Guide to Knowledge And Skills Framework
Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) applies to all NHS Staff other than Medical
Staff and Executives.
Each job role will have a KSF Outline i.e. a description of the knowledge and skills
required to fulfil the role; this description is based upon a combination of the 6 Core
Dimensions and 24 Specific Dimensions.
The combination of Dimensions and Levels that form the Outline is determined by
the Manager, in partnership with the employee, and agreed with employee
Job roles may vary according to task and location but the sphere of responsibility
and principles will be consistent; e.g. Clerical Officer post will have the same Outline
whether the post holder works in Outpatients or Personnel.
The KSF Outline does not, in any way determines Pay banding and is not
linked to job evaluation.
Progression within each Pay Band is linked to KSF. Each pay band has 2 Gateways;
progression through gateways is determined by the individual‟s level of performance
against the KSF Outline for their post.
The First Gateway is always between the first and second increment.
The Second Gateway is either 2 or 3 increments from the top of the pay band.
Each KSF Outline has a Sub Set Outline which describes the level of performance
to be achieved after 1 year in post; i.e. at the First Gateway.
The Second gateway reflects the point at which the individual should fully meet the
Evaluation of performance against the KSF Outline is undertaken through the
Development Review Process, which consists of an annual review and quarterly
Each KSF Dimensions level has a number of examples of application, during
Development Review the individual will provide examples from their work in relation
to requirements of the level.
Examples could be described verbally, but it is recommended that employees
organise „evidence‟ in some sort of portfolio.
The Development Review is completed by agreeing a Personal Development Plan
(PDP) and is based on the gaps between performance and the KSF Outline.
Developing a Foundation Gateway Subset for a NHS KSF Outline
Foundation Gateways - are a sub-set of the full NHS KSF Outline. They should
reflect the expected stage of development of an individual in the post at the end of
their first year. Recruitment to posts should always reflect any essential
requirements for that post.
Methods used to develop Foundation Gateways
Look at the full NHS KSF Outline for the post, remember that the Core Dimensions
must always be included - and then consider the following options:
▪ keep the same Dimensions but at a lower level
▪ keep the same Dimensions and levels but select the indicators that must be met
at Foundation level
▪ a mix of the above – some times the Foundation will be the same as the Full
Evidence for Development Reviews
What is Evidence?
In the context of the KSF “evidence is proof that an individual provides in order to
demonstrate achievement of a particular area of their KSF outline”
Evidence can be used to demonstrate:
▪ achievement towards indicators in your outline
▪ progress towards an objective in your current personal development plan
Five Rules of Evidence
Valid Does it meet the needs of the dimension or indicator it is being put
Sufficient Is there enough evidence to confirm achievement?
Current Is it up to date and still relevant?
Reliable Does it reflect the required knowledge and skills?
Authentic Can it be attributed to you?
Factors to consider when providing evidence
▪ The responsibility rests with you, but your manager and supervisor will offer
▪ Agree in supervision what types of evidence will demonstrate that you have met
particular indicators and keep written notes of supervision sessions
▪ Remember confidentiality- keep staff and patient details anonymous
▪ Wherever possible use the same piece of evidence for several
▪ Keep it up to date - evidence should relate to development in the last 2 years
▪ The log book is your personal record - you chose what to share – gather
evidence to show you have met the demands of the KSF outline.
▪ Your portfolio should not weigh a ton. Use one example of your best work
▪ It is not a paper chase! – a lot of evidence can be found in the workplace
▪ Evidence must be appropriate to the type of post and must not place
unreasonable demands on staff
▪ Always provide evidence on the application of learning – certificates are not
Evidence of Reflection
▪ Critical incident analysis (learning from meaningful events)
▪ Reflective diary
▪ Personal audit using your log book
▪ Analysis of your strengths and learning needs
▪ Preparing and taking part in your development review meeting