The aim of research conducted for the National Library for Health was to identify what type of training was required, and how the training should be delivered. Describes the systematic approach used to collate and synthesise the findings of published and unpublished studies (1999-2004) on the training needs of health library staff. The research included two workshops with health library staff to discuss the interim findings (in late 2004). The results showed that health librarians required specialist skills in information retrieval and knowledge management, as well as more advanced research related skills. The conclusions note the need for an agreed competency framework, but also some vision of the capabilities of librarians in the future. For librarians working outside the health sector, the findings indicate that the profession needs to offer career advancement through specialist routes as well as through the managerial route.