The SSEF consists of 16 Elements of Care, mapped to the National Stroke Strategy


In response to the National Stroke Strategy (2007) the UK Stroke Forum developed a training arm with the task of establishing nationally recognised, quality-assured and transferable education programmes in stroke. A Steering Group and four Task Groups developed the Stroke-Specific Education Framework (SSEF), which covers the whole of the stroke care pathway.

The SSEF consists of 16 Elements of Care, based on the quality markers in the National Stroke Strategy and related to the stroke strategies in all four UK countries. Within each Element of Care there are key competencies that reflect the ‘knowledge and understanding’ and ‘skills and abilities’ a member of staff should possess if they work in that area of stroke care delivery. The SSEF is a freely available resource for anyone interested in stroke care.

Levels of knowledge and skills

The levels of knowledge and skills described under Courses and Role Profiles are taken from the definitions used by Skills for Health:

  • Basic – a generalised understanding that something exists but an individual would not need to know any details
  • Factual – a knowledge that is detailed on a factual level, but does not involve any more than a superficial understanding of any principles or theories
  • Working – the application of factual knowledge in a manner that takes account of widely understood technical principles and implications within the field of practice
  • In-depth – a broad and detailed understanding of the theoretical underpinning of an area of practice, including conflicting theories and constructs
  • Critical – the ability to evaluate and devise approaches to situations that depend on the critical application of theories and conceptual constructs within the area of practice

Role Profiles

Project work undertaken by the University of Central Lancashire (supported by the Department of Health) has further utilised the SSEF to create Standardised Role Profiles for all staff that provide care for those affected by stroke. Further information about Standardised Role Profiles can be found on the Role Profiles page.

Training and Courses

The SSEF is being used to underpin the endorsement of stroke-specific training by the UKSF Education and Training. Further information about endorsed courses can be found by clicking on the ‘Courses‘ link.

Staff Calculator

Additional project work has led to the development of a Staff Calculator: by entering details about about patient throughput and staff time it is possible to estimate the number and cost of staff needed to support a stroke service. Further information about the staffing guide can be found on the ‘Staffing‘ page.

Match your knowledge and skills to the SSEF

Once you have defined your role and grade/band you will have an opportunity to self-assess your knowledge, understanding, skills and abilities in relation to stroke-care. This process allows you to baseline yourself against the SSEF profile for your job role and grade.

An overview of the knowledge, understanding, skills and abilities required for individual job roles and grades can be found in the Profiles section of this website.

People working on profles

Identify areas for professional development

When you have rated yourself against the pre-defined knowledge, understanding, skills and abilities required for your job role and grade, the system will generate a report for you. This report will highlight stroke-care areas for professional development.

Find courses that update your skills

A list of recommended stroke-care courses will be generated. This list of courses will be tailored specifically to meet your continuing professional development (CPD) needs. All courses are accredited by UK Stroke Forum Education and Training and take many forms including: tutorials, online resources, DVDs, conferences and workshops.