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Analyse local workforce needs, get advice about working with providers to build the skills and knowledge of the workforce and plan workforce interventions to build confidence, capability and capacity.

Workforce is the biggest input in delivering care and support. As part of local authorities Care Act market shaping responsibilities, commissioners need to consider with providers the skills, knowledge and roles needed to provide local services that reflect the needs of the local people and the population.

The requirement for local authorities to be CQC assessed focuses on how local authorities meet their duties included within the Care Act. Part 1 of the Act includes four themes: How local authorities work with people; how local authorities provide support; how local authorities ensure safety within the system; and leadership. 

Find out more information about the following areas:


Introduction to strategic workforce planning workshop

We can help you with in-depth workforce planning at your organisation or across a local system. Our ‘Introduction to Strategic Workforce Planning’ workshop is an interactive, virtual workshop that can help you with:

  • understanding and using Ƶ’s workforce planning models
  • analysing insights from workforce and local systems data
  • identifying relevant solutions that can be adapted and implemented across your local system
  • developing a workforce plan at your service or workforce strategy for your local system.

The two and a half day workshop will be of particular interest to local authority commissioners, HR leads, directors and workforce planning leads.

This workshop can also help local authorities in responding to the market shaping and workforce requirements of meeting the CQC Local Authority Assurance Framework.

The workshop is £825 +VAT per person.

Contact us for more information, including for upcoming dates, on businessdevelopment@skillsforcare.org.uk 


A practical guide for workforce planning, shaping and commissioning 

We recommend you first read the ‘Getting organised’ resource followed by the practical guidance and use it as an overarching model to help leaders and commissioners to understand the workforce aspects of your commissioning responsibilities.

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This guide helps you to consider how you will lead and manage the strategic workforce planning process and what the desired outcomes are. Use the checklist to consider your Local Authorities position and what you will need to put in place to make them happen.
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The guide focuses on bringing service commissioners together to 'analyse, plan, do, review' the workforce requirements in your local area, to produce a joint service and workforce strategy, or market and workforce position statement. 

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Implement the key assumptions of effective strategic workforce planning, shaping and commissioning using our self-assessment questionnaire. Identify areas of strength and work on areas requiring development to start the process of developing your workforce strategy. 
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We’ve created a strategy template with headings to give you some suggestions of what you might want to include in your workforce strategy. You’ll also find a workforce strategy implementation action and monitoring plan to record your actions and monitor progress.



East Midlands Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), supported by Ƶ, was aimed at local authority leads responsible for workforce strategy and planning as part of their market shaping responsibilities. This included identifying their barriers/successes to effective recruitment and retention.

The event showcased local work to produce a workforce strategy, analysing data from the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) as well as other sources of intelligence to provide:

  • an overview of the workforce and its demographics
  • future workforce projections and risks
  • a pack for each local authority in the region with analysis of the data and recommendations for an action plan.

Findings explored from consultation with domiciliary care providers on attracting new workers; the different barriers to retaining staff and the top three things that would make a difference to overcoming the barriers.

East Midlands local authorities can now use the analysis in the workforce pack to consider what this means for their own local workforce strategy.

Duration 2 hours



Qualifications for commissioners 

Our qualifications give learners the opportunity to connect with other commissioning staff across the country, to learn what they’re doing, how they approach their work and develop knowledge and skills.

The Level 5 Certificate in Fundamental Knowledge in Commissioning for Wellbeing (RQF) has been developed to support current and aspiring commissioners in achieving a rich, diverse and sustainable market of provision. 

We’ve recently piloted a new Level 5 Certificate - Commissioning for Wellbeing with a learning disability and autism focus and this is now available to all commissioners. The qualification tackles the challenge of defining and delivering wellbeing outcomes in an increasingly complex environment.

Find out more and how to apply


Understanding the local market 

The Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) is an online data collection service and the leading source of workforce information for the adult social care sector in England. It holds information on over 20,000 care providing locations and 650,000 workers.

Every local authority in England has an ASC-WDS account which is updated each year. It provides information and trends on employment information, recruitment and retention, demographics, pay, qualification rates and future workforce forecasts.

You can compare the services within your organisation or compare to other local authorities, to help you to make informed and effective decisions, and support the planning and delivery of services in your local area.

Find out how the ASC-WDS can support you


The personal assistant (PA) workforce 

More people are choosing to use their personal budget to become an individual employer and employ their own personal assistant(s) (PAs). An understanding of this growing part of the workforce should form part of your market shaping activities.

Ƶ can help you to understand the PA market and has resources to support individual employers and those who support them.

Visit the ‘Information hub for individual employers and PAs’

Individual service funds

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An Individual Service Fund (ISF) is one way of managing a personal budget, where someone who needs care and support chooses an organisation to manage the budget on their behalf. 



Building community capacity using asset and strengths-based approaches 

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Our guide explains what community-focused thinking is, top tips about how to develop resources in your community and explains that taking a social return on investment approach can help you to measure the benefits of community investment. 

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Access information, ideas and bite-size learning for adult social care employers. We’ve used stories and examples of what providers told us works well and is important for people to live good lives.

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This guide outlines the key principles of conversational assessment, to help you to use this approach. Taking this approach in social care assessments can help you to commission services that reflect people’s wishes and needs. 

Community mapping

Document type - Size

We’ve developed this infographic to help you to think about what resources are available in the local community to improve the lives of people who need care and support. This version has some examples already written in, or you can download a blank version to map resources in your local community.


We have a range of resources that help employers develop workforce plans from your strategic market and workforce commissioning strategies. These can be found under the operational workforce planning, workforce change and transformation and quality of care themes.