D061User guidelines on qualitative methods in health workforce planning and forecasting

PDF to download   E.B. APPROVED (05.11.2014)


These user guidelines are aimed broadly at health workforce planners and forecasters in Member States and stakeholder organisations in the European Union who would like to apply qualitative methods to improve their health workforce planning and forecasting in their specific national contexts.


This document describes the qualitative methods used by partners in Work Package 6 in the Joint Action on Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting. Qualitative methods are those which are used to gather and process information on the key factors which are likely to affect the supply and demand of health workforces (through techniques such as interviews) and includes methods to describe and quantify potential futures.

D062Future skills and competences of the health workforce in Europe

PDF to download   E.B. APPROVED (14.04.2016)


Policy brief 1

Policy brief 2

Policy brief 3

Policy brief 4


Horizon scanning in health workforce planning and forecasting is used to explore and describe the factors and forces, and their inter-relationships, in workforce systems.


In the Joint Action on Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting (JA HWF) the aim of the horizon scanning is to:


  • Increase our collective knowledge of the methods used to investigate workforce futures.
  • Demonstrate the application of futures methods to describe the factors and forces, and their implications, for health workforces and workforce systems.


The JA HWF conducted a future-oriented scan (out to 2035) for drivers of change, their potential implications, distribution and an estimation of future needs for the skills and competences of the health workforce in the European Union. In this report we describe what this work has found, what it provides and what we recommend. The longer main report is accompanied by 4 policy briefs which provide a high level description of the key issues, findings and results of the work. They are aimed at policy makers and other audiences interested in the future of the health workforce and health systems.

D063The Future Health Workforce Web Portal

D063 The Future Health Workforce Webportal 


The Future Health Workforce Webportal   E.B. APPROVED (29.06.2016)


The Future Health Workforce Portal presents a collection of horizon scanning research, experiences, reports and tools.  It aims to assist thinking and planning for the future health workforce across Europe including the skills and competence implications as a result of the key driving forces we see ahead for the next 20 years.

The Future Health Workforce (Horizon Scanning) portal is a place where decision makers, planners and researchers can explore how horizon scanning was used as part of the JA and the outputs of the research.  Research included scanning for future skills and competences across Europe, method in use in different countries and practical learning from use of horizon scanning in Belgium.  A toolkit is also provided for ongoing use and knowledge transfer.

D064Pilot study experiences in Belgium using horizon scanning and the Delphi method

PDF to download   E.B. APPROVED (14.04.2016)


The main objective of the Joint Action is to provide a platform for collaboration and exchange between partners, to better prepare Europe’s future health workforce.  This objective is both operationalised and realised through the Joint Action’s pilot study.  For Work Package 6 (WP6), which focuses on horizon scanning and qualitative methodologies in health workforce planning and forecasting, the pilot study was a collaboration between the WP6 leaders, the Centre for Workforce Intelligence (CfWI) and the UK Department of Health; and a WP6 partner, the Belgian Federal Public Service of Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment (FPS) with support from the University of Antwerp and the University Catholique de Louvain.


Through conducting this pilot study, the Joint Action demonstrated a “proof of concept” that horizon scanning and the Delphi method were able to be adapted and adopted as part of workforce planning in Belgium.  This report presents the findings of the pilot study in Belgium where horizon scanning and the Delphi method were used as part of a national review of the GP workforce. In addition to the benefits and lessons learnt collected, the Belgian and UK teams also reflected on advice and recommendations for Member States who might seek to apply these methods in the future.