A new partnership has been agreed between the NHS and FutureLearn.com to provide short courses to the health and care workforce for free.
Upon completion of a short course on FutureLearn, learners usually have the opportunity to pay for upgraded access to the course for as long as it exists on the platform, and they also have the chance to earn a Certificate of Achievement to demonstrate their completion of the course, once eligible. This fee has been waived for all NHS-authored courses on FutureLearn for all eligible health and care learners in the UK.
Health Education England is the lead partner, with all NHS organisations in the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) having the option to create courses and then make these available via the FutureLearn platform.
The new partnership consolidates several existing partnerships between different NHS organisations and FutureLearn, to provide a unified experience for learners and making it significantly easier for health and care organisations to create courses on FutureLearn.
Neil Ralph, Head of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) at Health Education England, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to take the social learning experience offered by FutureLearn and make this available to more people in the health and care workforce. This new partnership complements the existing NHS learning platforms provided by HEE TEL including elearning for healthcare, the Learning Hub and Digital Learning Solutions.”
Justin Cooke, Chief Content and Partnerships Officer at FutureLearn, said: “FutureLearn is delighted to continue building on its relationship with Health Education England, a global healthcare training and education leader. We have already seen our wide range of healthcare courses reach millions of professionals around the world, with more than 100,000 enrolments across HEE’s portfolio alone. As we extend our partnership to the wider NHS family, our shared goal is to now open up access to many more valuable training and development opportunities that healthcare professionals can truly benefit from.”
Health Education England’s TEL team is already providing high quality education at scale including more than 400 elearning programmes via the elearning for healthcare Hub, the Learning Hub hosts a variety of resources that have been contributed by the health and care workforce and the Digital Learning Solution supports over 300 health and care organisations with a focus on clinical systems training and generic IT skills learning. The addition of the FutureLearn partnership to the existing offer strengthens the catalogue of online learning opportunities for the health and care workforce.
What the partnership means for HEE and the wider NHS family
Any NHS organisation will be able to create a course on the FutureLearn platform without charge, meaning a significant increase in the number of learning experiences that can be made available to the health and care workforce. In addition, the new partnership will help:
- reduce duplication
- increase the range of learning available to the health and care workforce
- enable global learners to access NHS courses.
All health and care learners (based on the OpenAthens eligibility criteria) will be eligible for a free upgrade to NHS-authored courses.
Current partners include Health Education England, with more to follow soon.
To create a course, you must be an NHS organisation in the UK. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss joining the partnership.
How can I access the courses?
The courses which are currently eligible as part of the partnership are available on the Learning Hub: https://learninghub.nhs.uk/catalogue/futurelearn