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NHS occupation codes

NHS occupation codes are a full list of medical and dental specialties, intended to help consistent reporting

NHS Occupation Code Manual, Version 16 - effective from December 2018

A PDF version of the manual is available on request.

IMPORTANT: The changes included in the NHS Occupation Code Manual Version 16 only relate to the first phase of the implementation of the changes approved by the Data Coordination Board in respect on NWD3.0, which will be available in the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) system as part of release 41 from the end of December 2018. The scope is limited to only those changes related to the introduction of unique Occupation Codes and Job Roles for Nursing Associates and Trainee Nursing Associates, because of the need to be able to code such staff from January 2019. The remainder of the approved changes will be published in version 16.1 of the Occupation Code Manual to coincide with the second phase of the updates being implemented in the ESR at the end of March 2019, this will include the overhaul of the Ambulance Staff (A) Matrix and other approved changes.

A full list of Medical and Dental Sub specialty codes are also available as an annex to the NHS Occupation Code Manual. These do not form part of the approved standard but are intended to aid consistent reporting, particularly for Deanery data managers.

The list has been agreed in consultation with the GMC, Deanery data managers, DH Medical Training team and the Workforce Information Review Group (WIRG).

Sub specialties relate to the detailed nature of the training that a doctor has undertaken (or is undertaking) and are recognised and recorded by the GMC on the list of medical practitioners. Doctors must be training or have completed training in the relevant parent specialty to obtain sub-specialty approval. They do not form part of the national requirement to monitor the NHS workforce.

Previous version of the NHS Occupation Code Manual

Earlier versions are available from NHS Digital by request via

NHS Occupation Code Manual, Version 15 - effective from June 2018:

National Workforce Data Set guidance documents

A new library of documents is being developed to provide guidance on the use of key data items from the National Workforce Dataset (NWD) to enable those using ESR to make informed coding decisions and improve data quality

Last edited: 22 November 2019 3:34 pm