The Framework

The Calderdale Framework – 7 stages to a competent & flexible health and social care workforce

The Calderdale Framework CF1 provides a clear and systematic method of reviewing skill mix and roles within a service to ensure quality and safety for patients.  It is wholly transferable to any health or social care setting, and enables patient focused development of new roles and new ways of working, leading to improved efficiency in utilisation of roles2 The process of applying CF leads to the development of a detailed competency training document, based on tasks and functions which are needed to deliver patient focused services. This provides the basis for work-based training, and reduces unjustifiable variations in care.

The Calderdale Framework was initially used to develop the non registered workforce, with a focus on competency training staff in delegated tasks, developing robust governance and auditing practice. The resultsof implementing CF across the Clinical Therapy and Rehabilitation Directorate at Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust showed a reduction in service user complaints, a reduction in staff sickness absence and a reduction in risk of clinical incidents occurring due to inadequate staff training1. Following this CF was used to develop a core competency set for nursing support staff.

Skills for Health commissioned us in 2008 to develop assistant practitioner roles (level 4) using The Calderdale Framework. This work led to the development of a new higher education course at The University of Bradford, and fed into the West Yorkshire Lifelong Learning project on development of a flexible framework for support worker education3.

We have also used the Calderdale framework to develop Transdisciplinary practice between AHPs. Evidence emerging from Australia, where they have strategically implemented CF, is showing some excellent results -an RCT will be published soon by Prof Alison Pighills .

Another really exciting application is within integration between Health and Social Care sectors4 this work was in the finals at last year’s HSJ Awards,

We are currently working with Health education Yorkshire and The Humber to develop Advanced Clinical Practice roles.

  1. Smith R, Duffy J, 2010 ‘Developing a competent and flexible workforce using the Calderdale Framework’ IJTR 17(5):254-262.
  2. Nancarrow S et al 2014 ‘Implementing large scale workforce change: learning from 55 pilot sites of Allied Health workforce redesign in Queensland, Australia.  Project report for Health Workforce Australia.
  3. Headley A, Smith J, Kettle J, 2011 ‘Flexible learning for workforce modernisation: building a framework for learning and development of assistant practitioners in Yorkshire and the Humber’. WYLLN