Integrated Workforce Framework

Welcome to the Integrated Workforce Framework NIHR Hub site. The site has been designed to support your understanding of the Integrated Workforce Framework © and to help you to start using it.

Recent updates

A number of improvement themes came out of our engagement and evaluation. As a result we committed to:

  • Respond to the demand for a digital IWF tool. This development work is taking place now with an external supplier.
  • Provide clearer guidance on creating role profiles to address: subjective, the need for all elements to be included (minimum %), dividing 100% focus.
  • Address the overlap of Clinical Context and Clinical Research elements. The framework table has been restructured from 9 to 12 elements still within the three domains of Clinical Research, Clinical Context and Leadership. The revision specifically affects the Elements for (a) Ethics, Patient Safety and Clinical Governance and (b) Communication and Relationships. Read the rationale for this restructure in the IWF Evaluation Summary.

You can find both previous and revised IWF resources on the resource page.

Framework v2.1.pdf

Revised IWF table (version 2.1)

What is the Integrated Workforce Framework (IWF)?

The NIHR CRN Integrated Workforce Framework is a national resource which provides a consistent and accessible way of describing the research workforce and what they do. It supports informed and productive conversations about this workforce using a common language.

The IWF aims to be comprehensive in its coverage as an overarching framework, which provides a shared language and methodology of describing roles.

The IWF can:

  • be used to describe any research role as part of the job that person is employed to do
  • be accessed for use by anyone without any formal training.
  • be integrated with locally used competence frameworks, i.e. uni-professional or organisational
  • interface with local/national initiatives in the context of the employing organisation
  • inform conversations about skill-mix across teams and services work alongside a scope of practice
  • support the areas that it does not directly provide for (listed below) by supplying a structure and common language to inform solution focused conversations

The IWF is not:

  • a competence framework
  • a source of detailed performance criteria or measures of assessment for these
  • a grading tool and is independent of AfC banding

How was the Integrated Workforce Framework developed?

The IWF was developed by the NIHR CRN as part of a national project. The work was initiated and managed as part of the Integrated Workforce Framework Project.

The project involved input from a selection of stakeholders and it was endorsed by a project board including support from the Department of Health. Involvement of NHS Workforce Specialists has ensured that the resource resonated with the rest of the NHS. In advance of developing the IWF the working group established a list of principles which it needed to uphold.

Work to develop the IWF began by building on existing resources that were tried, tested and trusted but were stretched to accommodate change in the research landscape. The content of the NIHR CRN IWF therefore is not novel but rather builds on resources currently in use, for example the RCN Competency Framework for Clinical Research Nurses (2011) , and is strongly influenced by