specify whether certain PCN and PCN Contracted Services roles are Mental Health Practitioner (MHP) roles and whether they cover adult or children and young people.

Additional questions will appear if you select one of the following roles in the Direct Patient Care staff group: Social Worker, Peer Support Worker, Applied Psychologist – Clinical, Social Prescribing Link Worker, Therapist- Occupational Therapist, Therapist – Counsellor, Therapist – Other, Mental Health and Wellbeing Practitioner, Trainee Mental Health and Wellbeing Practitioner, Clinical Associate in Psychology, Trainee Clinical Associate in Psychology, or select the Community Mental Health Nurse role in the Nursing staff group. If you have any MHP staff, please update your NWRS records as soon as possible.

Comprehensive new NWRS guidance now available – February 2023

A new guidance page has been created for NWRS users. This is available via the support page as an online article, or as a downloadable document.

Staff role field now mandatory – February 2023

Staff Role and Staff Group fields are now mandatory field as these are essential for NHS Digital to produce workforce statistics; if you are completing a new staff record you will need to provide this information. If you have previously added roles without supplying this information, please ensure this is updated as soon as possible.

PCN data extractions - January 2023

PCN data extractions are now monthly and coincide with GP practice data extractions on the last day of each month. Please ensure you have checked your organisation's data before this time, and update it if necessary.

New mandatory field and data warnings – January 2023

Staff role is now a mandatory field as it is essential for NHS Digital to produce workforce statistics; if you are completing a new staff record you will need to provide this information. If you have previously added roles without supplying this information, please ensure this is updated as soon as possible. New system warnings have been also added to all data fields to provide a clear reminder where data is missing.

Call for PCNs to review and update ARRS roles

October 2022: The National Primary Care Multi-Disciplinary Workforce team is working with NHS England regional workforce colleagues to ensure that the NWRS more accurately reflects the recruitment that has taken place and can be evidenced through the ARRS Claims Portal. Regional leads may contact you to discuss your overall workforce and claims figures, so please ensure all your ARRS roles are recorded in NWRS. 

New validation checks

August 2021: A record status marker is now included in the staff table for your organisation; ‘Complete’ indicates your record is finalised and will be included in our data extracts and ‘In Progress’ indicates further action is needed before we will receive it. 

September 2021: ‘First Name’, ‘Last Name’, ‘Gender’ and ‘Date of Birth’ fields became mandatory so you will be unable to submit records without completing these fields.

November 2021: Data warnings now appear if there are issues with the ‘Ethnicity’, ‘Are they still working here?’, ‘Contracted hours’ and ‘Working hours’ fields. 

December 2021: The Staff Group field is now a mandatory data item. 

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 once the data completeness and coverage have increased.

New value for gender

We have added an unknown value to the gender field; we will update the response options pending the implementation of the national review of protected characteristics. For now, please use this option where male or female is not appropriate.

New advanced practitioner roles

Advanced practitioner roles are now available for a selection of direct patient care staff: paramedic, pharmacist, physiotherapist, podiatrist and therapist – occupational therapist.

Use the new check box to indicate that an individual is an advanced practitioner. The roles are dietician (for PCNs only) paramedic, pharmacist, physiotherapist, podiatrist, therapist – occupational therapist (for PCNs and GP practices).


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.

Accessibility of this tool

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 and PCN data take place monthly. 

June 2023 July 2023 August 2023
PCN and practice submission PCN and practice submission PCN and practice submission
Deadline: midnight 30 June 2023 Deadline: midnight 31 July 2023 Deadline: midnight 31 August 2023

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.

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.  

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.

Contact us

If you require additional support or would benefit from a Teams meeting with an NWRS colleague, please get in touch with us by emailing [email protected].

If you require a support session, please indicate this in your email subject line, for example, “NWRS support call request”. Please specify whether you would like an NWRS demo or need specific help with your own data.

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 England.

Last edited: 2 October 2023 4:13 pm