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Library, knowledge and information services

Library and knowledge professionals apply their expertise to ensure that NHS bodies, staff, learners, patients and the public have the right knowledge and evidence, when and where they need it.

Training and qualifications required

It is possible to start in an entry-level post without formal qualifications, but GCSEs or equivalent qualifications are an advantage. Apprenticeships in health informatics are also available. If you have a degree in library and information studies or information science or you are chartered member of Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), you’ll be able to join the professional tier of library, knowledge and information services.

Expected working hours and salary range

Most jobs in library, knowledge and information services in the NHS are covered by Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. This pay system covers all staff except doctors, dentists and the most senior managers. Library, knowledge and information services staff in the NHS will usually work standard hours of 37.5 per week. Terms and conditions for non-NHS employers and contractors will vary.

Desirable skills and values

Good communication and team working skills are needed for all roles within library, knowledge and information services. Many roles will also require good presentation, IT and organisational skills. You’ll also need to have strong influencing skills, and show political awareness and sensitivity, as health is a complex system. You’ll need to be enthusiastic, be able to work under pressure and on your own initiative.

Prospects

There are opportunities to progress your career a number of ways, for example moving into senior management roles, managing electronic services or teaching. Most NHS organisations have chief information officers who lead the delivery of knowledge management systems locally. Courses in health informatics are also offered by some universities at undergraduate and masters level. The NHS has also developed training and courses to support you through your career. Many of these will count towards your continued professional development and may lead to a formal professional qualification.
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