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The GSF competency document
  1. Nikki Sawkinis
  1. Nikki Sawkins, National Gold Standards Framework (GSF) Lead Nurse for Care Homes, National GSF Centre, Park View Centre, Chester Road North, Brownhills, Walsall, and Rosaleen Bawn, Macmillan Nurse Specialist for Palliative Care Education in Care Homes, Kirklees NHS and Holme Valley Memorial Hospital, Holmfirth, and National Associate, GSF in Care Homes. Emails: nikki.sawkins{at}nhs. net and rosaleen.bawn{at}


Implementing education that results in a change in culture and improved clinical practice is challenging. In order to evaluate the effect of educational initiatives it is necessary to assess pre-course proficiency levels with post-course proficiency levels. The Gold Standards Framework (GSF) competency document, which was originally developed to assess the palliative care educational needs of district nurses, aims to assess the competency level and knowledge >of health and social care staff. It is a self-assessment tool that has been adapted for use in a variety of settings. The assessment is based around the seven Cs of the GSF. There are 10 general topics and 10 related specifically to symptom control. Learners complete the document before a course and then at a later date. The results can help direct learning. They can also be used as part of an appraisal system and a personal development plan.

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