JPAC Joint United Kingdom (UK) Blood Transfusion and Tissue Transplantation Services Professional Advisory Committee

Education & Training

NHS Operational Impact Group

Education and Training Subgroup


The EU Directive 2002/98/EC lays down the standards of quality and safety for the collection, testing storage and distribution of human blood and blood components. Within the directive article 10 relates to personnel stating that they should be available in sufficient numbers and be trained to perform their tasks as follows:

“Personnel shall be qualified to perform tasks and be provided with timely relevant and regularly updated training”

The directive itself does not specify what training or professional qualifications are required, nor does it identify the level of competence or measurement of competence that needs to be achieved.

The Training Subgroup has reviewed the directive and has agreed that the relevant professional bodies and advisory/discussion groups within the Transfusion Healthcare Community already have well established training and education groups that can be contacted to make recommendations and provide guidance. The interim competent authority the Medical Healthcare Regulatory Authority (MHRA) and Clinical Pathology Accreditation (CPA) both have assessment tools to establish levels of compliance. Section B of the CPA documentation gives comprehensive guidance to laboratory managers and it is anticipated that the MHRA will issue similar guidance.

Following the recommendations of the Better Blood Transfusion 2 initiative, many hospitals now have access to Transfusion Practitioners, many of whom are responsible for task based transfusion training of staff outside of the laboratory who are involved in transfusion. The UK Blood Services also have nurses and scientists in similar roles offering regional training and education support to hospitals. These personnel have already developed training and educational tools such as presentations, posters, transfusion literature and assessments.

The subgroup has therefore agreed that its primary role will be to identify personnel involved in activities or tasks associated with the processes leading up to transfusion or disposal of a component. The group will also provide a reference document identifying where to get help or information regarding the training and education of all levels of staff involved in the audit trail of human blood components for transfusion. Where the group training identifies initiatives or tools that could be widely adopted for use in hospitals, we will communicate access details to hospitals with the approval and agreement of the individuals who own them.

Skills and Knowledge Framework

There is a document containing a framework which identifies the types of personnel involved in the transfusion supply chain at a hospital and can be used to identify the minimum level of training or knowledge that is required to undertake specific tasks. It is our recommendation that this framework is reviewed on an annual basis. The job titles shown within the framework are common to many hospitals but may not fit the personnel undertaking these tasks within your own hospital. These titles should be adjusted to the match the titles of the personnel undertaking these activities within each hospital.

Minimum training requirements

  • As a minimum, there should be documentary evidence that each member of staff has appropriate qualifications for their position. This should be supported through a current job description and person specification
  • There should be documentary evidence that training has been performed
  • Each Individual should have a training record
  • Training should be task based and records should include date of training, details of task/procedure, procedure reference number, details of all staff trained to undertake the task, details of the trainer and a training review date
  • Individual training records should contain copies of any assessment criteria and certificates of training or competence when they have been provided


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