Health Education England (external link) was established as a Special Health Authority in June 2012, taking on some functions from October 2012 before assuming full operational responsibilities from April 2013.

HEE provides leadership for the new education and training system, to ensure that the shape and skills of the future health and public health workforce evolve to sustain high quality outcomes for patients in the face of demographic and technological change. The establishment and development of HEE was set out in ‘Liberating the NHS: Developing the Healthcare Workforce, From Design to Delivery’, the Government’s policy for a new system for planning commissioning education and training. The driving principle for reform of the education and training system is to improve care and outcomes for patients and HEE exists for one reason alone – to help ensure delivery of the highest quality healthcare to England’s population.

The key national functions of the organisation will include:

  • Providing national leadership for planning and developing the whole healthcare and public health workforce
  • Authorising and supporting development of Local Education and Training Boards and holding them to account
  • Promoting high quality education and training which is responsive to the changing needs of patients and communities and delivered to standards set by regulators
  • Allocating and accounting for NHS education and training resources – ensuring transparency, fairness and efficiency in investments made across England.
  • Ensuring security of supply of the professionally qualified clinical workforce
  • Assisting the spread of innovation across the NHS in order to improve quality of care
  • Delivering against the national Education Outcomes Framework to ensure the allocation of education and training resources is linked to quantifiable improvements.