Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - ESR Hub

Asking questions

If you have a question about the ESR Transformation Programme, or the ESR Discovery project, you can submit your question to the NHSBSA Discovery Project Team at

We will endeavour to update these FAQs as frequently as possible to help answer your questions and queries.

1. What are the time frames for the ESR Transformation Programme?

By summer 2024 the Transformation Programme will have completed a procurement exercise.  This will enable a period of transition of the existing ESR Services from the supplier of the current contract to the supplier of the new contract up to August 2025 (current contract expiry date). The planned time frames for the completion of the ESR transformation activities will be informed by service design and implementation planning also commencing from summer 2024. 

Please refer to the roadmap timeline on the ESR Transformation overview page for further information.

2. Will there be a transition period between current ESR system and any future system?

Yes.  The outcome of the ESR Discovery will inform the future solution, and future phases of the Transformation Programme. This will help inform the Transformation strategy of the NHS Workforce Solution. 

3. How will it affect me as a user?

During the period from 2021 to summer 2024 your access to ESR will not change. At this stage is it not possible to outline what if any changes will impact you as an ESR user beyond this date. We will keep you updated as the Transformation Plans are developed and confirmed.
It is important to note that during the ESR Transformation Programme the existing NHSBSA ESR service will continue to deploy enhancements to the current solution that will further improve the capability and user experience for all users.  The enhancement process via the ESR Special Interest Groups and other stakeholder forums will continue as normal.

4. What is the vision for the future solution?

The ESR Transformation Programme seeks to place users and stakeholders at the heart of ESR service design.  NHSBSA Workforce Services will:  

  • Support effective recruitment, retention and workforce planning within Health and Care;
  • Provide workforce services that support delivery of the NHS People Plan and other workforce policies (including ongoing engagement and outcomes from the Future of NHS HR & OD programme).


5. How can I be involved in the ESR Discovery research project?

We are directly engaging with national policy makers and strategic stakeholders to help us shape a future workforce service that supports delivery of the People Plan and other workforce policies (including outcomes from the Future NHS HR and OD review).
A representative sample of user organisations are being invited to take part in the ESR Discovery project. ESR Leads from those organisations are being invited to provide employees that will be contacted by the Accenture research team.
In addition, all employees (ESS users) will have the opportunity to complete an online survey to share their views and experiences. Other surveys are likely to be published during the Discovery project focusing on particular user groups, e.g. MSS users.

6. I have not been asked to participate in the ESR Discovery research, how do I feed into the process?

Everyone┬┐s views are valuable to us which is why we will aim to engage with as many users and user types as possible via the online survey. 

In terms of direct engagement (e.g. interviews, focus groups), we are reaching out to a representative sample of ESR users and organisations, making sure we capture the diverse user and organisation needs.  

There will be more opportunities to get involved in the future as this piece of work evolves.  

7. What types of users will you be engaging with?

We want to ensure that we gain representative understanding of the needs and requirements of the diverse user base of ESR. To that end, Accenture are reaching out to a wide range of users, including those who use ESR for themselves as employees, those who use ESR on behalf of others such as managers as well as those who deliver and maintain ESR services as professional users (e.g. HR and Payroll). This will allow the team to capture a broad range of experiences of using ESR from clinical and non-clinical employees, managers, IT and administrative users.  

8. What research methods are being used?

The Accenture research team is using a wide variety of methods to engage with users and get their input. These methods include:

  • an online survey that will take approximately 10 minutes to complete
  • 45-minute one-to-one interviews  
  • 60-minute focus groups
  • Executive stakeholder interviews 

9. How will you ensure you engage with a representative sample of users & stakeholders?

Our research methods will incorporate a representative sample of various organisation types, user types, demographics and regions.

The sample has been agreed in collaboration with representatives from NHSBSA Workforce Services, Accenture and in consultation with experts from ESR and associated user groups.
In addition, we have put in place mechanisms to monitor research progress, to ensure we have inputs from a spread of organisation types, user types, demographics and regions feeding into the ESR Discovery work.



10. How will you select the sample?

As part of the user research, the surveys are being utilised to capture inputs from as many employees as possible on their ESR experiences.  
In addition, we are reaching out to a representative sample of organisations across all regions for direct engagement. Organisations have been chosen based on their current use of ESR (including just core HR and Payroll use, through to best practice organisations) to ensure the sample set is representative of ESR usage across the service. Each of these organisations has been asked to nominate some of their employees to talk to us via interviews and focus groups.

11. When will you start contacting users?

The online surveys will launch via the ESR portal from w/c 22nd February 2021.   
Employee Self Service Users will be invited to complete the survey via a Portal pop-up message when they log in to ESR.  Please do make every effort to take the time to provide your input.
A survey for Manager Self Service Users is planned for early March 2021.
The interviews and focus groups will involve a smaller sample, and these will run from mid-February 2021 until mid-March 2021 for this phase.