IT, digital and application training in primary care

Version 1.2, 26 May 2023

This guidance is part of the Education and training section of the Good practice guidelines for GP electronic patient records.

There are many training providers with programmes and resources to support the development of IT and digital knowledge and skills.  Some providers offer primary care related online resources and e-learning opportunities to improve and develop existing digital skills. 

Online training and learning through networking opportunities are also summarised and signposted below.

This guidance sets out what is available at the time of writing (March 2023).  It is, however, a fast-moving area and offers and opportunities will change on an almost daily basis.   

Do also note that your employer or local NHS training centres may provide opportunities for learning and developing skills. 


All practices should ensure that all staff have or are supported to develop the entry level skills needed to work in a digital environment.  These include relevant operating systems, administrative and office software system users as well as clinical systems. 

Practice must carry out a training needs analysis and produce an integrated care board (ICB) approved training plan.  They must also keep and maintain a record of staff training and make staff available for required training.

NHS IT Skills Pathway

Although smartphones and tablets are now in common use and the internet is part of our everyday lives, there are still many people who:

  • have basic skills only
  • use applications in a limited way
  • don’t know what they don’t know

Health Education England[1] is home to the Digital Learning Solutions programme (registration needed) which offers a wide range of online learning courses:

Training is supported by a learning management system that allows users and managers to track progress.  Training can also be tailored to individuals’ needs through pre-course skills assessments.

Digital readiness

Health Education England offers a number of programmes aimed at driving up digital readiness across health and social care:

e-learning for Healthcare (e-LfH)

e-Learning for Healthcare is delivered by Health Education England.  It has an extensive and searchable catalogue of online courses and toolkits covering clinical and non-clinical topics. 

Access is open to anyone who works in the NHS.  Registration is required for access to programmes.  Some programmes are also available through the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) so tracking and completion information is entered automatically into a user’s ESR record.

It has a wide range of courses specific to general practice including e-learning modules based on the GP training curriculum, developed in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

Examples of programmes available from e-LfH include:

Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) education and training

In 2020, the RCGP launched a COVID-19 resource hub  with a range of resources for GPs and practice staff.  It contained, for example, guidance on remote consultations and triaging and shielding vulnerable patients.

The College’s health informatics special interest group provides webinars and toolkits from time to time.

Faculty of Clinical Informatics

The Faculty of Clinical Informatics (hosted by the RCGP) offers a regular programme of webinars and events for members. 

Online recordings of webinars are open access, at least whilst the Faculty is driving up membership and are found on the Faculty YouTube channel

Some webinars are delivered in partnership with the British Computer Society (BCS) Primary Healthcare Specialist Group (PHCSG).


eGPlearning is a YouTube video channel aimed at providing information and advice to GPs on a wide range of digital and practice related topics.  It also provides short information videos aimed at patients. 

The lead GP creates short video presentations and blog-casts on topics such as:

Other online learning

Here are some examples of other sources and examples of online education and training to support digital primary care:

  • NHS England provides webinars and workshops
  • FutureNHS provides discussion forums, libraries, recordings of webinars and events, toolkits, and guidance for NHS staff (who have to register to use the portal). There are forums or discussion groups that include for example:
  • GP clinical system suppliers, like EMIS, who produced getting started with Video Consult (site registration needed)
  • The Practice Managers’ Association, which has produced a training module on using the NHS App
  • BCS PHCSG offers online recordings of presentations from their annual conference and works in partnership with the Faculty of Clinical Informatics to deliver webinars


Digital Health

Digital Health is a health and care digital news, intelligence, and networking site, offering regular newsletters and events.  It has a website as well as a presence on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.   It supports networks of Chief Information Officers and Chief Clinical Information Officers (across health and care). 

Health Tech Newspaper

Health Tech Newspaper (HTN) is a push news service, which includes a primary care tech news edition.   As well as news, videos, and interviews, it hosts a range of channels covering topics like:

Other helpful resources