RepsDirect No 297 - 20 July 2004

Head of Health, Gail Cartmail General Secretary, Derek Simpson

Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF): Gateways - A Clarification

A point was raised by a delegate at the Health Sector National Conference regarding fears that if due to your managers actions or inactivity, you were unable to satisfy the KSF outline for your post, then you would not progress through the second KSF gateway. This followed the colleague attending a training course. The passage, which has given rise to the confusion, is the third bullet point in the second shaded box on page 124 of Working Draft Version 6 of the KSF.

"At gateway points in a pay band, the decisions will also need to take into account whether: ...
the individual was unable to demonstrate the required level of application of knowledge and skills due to management action or inaction - in this case when pay progression resumes it will be backdated to the point at which progression should have taken place if resources were in place."

It had been erroneously interpreted this passage to mean that pay progression would be halted. But that when the individual was able to satisfy the KSF outline for their post, they would go to the point in their pay band that they would have reached had pay progression not been halted and that they would receive back money to make up the shortfall in salary.

In reply the Health Section Research and Policy Officer doubted this was correct but promised to follow this up and write to members via Reps Direct. Professional Officer Ann Owen represents Amicus on the KSF working group and provided the following clarification.

The whole system is based on the principle of no surprises - if there are problems with individuals developing towards the full KSF outline for the post, or there are disciplinary issues, these must have been addressed by managers before the gateway reviews. This mirrors good management practice and should be no different from good appraisal practice as it currently exists.

There must always have been formal notification of any concern to the individual by their manager. An action plan must have been drawn up to try to remedy the weakness before the issue of deferment of progression can be raised. The process after that will be exactly the same as in deferment at a gateway with progression resuming as soon as a review determines that the NHS KSF outline for the post and the gateway has been met. Deferment will last until any problems are resolved.

There will be no national or local quotas for pay progression. It will be possible for all staff who apply the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the KSF outline for their post and the relevant gateway to progress through these gateways and pay points. It is on this basis that the system has been costed and funded.

Most managers in the NHS will also go through the KSF process which will, in theory, give individuals under their management an opportunity to feed into the process of evaluating the performance of managers.

We think its very important that we give guidance and leadership to our members that gives them the confidence to be full partners in this process from the start and they don't go into the KSF process thinking that its something done to them. We intend to prepare our reps to support members through this without seeing it as a possible source of confrontation.

All students on the training course have been written to clarifying the position. Our thanks to the delegate for raising this concern.

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