KSF and Foundation Gateways

The knowledge and skills framework (KSF) defines and describes the knowledge and skills which NHS staff need to apply in their work in order to deliver quality services and is referred to in he appraisal documents.

The GHNHSFT Appraisal and Development Review Policy recognises a Foundation Gateway appraisal. This appraisal follows 10 months of planned development over a ‘foundation period’. At this first appraisal in the role staff are appraised to ensure they meet the basic demands of their post. The foundation gateway appraisal applies to anyone in their first year in any role (this includes recruited – whether internal or external and redeployed staff).

The Foundation Gateway Appraisal and Development review is held 8 weeks prior to the first anniversary of being in the role. It has the same format as an annual appraisal however, the appraiser and appraise discuss real work examples (written or verbal) of the performance of their role to ensure they have met the requirements of their job description and any other required knowledge, skill or  competencies for role.

If despite planned development over the ‘foundation period’ the individual does not pass their Foundation Gateway appraisal the appraiser will:

  • liaise with Human Resources
  • refer to the Capability Procedure
  • complete a variation form to inform payroll to defer their next increment
  • provide continued support, training and development to address performance or capability concerns.

After the Foundation Gateway staff must continue to apply knowledge and skills to meet the full demands of their post. Staff will annually progress through the incremental scale to the top of their pay band provided they continue to apply the knowledge and skills required in their role. Within a performance / capability management process appraisers can defer the payment of the next increment if staff are not performing in their role.

 Staff who are at top of their band and are not performing in their role have their performance / capability managed with no impact on their rate of pay.

Newly registered health care professionals on Band 5 on a 12 month ‘preceptorship’ programme are required to have an appraisal review interim meeting after 4 months in post to identify whether they are making progress towards their Foundation Gateway and/ or meeting the agreed relevant standards of practice. 

  • If Yes they will automatically progress to the second increment of the pay scale after 6 months.
  • If No complete and forward variation form to payroll.

Core Dimenisions

There are 6 Core Dimensions, they are known as core dimensions because as they are relevant to every post in the NHS. If you access any of the Core Dimension documents below the first page is the overview of the dimension, and the following pages describe each level (1-4) of the dimension and how knowledge and skills need to be applied at that level (the indicators).

The level set is determined by the role and job description and is detailed within the KSF post outline.


                Core Dimensions
office icon  Communication
office icon  Personal and People Development
office icon  Health, Safety and Security
office icon  Service Improvement
office icon  Quality
office icon  Equality and Diversity


Appraisals and KSF

Every post should have a KSF outline; only the core dimensions now need to be considered. The outline sets out the actual requirements of a post in terms of the knowledge and skills that need to be applied when that post is being undertaken effectively.

A guide to Appraisals and KSF can be found here