The deadline for organisations to complete their information governance training via NHS Connecting for Health’s Information Governance Training Tool has been extended, following persistent problems with the website.

The eLearning tool was intended to make IG training available to all staff, covering a range of training needs and learning competencies, and supporting the implementation and development of an IG framework.

However, sources have told eHealth Insider that it has crashed numerous times in the past few months.

One said: “This is the portal via which all NHS staff have to do their mandatory information governance training and organisations upload their evidence portfolio for the IG Toolkit assessment (deadline for both is 31st March). Even when it hasn’t crashed, it’s so slow as to be unusable.”

NHS Connecting for Health denied that the site has crashed. However, it says that in the past month high volumes of users trying to access the e-learning product have slowed the site. 

A spokesperson said the problem is particularly bad between 12.00 and 2.00pm, with more than 280,000 registered users at 31 January and 325,000 at 8 February 2011.

The Digital Information Policy team at CfH and the UK Council of Caldicott Guardians developed the tool after carrying out a training needs analysis in 2007 among Caldicott Guardians and IG leads.

CfH told EHI: “NHS organisations were advised to start training staff early to avoid any 11th hour high volume problems. However, clearly many did not follow this advice.

“Additional servers have been deployed but the numbers of concurrent users are extremely high. We advise staff to avoid the busy lunch period and that if they can do their training at home over the internet they can avoid any bottlenecks.”

The spokesperson said that an extension has been granted that permits organisations with firm plans to complete training by 30 June 2011, to meet the IG requirement for staff to be trained by 31 March 2011.