NHS Education for Scotland


  • Replaces legacy software and file shares with Alfresco
  • Improved document collaboration
  • Metadata tagging for improved search
  • Workflows increased the efficiencies of NES employees
  • Control of a document’s full lifecycle
  • Documents can be shared in text and multimedia formats


National Health Service’s (NHS) Education for Scotland (NES) is NHS Scotland’s national education and training board. It is responsible for the development and delivery of education and training for all those who work in NHS Scotland. NES has sites across Scotland, with central offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as regional offices in Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness. NES members works alongside territorial health boards within Scotland in order to support their needs, and provides a wide range of educational activities to meet governmental policy.

In 2010, NES saw the need to improve its information management and invited companies to respond to a request for proposal (RFP) to provide the NES with enterprise document and records management, intranet and collaboration services. NES was seeking a fully integrated enterprise content management (ECM) system hosted on the NES network to replace its legacy software which only provided a basic, stand-alone functionality.

At the time, NES stored documents in shared drive content silos and a stand-alone intranet / content management systems (CMS). As a result, most documents were shared between employees via email. With over 700 full- and part-time staff operating across 13 sites, NES recognized the need for an ECM system to provide improved productivity, workflow and access to information. There was also a need for the scanning and storage of paper documents.

The RFP was advertised on the United Kingdom’s Office of Government Commerce (OGC) Buying Solutions Framework and won by Ixxus, an Alfresco Platinum Partner. Ixxus had won several public sector Alfresco contracts, including the Partnership for Schools and the University of Westminster projects. With a proven track record of successfully delivering on such projects, Ixxus was the ideal partner to provide a solution tailored specifically to NES requirements.


The contract was won with Ixxus’ proposal for using Alfresco. This solution was more cost-effective for meeting NES’s requirements than a number of proprietary solutions, including Microsoft SharePoint. The Ixxus solution delivered an open source, highly scalable and cost effective architecture based around the Alfresco ECM platform.

Ixxus was responsible for the end-to-end implementation. Ixxus used its proven 6D implementation methodology, using a mixture of agile scrum techniques and PRINCE2 project management. Daily scrums were used to track progress of the sprints iterations with regular sprint review demonstrations performed on-site or through remote facilities.

The new Alfresco solution enables NES to create, manage and share electronic documents in text and multimedia formats. The solution provides powerful data and metadata tagging facilities, dramatically improving the ability for users to search and locate the content that they need quickly and easily.

New workflows designed in Alfresco increase the efficiency of NES workers and provide NES with full control over the lifecycle of its content. The solution also allows NES to manage permissions levels at a granular level. With Alfresco, NES can quickly set up new secure team workspace environments to collaborate on documents and content within a unified repository, with a consistent user interface across the whole ECM solution.


  • Alfresco is successfully deployed at NES and provides the organizations with easy to use document management, records management and collaboration functionality.
  • Alfresco partner, Ixxus conducted a “train-the-trainer and administrator” training for NES to obtain the required knowledge to train and support end users.
  • NES anticipates that its Alfresco implementation will grow to potentially 750 users and two million document objects.