Primary Care Web Tool (PCWT) Workforce Census Module


The PCWT has been developed by NHS England for use by its regions, clinical commissioning groups and general practices. Full details are available at One of its functions is to collect NHS England's annual self-declaration from general practices.

The platform is shared collaboratively with NHS Digital. The workforce census module was created within the PCWT to enable general practices to fulfil their requirements for the workforce Minimum Data Set (wMDS) and provide details of their current workforce. More information on the wMDS collection can be found here.

Accessing the PCWT

The PCWT can be found at

The site and web tool are only available to registered users. If you do not currently have access, but have been advised that you can register, click on the Register link at the top of the webpage to register to use the site. If you wish to request access, complete the form on the Register page and a member of the PCWT team will get in touch.

If your practice already uses the PCWT for other modules, General Practice Outcome Standards or General Practice Higher Level Indicators, but you have not been given access to the Workforce Census module, please email a request for access to quoting 'Primary Care Web Tool' in the subject field of the email.

PCWT Guidance Documents

 Guidance to support your use of the PCWT Workforce Census module is available below:

PCWT User Guidance v7.7.pdf

The below Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document has been developed in light of the recent change from biannual submissions to quarterly extracts:


Changes to the PCWT

For the September 2017 extraction

Following valuable feedback form practices, a new 'Infrequent Locum Usage'' page has been added to the PCWT. For further information, please see PCWT user guidance.

Extraction Timetable for 2017

The first extraction took place shortly after 31st December 2016. For the 2017 extraction dates please see the timetable below.

September December March June
Data extracted shortly after 30 September Data extracted shortly after 31 December Data extracted shortly after 31 March Data extracted shortly after 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 This extraction will be a snapshot of practices as at 31 March This extraction will be a snapshot of practices as at 30 June
Range of data: 1 July - 30 September Range of data 1 October - 31 December Range of data: 1 January - 31 March Range of data 1 April - 30 June

The data collection moved from a bi-annual submission to a quarterly extraction in December 2016. This means that practices no longer have to click 'Submit Data' after updating their information - the system providers will extract the data from the system at the specified date and time.

You will still need to log into the PCWT each quarter and update your workforce records and your selections by clicking the 'Data Preferences' tab and then selecting the appropriate tick boxes.

The move to a quarterly collection cycle will enable Health Education England (HEE), NHS England and Department of Health (DH) to have more frequent, accurate, complete and timely information to aid in their decision-making processes, without increasing the burden to practices.

There will be no additional burden to practices as the PCWT should already be kept updated as and when workforce changes occur, so that the records on the system are always kept up to date (i.e. the same details will have to be entered for the quarterly collection as they would for the bi-annual).

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.

Communication Schedule

We will send an initial email to all practices a month before each extraction date and a reminder email approximately a week before. Following the data extraction we will review the data provided and practices may receive further data quality emails if we need to query the data.

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 provided on the tool. Details on how to complete this are included in the User Guidance.

Fair Processing Notice

This Fair Processing Notice (FPN) template was produced as an information leaflet for printing off and giving to practice staff to inform them that the practice will be supplying their workforce information to NHS Digital. We are currently looking at the FPN provided and exploring ways in which it can be provided in a more user-friendly form that is less 'legal' and formal in its construction.

While we try to provide this alternative version, please direct your staff to the current FPN and/or print off some copies to give to your practice staff in relation to their personal data - this explains how it is collected, why it is collected and how it will be processed.

This is available in a PDF format Fair Processing Notice template.

Providing data through Health Education England

Some practices already provide workforce information within separate collections to HEE using the regional offices. If you are one of these practices, to avoid duplication, HEE will forward your information to NHS Digital directly and you will not be required to provide it using the PCWT workforce module.

Please note however thatyou will still need to access the PCWT workforce census module to inform us that your data will be provided by alternative means. You can do this by clicking the 'Data Preferences' tab and then selecting the appropriate tick boxes.

This process will advise your NHS England Region (Geographies) team that your practice will be submitting data by alternative means. If you fail to access the PCWT workforce module to inform NHS Digital that you are submitting using alternative means, you will be considered as a non-compliant practice. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact your HEE team directly.

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

Further information