Employee capability: NHSScotland PIN policy

This Partnership Information Network (PIN) policy is not in use after 1 March 2020. Policies in force after 1 March 2020 are on https://workforce.nhs.scot/policies

Annex B: Suggested Solutions

There are many potential solutions to issues of capability. These may include but are not limited to:

  • Provision of learning and development opportunities;
  • Flexible working;
  • Referral to Occupational Health;
  • Relocation;
  • Support in the workplace;
  • Access to independent counselling services; or
  • Redeployment.

Provision of Learning and Development Opportunities

The provision of learning and development opportunities to assist an employee to improve their performance should be considered. The decision as to what constitutes appropriate learning and development and its delivery should be discussed and agreed with the employee in each case.

Flexible Working

There are many variations around the theme of flexible working and it may be that a change of working hours or moving to part-time employment may assist in improving performance. Such a change may be temporary or permanent. Any changes would have to be agreed between the manager and employee, and every effort must be made to accommodate such requests when capability issues are being addressed. Details of flexible working practices which might be considered will be contained in Boards’ local policies developed in line with the Supporting the Work-Life Balance PIN Policy51.

Referral to Occupational Health

Occupational Health will, in many instances, have a key role in assessing and addressing certain aspects of capability issues. Managers may refer employees to Occupational Health or individuals may self-refer. Employees are assured that confidentiality will be maintained.


In supporting an individual to improve performance, it may be beneficial to offer either temporary or permanent relocation. The nature and duration of any relocation must be agreed between the individual and the manager. The employee would normally be doing the same job in the new location.

Support in the Workplace

It is good practice to provide an employee who is under-performing with support from a skilled colleague. This promotes awareness of the demands of the job and an example against which to measure their own performance. The selection of the colleague will need to be carefully thought through by management and agreed with both of the individuals concerned. It is important to recognise that poor selection of the supporting colleague could result in further de-motivation of the under-performing employee.

Access to Independent Counselling Services

Some employees may benefit from access to independent counselling services. Managers should ensure that employees are made aware of these services and how they may be accessed.


Where redeployment is considered this should be managed in accordance with Boards’ local policies developed in line with the Redeployment PIN Policy52.


Email: Darren Paterson

Back to top