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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

October 2022: PCN data extractions are currently quarterly but will increase in frequency to monthly in 2023. The first extraction of PCN data will therefore be 31 January 2023. 

October 2022: Call for PCNs to review and update ARRS roles urgently

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 in due course 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 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.

December 2022 January 2023 February 2023
PCN and practice submission PCN and practice submission PCN and practice submission
Deadline: midnight 31 December 2022 Deadline: midnight 31 January 2023 Deadline: midnight 28 February 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 at

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 Digital.

Last edited: 7 December 2022 8:35 am