Make the MOST of IT


The NHS MOST (Microsoft Office Skills Training) Programme was established in April 2010 to increase NHS employee productivity when using Microsoft Office applications – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Access.

NHS MOST was created to support NHS departments and organisations so they can offer official Microsoft Office Skills Training and Microsoft Office Specialist Certifcation to Staff. NHS MOST is brought to you by the NHS, Microsoft, Prodigy Learning & Certiport.

Are you a Centre?

Are you a Learner?

Success Stories

Ben Hartley, a Microsoft Office Specialist

Ben Hartley, a Senior Electronic Staff Record Systems Support & Information Assistant uses Microsoft Office Excel a great deal in his work. Ben explained how getting Microsoft certified has helped him, his colleagues and his employer.

“Having achieved the Microsoft certification I use most of what I have learnt in my work on a daily basis and can now work much quicker than I did previously. For instance I now know how to use the ‘V Lookup’ function in Excel, in the past I used to have two different spreadsheets with hundreds of rows of information that I used to cross reference. Now, I just use V Lookups, which must save me about an hour a week. Completing the course hasn’t just helped me, it’s also helped my colleagues as well as I have been able to pass on some of these skills to them.”

 Ben Hartley, Senior Electronic Staff Record Systems Support & Information Assistant, Blackpool Fylde & Wyre Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Richard Hockin, a Microsoft Office Specialist

“I found the Microsoft Office Specialist courses to be an extremely good way to develop my Office skills. A very high proportion of the course content is directly relevant to my role in information analysis; I learnt many new techniques and currently use them on a day-to-day basis, particularly in Excel, Outlook, Word and Access. The prospect of taking the exams encouraged me to learn the material thoroughly and demonstrate it effectively.”

– Richard Hockin, Senior Information Analyst, NHS South of Tyne and Wear.

Sue Aston, a Microsoft Office Specialist

“One of the MOST useful things that I have learned completing this course is that “shortcuts” can be used instead of going about certain tasks in a longwinded way. This will certainly give me the confidence to tackle Excel spread sheets with greater enthusiasm.”

– Sue Aston, Technical Account Assistant, North Lancashire PCT

Anjum Shahzad, a Microsoft Office Specialist

“I am a Microsoft Office Specialist Master in Office XP & 2003 and waiting to gain the Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) status. I must admit even though I have been training staff on MS Office applications in East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust for the past 10 years, I learnt quite a few new skills by completing the Microsoft Office Specialist Core / Expert courses. For instance, one of the many features of Microsoft Word that I have found MOST useful is applying Styles & Formatting to text, paragraphs & tables. This feature can save staff a lot of time when they need to produce long documents. I know our clinical staff that are accomplishing professional courses quite often have to produce long documents as part of their on going development. Styles & Formatting can not only save time but also help them to produce professional coursework, which means they can spend more time on the clinical content rather than worry about formatting headings, tables and other text/objects within the documents.


By passing these courses our staff will not only receive the most rewarding learning experience but will also be able to validate their proficiency in using Microsoft Office while gaining a global recognition for their skills”

– Anjum Shazhad, IT Training Specialist, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

Vidhya Mohan, a Microsoft Office Specialist

“By passing the MOST exams, I have gained confidence in using MS Office 2007 effectively. Since I was the MS Office 2003 user already, it took me less time to update with the new information in Office 2007 and the GMetrix training system, which I used for coaching myself, was a bonus and helped mw to achieve certification. Now  I want to become a Microsoft Certified Trainer!”

– Vidhya Mohan, IT Trainer/Developer/Analyst, NHS

Paula Porter, a Microsoft Office Specialist

“MOST provides in-depth learning and good refresher training for the functions that you may not use very often. It is also a very useful tool with which to cope with the changeover to a different version of MS Office.”

– Paula Porter, ICT Training Manager, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Lorraine Eaves, a Microsoft Office Specialist

“Exposes users to features and functions they may not encounter day-to-day resulting in exploiting the power of the application more effectively”


– Lorraine Eaves, Deputy Head of IM&T Projects Implementation & Training, East Lancashire NHS Hospitals Trust

Sarah Garforth, a Microsoft Office Specialist

“I enjoyed undertaking this course. I have learnt a number of new and alternative methods when using Outlook which has consequently increased my efficiency and productivity. I have been able to pass what I have learnt onto my colleagues. I found the following things useful: – using ”vote” buttons on email. Importing / exporting contacts.  Creating/ copying/ moving calendar appointments – adding timezones/ working week in calendar.”


– Sarah Garforth, Programme Support Officer, Children, Young People and Maternity Services, NHS Calderdale

Brian Ball, a Microsoft Office Specialist

“I only used the GMetrix program to train and then test, and was able to find the convenience of some of the buttons very useful. As already involved in providing this solution to NHS members of staff, it was essential that I had a ‘go’ myself before requesting others to do so themselves. What it has shown me are other functionalities that have made my job easier to accomplish which I can now pass on to others for them to realise the benefits of this programme.”

– Brian Ball, ICT Training & Development Coordinator, Nottinghamshire Health Informatics Services

Holly Lupton, a Microsoft Office Specialist Master

I have learnt to use functions that I did not know existed which will be very helpful in my role.  This also enables me to help my colleagues with any applications they are having difficulties with.  This course has gained me a qualification that will hopefully help my future prospects and I will use most aspects of what I have learnt on a daily basis.”

– Holly Lupton, Administrative Officer, Children & Families, NHS North Lancashire

Shirley Davies, a Microsoft Office Specialist

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Microsoft Office Specialist courses. By successfully achieving the ‘Microsoft Office Specialist’ Status I can only progress further within my career”.

Shirley Davies, Clinical Audit Administrator, Frimley Park Hospital

Siobhan Oliver, a Microsoft Office Specialist

“The training  really has made a difference.  I didn’t enjoy Excel 2007 at all before I did the training, but I love it now and would never go back! This has vastly improved my knowledge of Office 2007 as I have only recently moved from Office 2003 and often struggled to find things.

– Siobhan Oliver, Contract Support Officer, Connecting for Health

Chris Oldham, a Microsoft Office Specialist

“Whilst working through this exam I have learnt new techniques for formatting text – these new skills I am sure will enable me to work more efficiently in my job role. In particular the Styles and Formatting functions and tables I found very useful and picked up tips that would save me time when producing large documents”

 Chris Oldham, IT Service Desk Supervisor, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

Steven Hall, a Microsoft Office Specialist

“These courses have opened my eyes to features within programmes that I had no idea were there. The Word exam seemed refreshingly easier than the Excel Core! Thank You! “

Steven Hall, Admin Support, Facilities, NHS South Of Tyne & Wear 

Paul Jones, a Microsoft Office Specialist Master

“The Microsoft Office Specialist courses have helped me gain a better understanding of all the Microsoft packages especially ones that I have seldom used in the past, such as Access & Excel. Since gaining the master certificate I feel much more confident in my ability to use these packages effectively.”


Paul Jones – Clinical Trial Administrator, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

6 Steps to Becoming a NHS MOST Centre

The NHS MOST Programme was created to support NHS organisations who want to offer official Microsoft Office Skills Training and Microsoft Office Specialist Certification to NHS Staff and NHS Contractors.







Register your interest by emailing us.

You will then receive your info pack in the NHS MOST Programme.

Confirm your organisation would like to join the NHS MOST Programme.

Your NHS organisation will be registered as an NHS MOST Testing Centre.

We will arrange an induction and setup session with you.

Welcome to the MOST Programme!

How can you deliver NHS MOST?

It’s up to you! The NHS MOST Programme has been designed to be as flexible as possible for you and your organisation, whether you are a sole trainer or part of a bigger team. The content allows you to deliver courses in a variety of ways whether it is classroom based, self paced or a combination. Check out the success stories above to find out how other NHS organisation are delivering their courses.


The NHS MOST Programme offers NHS Staff and NHS Contractors the opportunity to learn and achieve official Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification.

You can achieve Microsoft Certification in the following applications:

Microsoft Office Specialist


Transform your ideas into professional documents.


Reveal trends and gain insights with powerful analysis tools.


Enhance your ability to communicate effectively with your audience.


Facilitate connectivity with email and other tools.

Microsoft Office Specialist – Expert

Word Expert

Cultivate your Word skills and go deeper into the program’s capabilities.

Excel Expert

Expand your Excel proficiency by unlocking Excel’s full power.


Track, manipulate and report assets and information, query skills.


NHS MOST has been approved for CPD credits by the Federation of the Royal College of Physicians. Credits are available for Office 2013, 2016 and 2019 versions.

The breakdown of the credits allowed is as follows:


15 Credits


15 Credits


15 credits


15 Credits


15 Credits

Word Expert

20 Credits

Excel Expert

20 Credits

These points are available on successful completion of the exam and the appropriate CPD code will then be issued to successful candidates by their MOST training centre.

A record of your certification is held digitally on the www.certiport.com website and a document can be downloaded from there which explains how to access your digital transcript and also how to authorize others to view this.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do Microsoft exams compare to ECDL?

Each Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam carries certification in its own right. Therefore, you become a Microsoft Office Specialist every time you sit an exam rather than having to complete a number of modules before receiving any qualification. You are also accredited against Microsoft’s global standard.
Feedback from people that have done both tells us that MOS exams are a step up from ECDL in terms of knowledge and increased productivity.

What is the NHS MOST Programme?

The NHS Microsoft Office Skills Training (MOST) Programme was established in April 2010 to increase NHS employee productivity when using the Microsoft Office applications Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Access.  It provides NHS training centres with access to products and services to enable them to deliver the MOST programme within their own organisation.

What Training and Certification does it cover?

The NHS MOST Programme covers official Microsoft Office Skills Training and Microsoft Office Specialist Certifications in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Access. Additional training and certification in other Microsoft Office products such as Project and SharePoint is also planned for the future.

What about Microsoft IT Professional / Technical Certification?

The Microsoft IT Professional Certification stream is not included as part of the NHS MOST Programme however NHS Staff and NHS Contractors can access heavily discounted learning materials, practice exams and IT Professional Certification Exams. If you are interested in the Microsoft Technical Exams please email most@prodigylearning.com.

What resources are included?

For Training Centres, we provide course preparation guides, lesson plans, PowerPoint slides, student exercises and courseware mapping.
Learners are provided with student learning materials and exercises.

Why should I use them?

These materials have already been developed and will therefore save each local NHS organisation the time and cost they would have had to spend developing their own. Also, it means that the NHS can offer a more consistent set of training materials for staff if they move between organisations. The trainer resources are Microsoft recognised and map to the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification Exam syllabus. These resources have been developed specifically to work alongside the official Certification Guides to prepare candidates for their Microsoft Office Specialist Certification Exams.

How do I access the trainer resources?

NHS Trainers can access these resources via the Centre Resource Portal. To access the Portal navigate to www.nhsmost.co.uk/portal

Why should I use them?

The learning materials have been developed specifically to get candidates ready for the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification Exams. These learning materials map to the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification Exam syllabus.

How do I access Practice Exams?

The Practice Exams require an access code for learners. These are available from local NHS MOST Centres. You can locate your closest centre at www.nhsmost.co.uk/centrelocator

How do I become a NHS MOST test centre?

To become a test centre please follow the simple steps explained at www.nhsmost.co.uk/centre

Where can NHS MOST test centre candidates take exams?

Test candidates can take exams at a number of NHS MOST sites across the country. You can locate your closest centre at www.nhsmost.co.uk/centrelocator

Which exams are currently available?

Exams are available in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Access in Office 2007, 2010 and 2013. 

What are the technical requirements?

The technical requirements of becoming a testing centre are available at www.nhsmost.co.uk/centre

How do I get the NHS MOST Programme logo?

The NHS MOST logo, fliers, posters, case studies, email templates Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and an information sheet are all available to download via the Centre Resource Portal. To access the Portal go to www.nhsmost.co.uk/portal

Are there case studies available?

Yes. You can find them at www.nhsmost.co.uk/success

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