Knowledge and Library Service Team Skills and Capacity Audit 

Published on 22 June 2022, by Dom Gilroy - Workforce Planning and Development Group

Tools and techniques, Workforce, PKSB, Quality and Improvement Outcomes

Tools and resources to support staff skills and capacity audit

In reviewing the range of development needs expressed in the 2021 Workforce Survey, we identified several areas where a range of resources are already available.  To publicise these resources, we will be producing a series of short briefings. The first highlights some resources that may assist when preparing for a skills and capacity audit of your team.   

If there are any additional resources which you have found useful that we can share with others, please let us know [email protected]


  1. CILIP’s Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB)

CILIP’s PKSB is a checklist of the broad range of skills and knowledge areas valuable in the library, knowledge and information sector. 

In addition to being of value to plan personal development, the tool can be used by managers to inform role and service redesign, inform staff training, and in support of staff recruitment and retention.

Watch a YouTube presentation on how one manager made use of the tool to identify strengths and areas for skills development for their team.

In addition to being available to all members via their CILIP login – NHS knowledge and library specialists in England can access both the tool and the Healthcare Sector Guide via Health Education England.


  1. Staff Ratio Recommendations

Health Education England introduced the recommended staff ratio of qualified knowledge and library specialists to healthcare staff due to the significant variation in this ratio across England leading to inequitable service provision.

Managers may find it useful to compare their current staff ratio with the recommended levels.  Some useful questions to consider:

  • How does the ratio of qualified knowledge and library staff to healthcare staff in my organisation compare with HEE’s recommendations?
  • If the local ratio is lower, what additional services and developments might be possible with additional staffing?
  • Are there opportunities to produce business cases and/or bid for funding for additional roles?
  • Would the Resources for Role Redesign be helpful to inform any new or revised roles in the service?


  1. Case Studies from managers who have used the staff ratio

Health Education England has worked with knowledge and library service managers to explore ways in which the staff ratio recommendations have been used practically within their organisations.  A range of case studies have been developed covering these examples.

The guidance has been used to inform business cases for new embedded roles, and to inform service design, often alongside other HEE guidance and recommendations.