Last updated: 07.02.24

NHS Statutory and Mandatory Training: What Is It and Why Is It Important?


Seeing roughly 1.3 million people every day, the National Health Service (NHS) plays a significant role in supporting the mental and physical health and wellbeing of the public across the UK. 

In an ever-evolving society with a constantly developing healthcare sector, the NHS must equip its workforce with the necessary knowledge and skill sets needed to work competently in their profession. Without sufficient training in healthcare, the NHS fails to deliver the highest quality of care and protect the safety of those that they serve.

The healthcare sector is one of only a few sectors in which personal and patient safety is vital. As a result, statutory and mandatory training is required in every NHS organisation, department, and workplace. 

But, what exactly does statutory and mandatory training mean, and why are they important? In this article, we break down the intricacies of NHS statutory and mandatory training, delving into detail about what they are, why they are important, as well as their purposes and principles. Regardless of whether you’re a current healthcare worker or you’ve just recently joined the NHS, having a comprehensive knowledge of statutory and mandatory training is critical to delivering your role effectively. 

Who is Statutory and Mandatory Training Applicable To?

Statutory and mandatory training in the NHS applies to all employees, whether temporary or permanent, who are employed by this government department. This includes any individuals working in the trust via an honorary contract or who are on secondment. 

Whether nurses, doctors, or otherwise, this means that anyone employed by the NHS should be taking part in mandatory and statutory training that they need to perform their duties of care and safety adequately.

What is the Core Skills Training Framework (CSTF)? 

Before you understand statutory and mandatory training, you must first learn about the Core Skills Training Framework (CSTF). This is a trusted benchmark that is used by healthcare employers across the UK, including the NHS. 

The CSTF outlines the minimum learning requirements and outcomes of training, as well as the frequency in which certain training should be refreshed. In addition to this, it also outlines the details of specific legislation to which training is relevant. 

The CSTF encompasses essential mandatory and statutory training subjects, which creates its framework that healthcare professionals can use to learn all of the essential skills they need to support and protect their patients and colleagues. 

Examples of subjects outlined in the CSTF include:

What is Statutory Training? 

Of the two types of training, statutory training is generally perceived to be the most important. This is because statutory training is a requirement under law as part of everyday work. It is often referred to as ‘compulsory’ or ‘essential’ training by employers and NHS workers.

Statutory training is required by the following UK legislation:

This form of training is not specific to being able to carry out a particular service, but rather is essential for people working in most NHS environments. For example, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 covers a wealth of information that pertains to how people must work to ensure that they and their colleagues are safe.

Statutory training is not optional and applies to almost all NHS employees. Therefore, virtually all NHS workers will have to undertake training that is informed by these legislations at some point. However, the exception to this may be if there are staff shortages. 

Why is Statutory Training Important?

Statutory training is important in the NHS because it’s about ensuring that staff and their colleagues work in a safe environment. Where statutory training is not undertaken, there are all manner of potential risks. Staff, patients, and visitors could potentially come to harm, and there can be legal repercussions where training has failed to be given or followed.

Often, statutory training will be undertaken when you first start a job. All new NHS employees must take part in key health and safety awareness training, including manual handling training and fire safety training. This training needs to be refreshed periodically also, which we will touch upon later on in this article.

Some examples of the types of statutory training workers in the NHS will likely undertake are as follows:

  • Manual Handling Training: Teaching the proper techniques for lifting, moving, and handling objects safely 
  • Fire Safety Awareness Training: Teaching the responsibilities of fire safety and how to identify and report hazards as well as assess fire risks. 
  • Basic Risk Assessment Training: Teaching what risk assessments are as well as their benefits, relevant legislations, and how to comply with these.
  • General Workplace Health and Safety Awareness Training, as well as local Health and Safety Policies: Teaching the hazards relating to operating in a workplace and how you can keep yourself and your colleagues safe, taking into consideration policies and legislation.

What is Mandatory Training?

Compared to statutory training, mandatory training is slightly different in that it’s focused on more specific tasks that are central to a role. However, it is essential and is decided upon by organisational, national, or even governmental guidelines to ensure that a workplace is running in compliance with legislation and policies.

Mandatory training in the NHS will have a focus on keeping staff, patients, and visitors safe. If employees do not take this training, then they may not have the skills and knowledge required to ensure everyone’s safety, which is essential in the NHS. 

Why is Mandatory Training Important?

Similar to the consequences of statutory training, the repercussions of not having mandatory training in the NHS can also have legal implications. In the NHS, where individual services are commissioned, this can also mean risking loss of the service.

Aside from this, the implementation of mandatory training in the NHS works to reduce any risks of injury or harm in the workplace and to also ensure that any overarching government guidelines are followed. As well as this, it helps to protect the safety and health of all those - patient or employer - in the NHS. 

Some examples of the types of mandatory training include the following:

  • Safeguarding Training: Not all employees will work with vulnerable adults and children, but those who do must understand how to keep them safe.
  • Hazardous Substance Awareness and Training: Chemicals and other hazards are present in many clinical settings, and to stay safe and on the right side of the law, mandatory training may be required to work with them safely.
  • Information Governance: Confidential information is prevalent in healthcare, and many employees will have an obligation to understand how it should be used appropriately.
  • Hygiene Training: Hospital infections hit the headlines regularly in past decades, which is why there’s a big focus on preventing them through processes such as proper hand washing.
  • Whistleblowing: Governmental organisations such as the NHS have many standards they need to uphold, and it’s important that staff feel that they can speak out when they see problems.
  • Equality: Dealing with and caring for the general public at large means understanding concerns surrounding equality, whether that pertains to gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or anything else.
  • First Aid and Resuscitation: The more people there are with first aid and resuscitation training in particular, the safer an environment is. You’ll find that many NHS employees must have this training.

It’s important to note that the above list is by no means exhaustive. There are several kinds of mandatory training in the NHS, and no two teams are likely to have the same requirements. 

How Often Should You Refresh Mandatory and Statutory Training?

When considering how often you should refresh training in the NHS, annual updates are required at a minimum. However, this varies depending on the type of training and also the organisation's specific requirements. This may be more frequent for those working in specific roles, therefore.

Also, in the NHS, a formal review of any required mandatory and statutory training is conducted every couple of years. 

Where to Find Training for the Healthcare Sector

Here at Virtual College, we’re pleased to be able to offer a wide range of training types suitable for NHS employees. You can learn more about these courses over on our dedicated healthcare and statutory and mandatory page. This includes mandatory training courses like safeguarding children and statutory training including fire safety

We also offer a resource pack for statutory and mandatory training, which you can access on our website now. This may be useful for managers and those responsible for training. In particular, this resource is designed to help services hit compliance targets, for which mandatory and statutory training is very important. 


What are the 6 C’s of the NHS? 

The NHS has a selection of values which are paramount to the delivery of high-quality care to its patients. All those working in the NHS are expected to embody these 6 C’s to ensure that they do this. These values are as follows:

  • Care
  • Competence
  • Compassion
  • Communication
  • Commitment
  • Courage

How Long is the NHS Mandatory Training Valid For?

NHS mandatory training as previously mentioned, needs to be refreshed every year, so it is essentially valid for 12 months. However, this can vary in length depending on the type of mandatory training that is being undertaken. 

Whilst working in the NHS, you should be informed of the mandatory training courses that you need to complete, and therefore the time frames in which these are valid before they need to be refreshed. 

What is the Difference Between Mandatory Training and Care Certificate?

Mandatory training covers essential topics that are required to ensure that safety and care are of paramount concern to employees in the NHS. In comparison, the Care Certificate hones in on the behaviours and standards that employees in the healthcare sector are expected to follow. The Care Certificate offers the introductory skills and knowledge that individuals need to deliver compassionate and high-quality care in this field. 


Both statutory and mandatory training are indispensable in the NHS to protect employee welfare and ensure that the highest quality care is being provided to patients. Without NHS employees completing these training programmes, the necessary skills and knowledge to ensure this care would not be possible. Thanks to the diverse range of topics addressed by statutory and mandatory training, from diversity and inclusion to safeguarding and even hazardous substance awareness, a safe and inclusive environment is created for all those in the healthcare sector. 

Our Statutory and Mandatory Training: Health, Safety, and Welfare course is essential for anyone working in the NHS and healthcare profession. This CPD-approved training course allows you to reflect on your health and safety responsibilities in your profession to ensure that you’re contributing to making your workplace a safer environment.