A pilot survey of district nurse training provision for the period April 1982–March 1983 was carried out to provide a profile of training institutions; their resources (human and physical), courses and students. Information was collected by means of a postal questionnaire sent to the 50 UK training institutions. The survey highlighted differences between district nurse and district enrolled nurse training; variations in entry requirements, size and length of courses, and staffing. It also gave an overview of students’ characteristics and provision of training for other professional groups. It proved the feasibility and value of collecting such information, and also provided the basis for a current study (Baseline Data Project), which will produce a package of survey material, and software for analysis to enable the subsequent collection of information.