NHS pay progression – How does it work?

Pay progression is the process of moving upwards between the different pay points at your current NHS pay banding.

With the exception of the now-withdrawn Band 1, each Agenda for Change (AfC) pay band has multiple pay progression points.

Pay Progression

Following the implementation of the 2018 NHS pay deal, pay progression has changed from the historic yearly incrementation, previously known as spine points, to a system based on years of experience at that band.

The changes mean that while the majority of NHS staff will progress to the top of their band faster, there is often more space between pay progression dates.

You can take a look at our NHS Pay Calculator to find out the pay progression points at your banding.


According to NHS employment terms and conditions, pay progression is subject to staff passing the objectives set out of their annual appraisal and practicing to the required standard.

Staff can be prevented from progressing if they fail to meet these standards.

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