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National Workforce Data Set (NWD) and NHS Occupation Codes

We maintain the National Workforce Data set (NWD) and the NHS Occupation Codes, which together specify the data standards for NHS workforce information, including implementation within the Electronic Staff Record (ESR).

NWD version 3.3 - changes ISN DAPB1067 (Amd 104/2021)

The NWD version 3.3 includes updates to the data set which can be summarised as:

  1. The inclusion of new values within existing elements (affecting job role, area of work and nationality);
  2. The renaming of existing values within elements (affecting job role and area of work);
  3. The retiring of values within elements (affecting job role, Occupation Code and nationality);
  4. Presentational/guidance updates to the NWD specification and guidance documents which do not materially impact on the individual values described by the NWD.

NWD version 3.3 Data Set specification and implementation guidance

Full details including associated guidance, can be found in these documents.  


NWD version 3.2 - changes ISN DCB1067 (Amd 69/2020)

The NWD version 3.2 includes updates to the data set which can be summarised as:

  1. The inclusion of new values within existing elements (affecting Job Role, Occupation Code, Area of Work, source of recruitment, reason for leaving, destination on leaving and qualification type);
  2. The inclusion of new values in a new element (fixed term/temporary contract reason);
  3. The renaming of existing values within elements (affecting job role, Occupation Code, area of work and nationality);
  4. Presentational/guidance updates to the NWD specification and guidance documents which do not materially impact on the individual values described by the NWD.

NWD version 3.2 data set specification and implementation guidance

Full details including associated guidance, can be found in these documents.  


NWD version 3.1 - changes ISN DCB1067 (Amd 23/2019)

The NWD version 3.1 includes updates to the data set which can be summarised as:

  1. The inclusion of new values within existing elements (affecting Job Role, Occupation Code, Area of Work, Professional Registration Body and Registration Type);
  2. The renaming of existing values within elements (affecting Job Role, Occupation Code, Area of Work and Registration Type);
  3. Presentational/guidance updates to the NWD specification and guidance documents which do not materially impact on the individual values described by the NWD.

NWD version 3.1 data set specification and implementation guidance

Full details including associated guidance, can be found in these documents.  


NWD version 3.0 - changes ISN DCB1067 (Amd 50/2018)

  1. The inclusion of new values within existing elements (affecting job role, Occupation Code, area of work)
  2. The renaming of existing values within elements (affecting job role, Occupation code, area of work, professional registration body)
  3. The retiring of existing values within elements (affecting job role, Occupation Code, area of work)
  4. The introduction of a new data element and associated values to capture information related to the sexual orientation of the workforce, linked to the Sexual Monitoring Standard
  5. Presentational/guidance updates to the NWD specification and guidance documents which do not materially impact on the individual values described by the NWD.

NWD version 3.0 data set specification and implementation guidance

Full details including associated guidance, can be found in these documents.  


NWD version 2.9 - changes ISN DCB1067 (Amd 26/2017)

The NWD version 2.9 includes updates to the data set which can be summarised as:

  1. The inclusion of new values within existing elements (affecting job role, Occupation Code, area of work, nationality, absence type, absence category, flexible working pattern, professional registration body, type of contract, type of assessor);
  2. The renaming of existing values within elements (affecting job role, Occupation Code, area of work, nationality, professional registration status, rota pattern, reason for moving CCST Date);
  3. The retiring of existing values within elements (affecting job role, Occupation Code, nationality, assignment status, registration type, reason for moving CCST date, flexible working pattern, professional registration body);
  4. Improving guidance and presentation related to anyone intending to utilise the data defined by the NWD for secondary purposes, which do not materially impact the input of the data items; and
  5. Presentational updates to the NWD specification and NHS Data Dictionary which do not materially impact the input of the data items themselves.

NWD version 2.9 data set specification and implementation guidance

Full details including associated guidance, can be found in these documents.  


NWD version 2.8 - changes SCCI1067 (Amd 21/2015)

The NWD version 2.8 includes updates to the data set which can be summarised as:

  1. The inclusion of new values within existing elements (affecting Job Role, Occupation Code, Nationality, Absence Type, Vacancy Status);
  2. The renaming of existing values within elements (affecting Job Role, Occupation Code, Nationality, Reason Sickness Absence);
  3. The retiring of existing values and one element (affecting Job Role, Occupation Code, Area of Work, Nationality and the Group Code element);
  4. The replacement of one element with another within the Data Dictionary (changing from Person Gender Code at Registration to Person Stated Gender Code);
  5. Improving guidance and presentation (relating to Absence Category, Absence Type, Reason Sickness Absence and Ethnic Category); and
  6. Updates to the guidance notes and other housekeeping work that does not materially change the approved standard for both the NHS Occupation Codes and the NWD specification.

NWD version 2.8 data set specification and implementation guidance

Full details including associated guidance, can be found in these documents.  

A copy of the Information Standards Notice (SCCI1067 Amd 21/2015) and further information relating to these changes can be found on the NHS Digital website.  


NWD version 2.7 - changes (Amd 22/2013)

The NWD version 2.7 includes updates to the data set which are required to meet the following policy and practice requirements:

  1. Area of Work changes related to the retrospective correction of the Primary Area of Work associated with six new secondary and tertiary values introduced in NWD version 2.6 to improve the information available regarding the healthcare scientist workforce and to better reflect the structure of this element of the workforce following the implementation of modernising scientific careers;
  2. The renaming of two job roles for low intensity Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) staff as the first stage of a review of this element of the NHS workforce;
  3. The creation of new values for Destination on Leaving and Source of Recruitment of 'Third Sector' to reflect the changing nature of the provision of healthcare within England;
  4. Renaming of the Accident and Emergency Specialty to match the statutorily defined main specialty title;
  5. Removal of a superfluous Public Health Medicine Specialty value to leave only the one value for the coding of these staff.
  6. Updates to the guidance notes and other housekeeping work that does not materially change the approved standard for both the NHS Occupation Codes and the NWD specification.

Responsibility for the recommendation for approval of information standards has transferred to the Standardisation Committee for Care Information (SCCI). For further details visit the Information Standards, Data Collections and Data Extractions - National Governance.

The approved information standards in the standards library on the website remain current and will continue to be updated, to mark items as superseded, on approval of changes by SCCI.

NWD version 2.7 data set specification and implementation guidance


NWD v 2.6 - changes (Amd 43/2012)

The changes to the NWD published in May 2013 updates the dataset following recent policy changes and the requirement for enhanced workforce information. In summary the changes are:

Changes to Occupation codes, job role, area of work, registration body and registration type

For the first time this uplift to the standard incorporates both the NHS Occupation Codes and the National Workforce Data Set in one overarching standard (ISB1067). The main body of the changes on this occasion relate to improving the information available regarding the Healthcare Scientist Workforce and to better reflect the structure of this element of the workforce following the implementation of Modernising Scientific Careers. There are also a number of housekeeping measures to ensure that previous issues are corrected and that the key elements of the implementation of the standard - the NWD itself; the NHS Data Dictionary and the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) as the primary implementation of the standard - are all aligned.

In more detail the changes comprise:

  • Occupation Code, job role and area of work deletions, changes and additions to improve the information available regarding the healthcare scientist workforce and to better reflect the structure of this element of the workforce following the implementation of modernising scientific careers
  • further changes to the NWD in light of a comparison between the values implemented in the ESR, the NWD itself and the Data Dictionary to correct differences where they have occurred which will be undertaken in a number of tranches
  • the opening of a job role for advanced practitioners within the additional professional scientific and technical staff group, highlighted as required in this staff group during the development of version 2.5
  • the closure of the Professional Registration Body for the Scottish Social Services Council which became redundant with the changes made at version 2.5
  • the closure of the professional registration type relating to social work students and the renaming of the value for social workers in England building on the changes introduced in version 2.5 of the NWD as the position of the HCPC regarding this aspect of its registration duty has been clarified
  • updates to the guidance notes and other housekeeping work that does not materially change the approved standard for both the NHS Occupation Codes and the NWD specification

NWD v 2.6 data specification and user guidance

Full details including associated guidance, can be found in these documents


NWD v 2.5 - changes (Amd 23/2012)

The changes to the NWD published in December 2012 updates the dataset following recent policy changes and the requirement for enhanced workforce information. In summary the changes are:

1. Changes to Reason for leaving, area of work, job role, registration body and registration type

The main body of the changes on this occasion relate to housekeeping measures to ensure that previous issues are corrected and that the key elements of the implementation of the standard - the NWD itself; the NHS Data Dictionary and the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) as the primary implementation of the standard - are all aligned.

2. Changes to Occupation Code Manual - ISB 0141 Amd 24/2012 - the current published version 10.0 is to be updated to version 11.0.

Details of changes to occupation codes are:

  • Occupation Code (M Matrix) changes to capture new and renamed main specialties as approved by the Post Graduate Medical Education Training Board (PMETB);
  • occupation changes (M Matrix) to ensure that the standard matches the GDC approved dental main specialties;
  • changes to the NHS Occupation Codes in light of a comparison between the values implemented in the ESR and the Occupation Code Manual itself to correct differences where they have occurred which will be undertaken in a number of tranches;
  • the closure of two spurious Nurse Education Occupation Codes N7J and N9J;
  • updates to the guidance notes and other housekeeping work that does not materially change the approved standard for the NHS Occupation Codes.

NWD v 2.5 user specification and user guidance

Full details including associated guidance, can be found in these documents


Further guidance

Last edited: 28 July 2022 12:49 pm