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Home Publications Infectious diseases Immunisation ›  National minimum standards and core curriculum for immunisation training of healthcare support workers

National minimum standards and core curriculum for immunisation training of healthcare support workers

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Health Protection Agency, Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency (PHA), the Scottish Flu and Pneumococcal Group, and Public Health Wales.

Publication date: May 2012



The majority of vaccinations in the UK are administered in the primary care setting where there is a move towards a more innovative skill mix in the nursing team. Health Care Support Workers (HCSWs) are taking on tasks that were previously carried out by registered nurses and in many General Practices, the HCSW role has developed and expanded to include administration of influenza and pneumococcal vaccines to adults. This has helped provide the extra capacity needed each year to deliver a large number of vaccinations in a short period of time.

It is well documented that a high level of knowledge and a positive attitude to immunisation in vaccine providers are important determinants in achieving and maintaining high vaccine uptake. It is therefore essential that robust and consistent training is provided for HCSWs undertaking this role to ensure their level of knowledge and skill is appropriate, their care delivery competent and their attitude to immunisation positive so they may best support and assist registered healthcare professionals to effectively deliver vaccinations. This guidance has been developed to define standards that may be considered a minimum for HCSW immunisation training and to provide assistance to those responsible for developing and delivering training.

This document addresses the minimum standards of training for HCSWs to administer influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations to adults only. It is not current practice for HCSWs to administer childhood, travel or other vaccines in the UK.


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Last reviewed: 25 July 2012