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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

Health and care support worker development programme


The Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) has requested commencement of work on how to expand and develop the Band 2-4 workforce at pace in response to current systems pressures within health and social care and the emergence of new service models.

Scottish Government Workforce Directorate are leading work to recruit an additional 1,000 Bands 2 - 4 to health and social care services. This needs to be underpinned by a national approach to their development ensuring they have the requisite skills and knowledge, skills and behaviours to deliver safe and effective person centred care. However, there is currently variation in the role and current education and development provision for Bands 2 – 4 across NHS Scotland.

NHS Education for Scotland have been commissioned by the Chief Nursing Officer Directorate to scope and recommend a nationally agreed framework to support definition of Healthcare Support Worker (HCSW) roles, career progression and development through education and training, with a focus on how HCSWs support registered staff


Since the Scottish Government commissioned NHS Education for Scotland to take forward work on education and development of Agenda for Change Band 2-4 Healthcare Support Workers, several questions have arisen from stakeholders. This set of frequently asked questions and answers is designed to address some of the common enquiries.

Frequently asked questions (PDF)

Supporting documents

Summary of the Healthcare Support Worker commission (PDF)


Related links 

Support worker central

Last updated: Monday, November 15, 2021

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