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Training for referrers

Download quick reference guides and e-learning materials, and find out how to access our training environment, which mirrors the live system.

Help function

If you need help within the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) system, you can use the Help function. If you're on an N3 connection, you can  access the help files without logging in. 

Training materials

icon Quick reference guide for referring a patient. [1.16MB]

icon Creating a referral. [16.02MB]

This demonstration video shows a typical patient journey using e-RS:

You can use icon this version [30.83MB] to view specific parts of a typical patient journey (this requires Adobe Flash Player v10 or higher).

Training resources

If you're a trainer, these resources will help you to deliver your training.

icon Introduction to e-RS - trainer presentation for referrers. [6.08MB]

icon Example referrer delegate sheet. [95KB]

icon Example referrer recap exercises. [81.34KB]

icon Example referrer roles lesson plan. [71.95KB]

Training environment

The e-RS training environment mirrors the live e-RS. Users can:

  • train on a life-like system, without the risk of altering real data
  • request data to suit your organisation's training requirements
  • link with external systems to give an integrated training experience (such as GP systems and patient administration systems)

To use the training environment, you will need:

  • an N3 connection
  • smartcard access specific for the training environment
  • installation of and ability to change registry settings (local ICT support required)
  • a data pack containing patient and organisational information

Setting up access 

To get access to the training environment:

1.    Raise a request by contacting
2.    Download our icon access request pack [283.8KB]  (supporting documentation can be found below).
3.    Complete and return forms.
4.    Your local IT department will connect to a PAS or GP system. Liaise with them to access the training environment.
5.    Receive RA smartcard and data packs.
6.    Set up services and referrals.

Download our icon user guide [683.95KB] and icon training environment tips [166.11KB] for more information on using the training environment.

Supporting documentation for the access request pack

National Training Forum

The National Training Forum has been established to provide open and regular communication channels between the e-RS national training team and a representative panel of e-RS trainers (and/or representatives who are responsible for e-RS training) from the NHS and independent sector. 

The forum members currently meet bi-monthly, via a webinar, to:

  • review both delivered and scheduled system release content
  • discuss forthcoming functional changes and provide system demonstrations
  • consult and seek feedback on learning products and ideas
  • allow opportunities to share thoughts, knowledge and ask advice from other e-RS colleagues

Guest speakers are also invited to the meetings to cover learning or system related topics.

As part of a forum members role, the programme and other NHS Digital teams may ask for support to feed into training related research and to review learning materials.

If you're an e-RS trainer (or have responsibility for e-RS training) and wish to become a member of the forum, please send your interest request and job role to

Have a question about the e-Referral Service? Please contact

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