Barnet CEPN Immunisation and Vaccination 2018


Public Health England (PHE) Immunisation training standards for healthcare practitioners 2018 include the recommended national minimum standards and core curriculum for immunisation training. The standards recommend all immunisers should complete an education programme so they understand the diseases they are vaccinating against and the principles of vaccination.

National minimum standards and core curriculum for immunisation training

The standards include the RCN / PHE ‘Immunisation knowledge and skills competency assessment tool’ which provides a comprehensive framework for practice assessment, to support those new to immunisation with a period of supervised practice to allow acquisition and observation of clinical skills and application of knowledge to practice. The tool can also be used for experienced immunisers as CPD to help ensure their knowledge and skills are still up to date.

The standards acknowledge that there should be some flexibility in the way staff acquire the necessary skills and knowledge. A blended approach particularly for updates may be appropriate. All staff should be able to determine how they can best stay up to date so they can practice safely within the NMC Code.

The standards recommend that:

  • All new immunisers complete a training package that covers all the elements within the recommended curriculum.
  • All current immunisers should then have annual updates, or more frequent updates if there are significant changes to the schedule that come in between.

Acquisition of knowledge and skills

There is a fully updated on line training package which meets all the elements of the core curricula.
The interactive immunisation e-learning resource (2018) from Health Education England (HEE) e-Learning for Healthcare was developed with PHE in collaboration with the RCN, RCPCH and Institute of Child Health. The course is free but users will need to register. It meets the requirements in the national minimum standards; it consists of seven knowledge sessions with accompanying assessments.

Those who are new to immunisation should complete all seven sessions. Those with prior knowledge and experience in immunisation may wish to read through the relevant knowledge sessions for refresher training or undertake the assessment sessions to check on their knowledge. Individual learners may undertake certain sessions as relevant to their role.

On completion, users can print a certificate as evidence of the sessions undertaken.
There is also an interactive flu immunisation e-learning programme, also available through Health Education England’s (HEE) eLearning for Healthcare. It is an open access resource and applicable for anyone involved in delivering the flu immunisation programme.

Attendance at a study day workshop / provides immunisers with an alternative chance of acquiring the relevant knowledge and a further chance to test their learning and clarify complex questions.

Good practice would be for all immunisers to also have a period of supervised practice or support in the workplace and to complete the practice assessment which is also included within the National Minimum Standard. The practice assessment is designed to be self-directed; It can be completed by the individual or as a joint undertaking with a designated mentor, who can be any colleague with the necessary skills and experience. It is recommended that the evidence should be used as part of ongoing appraisal and CPD and kept within personal professional portfolio.

Experienced immunisers can also use the tool to test their level of knowledge and help identify gaps.

All immunisers should also be familiar with the on line version of Immunisation against infectious disease ‘The Green Book’ and be able to access the relevant sections easily during immunisation sessions.