Request Information Skills Training

On this page you will find information on information skills training. The page is split into the following sections:


E-learning for healthcare search skills e-learning modules

A suite of e-learning modules to support search skills is being developed nationally by Health Education England in liaison with NHS Library and Knowledge Services.  The first 3 of 7 modules are now available and can be found on the eLearning for healthcare website:  Users can opt to log in to record their training but this is not essential and certificates can be downloaded on completion. The available modules are:
1. Introduction to searching (10 mins)
Recognise when you need to conduct a search
Identify which searching skills you need to develop
Find out where you can access further help with searching
2. Where do I start searching? (15 mins)
Identify the range of resources available to you
Identify appropriate resources relevant to your search topic
Locate the full-text of a journal article
3. How do I start to develop a search strategy? (20 mins)
Identify what you want to know and focus your topic
Use frameworks such as PICO to break down your topic
Identify additional search terms to broaden the search
Use AND/OR to combine search terms

FCL information skills e-learning modules

The library has introduced a range of training modules as e-learning which will enable access at any time from both work and home. 

E-learning modules help you to develop skills to search effectively for evidence-based information and to appraise it for relevance and credibility. Learning outcomes meet recognized key skills and competencies. Upon completion of each module a certificate of achievement can be printed out.

The modules are written by professional librarians and are mapped to the NHS KSF, Royal College of Nursing competencies and SCONUL 7 Pillars of Information Literacy for HE. Access the e-learning modules via ESR.


The modules are:

How to register with Athens

  • Register for an Athens username and password
  • Reset password if the need arises
  • Update your Athens details when moving to another Trust

NICE Evidence Search

  • View resources available without an NHS Athens account
  • Identify resources available in your own Trust/region
  • Search for evidence from all NICE Evidence sources
  • Use and customise My Library

Critical Appraisal

  • Understand the context and relevance of critical appraisal
  • Appraise published trials and systematic reviews
  • Assess their reliability and relevance, using an accredited tool (e.g. CASP, Oxford)
  • Awareness of levels (grades) of evidence in published research

Cochrane Library

  • Basic Searching
  • Have an understanding of the different Cochrane Databases within the Cochrane Library
  • Advanced Searching

Publishing, Copyright and Citations

  • Submit a paper for publication
  • Good authoring practices
  • Structuring a paper
  • Abstract writing
  • Copyright and referencing
  • Understand legal, moral and licensing framework of scientific publishing
  • Harvard and Vancouver referencing
  • Creative Commons
  • Open Access publishing
  • Understanding and use of bibliographic software for managing references

Please note that following an upgrade to the healthcare databases by NICE,  the module on Basic and Advanced Database Searching is no longer available as e-learning. You can  access a range of 23 short instructional YouTube clips demonstrating how to use the different features of the healthcare databases produced by NICE here. (NB not available on Trust networked devices). Alternatively, please contact the library to arrange 1-1 or group training.


Who is the training for?

  • Clinical and non-clinical NHS staff and workers who wish to improve their information literacy and identify the best available evidence to support their decision making.
  • Students required to retrieve and appraise information and evidence
  • Staff requiring guidance on scientific publishing


How to access FCL e-learning modules

For staff with access to ESR:

Modules are accessible at any time from both work and home

E-learning modules can be accessed by going to or by clicking on the ESR icon on the Applications page on the Trust Intranet. 

Log-in is available in one of 3 ways:

  • Login using a SmartCard
  • Login using a username and password using the NHS N3 network
  • Login remotely via the internet 

Login using the Trust network is via a username and password available from your ward or departmental manager in the first instance or by contacting in case of problems. The login is the same for all trust e-learning.  Details of how to log-in remotely via the internet are available here. Please see the ESR Portal Familiarisation user guide for more information on how to log-in and use ESR effectively.

Further details on how to use the library e-learning modules on the ESR portal can be found in our quick start guide. Further details on library information skills training can be found in our information skills pdf leaflet.

Library staff offer support for information skills e-learning for those who are not familiar with e-based learning modules. Contact the library for information.

For students/staff without access to ESR:

Students on long term placement and staff affiliated to the Trust who do not have access to ESR may also be eligible to access FCL e-learning. Granting access could take a few weeks however as it is dependent on administrative processes outside of the library's control. Please contact the library for further details.


Face to face training

If you prefer, we can deliver tailored information skills training to you on a one to one basis in your workplace or in the library computer room. The session will be arranged at a mutually convenient time by a member of the library team who is experienced in delivering information skills training. 

Group training sessions can also be arranged. Please contact the library to discuss your needs.

Understanding medical statistics/ Introduction to Critical Appraisal

We are now taking bookings for our popular free combined training day here at RJAH on Thursday 1st February 2018, covering Understanding Medical Statistics (am) and Critical Appraisal (pm). Both sessions will be taught by Jan Herman Kuiper. Lunch is not provided, although drinks will be available. If you wish to book a place on either or both courses, please contact the library on 4388 as soon as possible to secure a place. 

Understanding Medical Statistics 1000 - 1230 Covers basic statistical principles and the most commonly used statistical terms and methods. Although it is intended to be a stand-alone session it also complements the introduction to critical appraisal course.

Introduction to Critical Appraisal  1330 - 1600 an interactive session that focuses on developing critical appraisal skills and techniques to judge the reliability of published research. Critical appraisal skills are part of the set of health informatics skills that NHS staff require.

Delegates will receive a training pack for both courses, and a certificate of attendance for the modules, linking the training with relevant KSF values.

Bite-sized training

Francis Costello Library staff run a series of bite-sized training sessions. If you want to learn something new during your lunch break, feel free to bring a sandwich and come along to a 30 minute session. Drinks will be provided.

Next session to be announced.


What others think of our training

“developed my skills in literature searching to enhance evidence based practice”
“A very big thank you for your training on Wednesday, it was very well received”
“It helped me organising my research article. It was quite helpful in narrowing down my search criteria”

Training impact and evaluation

We welcome your feedback on the training we offer and collect both statistical and qualitative information to help inform our training offer.

A few weeks after you have undertaken information skills training you will be invited to complete a brief online impact assessment survey which helps us to establish how you have used your new skills. The survey should only take a few minutes to complete and we are very grateful for your assistance.

Link to Trust training

For information about the training and development opportunities offered by the Trust, browse the Training, Learning and Development Prospectus [please note that this document is hosted on the Intranet so the link will only work when using the hospital IT network]. Alternatively email










For Information Skills Training Enquiries contact:

Tel: 01691 404388