Published: 02 August 2018

Implementation frameworks for use by health workforce planners

Health workforce planning (HWF) is a challenging process that requires input from all involved in healthcare; a HWF planning framework helps governments and planners develop and implement strategies to achieve an effective and sustainable health workforce. 

This report presents the findings of a review of evidence on HWF planning and implementation frameworks undertaken by the Evidence Centre in the Health Research Board (HRB).  The development and implementation of a national integrated strategic framework for HWF planning was identified as an objective by the Department of Health Statement of Strategy 2016 – 2019. 

This review finds that there are no robust examples of evaluated cross-sectoral interventions that were implemented by prospectively using a framework, and the challenge for government remains how to select from the numerous frameworks described in the literature. The selected framework(s) will have to account for the multiple levels that a national HWF planning system intersects, it will need to consider context, and it will have to be cognisant of the fact that implementing a HWF planning system will not necessarily be a linear process.

Regardless of which framework is selected, based on the experience gained from the use of the five frameworks described in this review, it will be necessary to have high-level involvement and collaboration of multiple stakeholders; multisectoral cooperation; availability of high-quality, up-to-date data; clear roles and responsibilities; adequate resources; and a monitoring plan. 


  • Deirdre Mongan
  • Louise Farragher
  • Jean Long

Publication (PDF, 2 MB)

Publication (PDF, 2 MB)

Health Research Board
Health Research Board
Place of publication