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Workforce Minimum Data Set (wMDS)

This page summarises the Workforce Minimum Data Set (wMDS) and its development and implementation guidance.

The Workforce Minimum Dataset (wMDS) was established under the Workforce Information Architecture (WIA) workstream as part of a wider reform of education and training. It is a subset of the existing National Workforce Data Set (NWD) standard and supports high quality education and training commissioning. The NWD is regularly reviewed and any updates and developments are subject to agreement by the Workforce Information Review Group (WIRG) and its subgroups to ensure that with refinement the Dataset standard and the minimum data set remains suitable for the purpose of collecting workforce information from all providers of NHS funded services.

Who must provide wMDS data

The wMDS must be submitted by all providers of NHS services who do not provide workforce data via the Electronic Staff Record (ESR). This will apply to all GP practices and Primary Care Networks (PCNs), and many independent health care providers. The way you should provide data depends on the type of organisation. 

The detailed specification will help with completion of the returns and provides information on data formats and an explanation of which data items are required for different types of organisations.

National Workforce Reporting System (NWRS)

General practices and PCNs should submit their data via the National Workforce Reporting Service (NWRS). Full details, guidance and support are available via the NWRS website

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. 

Workforce Minimum Dataset Collection Vehicle (wMDSCV)

Independent healthcare providers should submit their data via the workforce Minimum Dataset Collection Vehicle (wMDSCV) unless they already submit workforce data via the ESR. Full details, guidance and support are provided below. The collection is conducted biannually, from 1 April and 1 October each year, reflecting the position at the end of the previous month.

We’re sorry to announce that the next IHP collection (planned for September) will not go ahead. We’re currently experiencing high resource pressures due to the transformation of NHS England, following the merger of NHS Digital with NHS England.

This means that we need to stop some less well used collections, products and services for the time being. An Official Statistics consultation is planned for later in 2023 where uses will be invited to share their views on future plans for this product and others.

The wMDSCV is submitted by entering your information into either a single Excel or (up to) four .csv templates and uploading to the Collection Vehicle. You should not make changes to the structure of these - please enter your data against the relevant fields without changing/deleting columns or the worksheet headings.


Archive content (to be updated)

As this web page and the resources it contains remain in development all interested stakeholders should ensure they regularly review this website for the latest updates on the development of the wMDS and its corresponding guidance documents.

If you would like to receive regular updates directly when changes have been made, please sign-up to our mailing list by e-mailing [email protected] and stating that your request is for updates on the Workforce Minimum Data Set.

Further information

Last edited: 10 August 2023 7:29 am