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National Workforce Reporting System (NWRS)

The NWRS is made up of two modules:

1) The data entry module is where General Practices and Primary Care Networks (PCNs) complete their workforce information, to fulfil their requirements for the workforce Minimum Data Set (wMDS).

2) The reporting module is a suite of reports containing published, non-identifiable, based on the workforce data supplied by Practices and PCNs.

Improving the NWRS

How you submit your workforce data to NHS Digital will change from April 2021. The aim is to make the task as simple, efficient and accessible as possible. This will help minimise the burden placed upon practices and primary care networks (PCNs) during this difficult time, while still providing us with the critical information we need to understand capacity and plan for additional support across the multi-disciplinary teams working in primary care.

Share your knowledge

We would like to better understand your experiences when submitting workforce data to NHS Digital and are therefore running user research sessions to get your feedback. If you would like to contribute and tell us what you think, please get in touch with We are especially keen to hear from any users that find it difficult to keep the NWRS up to date.

Gaining Access to the NWRS

Any new requests for access to the NWRS reporting module should be addressed to, quoting 'NWRS Access Request' in the subject field of the email. Please also include information regarding the organisation(s) that you work for, so that the correct permissions can be granted.

NWRS Data Entry Module

The data entry module is only available to General Practice and PCN staff who are registered to maintain workforce information, for their organisation, in the NWRS.

NWRS Reporting Module

The reporting module is available to all registered users of the NWRS and contains a suite of reports containing published, non-identifiable, workforce data supplied by Practices and PCNs. Functionality of the module includes:

  • Ability to tailor reports to the user requirements, based on, staff group, job role, age, gender, etc.
  • Access to data for each publication back to September 2015
  • Downloadable charts and supporting data
  • Data quality reports to quickly, and easily, identify practices with data quality issues

NWRS Guidance Documents

Guidance to support the use of the NWRS is available using the following links:

Extraction Timetable

Up to September 2020, information was extracted from the NWRS on a quarterly basis, as set out in the following timetable:

Q1 - March

Q2 - June

Q3 - September

Q4 - December

Data extracted shortly after 31 March

Data extracted shortly after 30 June

Data extracted shortly after 30 September

Data extracted shortly after 31 December

Range of data: 1 January - 31 March

Range of data 1 April - 30 June

Range of data: 1 July - 30 September

Range of data 1 October - 31 December

This extraction will be a snapshot of practices as at 31 March

This extraction will be a snapshot of practices as at 30 June

This extraction will be a snapshot of practices as at 30 September

This extraction will be a snapshot of practices as at 31 December

However, from October 2020, information will be extracted on a monthly basis at the end of each month. The first monthly extraction was taken on the 31st October, to be followed by 30th November, then 31st December etc.

This enables Health Education England (HEE), NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I), and 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 PCNs.

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


Regular comms will be sent out by NHS Digital and NHSE&I. We recommend organisations regularly review the guidance material to keep abreast of updates to NWRS and changes to reporting requirements, for example, such as the addition of new staff roles.

Prior to an extraction, Practices and PCNs may be contacted by their Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) regarding data quality issues. Further details can be found in the NWRS Data Quality Process Guidance.

IMPORTANT - Absence & Vacancy data

The wMDS data specification includes the collection of Absence and Vacancy data for each practice. All instances of absence (not including annual leave) must be recorded on the system. Details on how to complete this are included in the NWRS Data Entry Module Guidance.

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

A Fair Processing Notice (FPN) template was produced as an information leaflet to inform Practice / PCN staff that they will be supplying their workforce information to NHS Digital. Further information regarding the FPN can be found on the wMDS webpage.

Please direct your staff to the FPN, 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.

Further Support

If you have any queries that are not answered by the above guidance, or need any further support in using the module, please email your query to, quoting 'NWRS’ in the subject field of the email.

Last edited: 24 February 2021 5:54 pm