Promoting partnership working in the NHS

Learning for Life

Learning For LifeThe Social Partnership Forum is committed to supporting a culture of lifelong learning in the NHS. During 2013/14 the SPF ran the Learning for Life campaign to increase awareness of workplace learning, providing useful tools and guidance to help organisations promote a workplace learning culture.

Many of the resources developed for the campaign are still relevant and remain available via the webpage below.




Ministerial statement
Former chair of the national SPF, Dr Daniel Poulter MP, announced the launch of the campaign - read his ministerial statement.

Main objectives of the SPF campaign were to:

1. stimulate greater awareness and increased participation in learning at work for all NHS staff, especially those in bands 1-4

2. increase recognition by chief executives and board members that supporting the development of staff makes good business sense

3. reinforce the belief that investment in staff learning is an investment in the service

4. increase the proportion of NHS staff who agree that workplace learning has had a positive impact on the quality of their work.

Why encourage workplace learning?

There is a clear business case for encouraging workplace learning. Investing in your workforce supports long-term productivity and contributes towards better patient care. There is evidence to demonstrate that when staff receive good quality appraisal, learning and skills training, and are properly equipped to undertake their job role, this impacts positively on the patient experience and the quality of health outcomes.

Learning and development budgets don't have to suffer. Improving productivity and finding innovative and more efficient ways of working come about when people at all levels are committed to embracing organisational change. This can best be achieved by giving staff the confidence and the opportunity to access the learning and development they need in a way that suits them. Employers need to invest in the skills of their workforce to ensure that skills across the sector are utilised appropriately and effectively.

The business case for workplace learning:

1. Workplace learning improves patient safety

2. Workplace learning helps engage staff and boost morale

3. Learning and development budgets go further

4. Workplace learning creates a culture of learning

5. Workplace learning creates a workforce that attracts and retains the best and better reflects the local population

6. Workplace learning delivers on staff pledges in the NHS Constitution.


Access the online toolkit which helps develop new workplace learning initiatives and refresh existing activities.

Also see our presentation slide pack which summarises the SPF Learning for Life campaign.