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The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) recently announced their plans to develop the adult social care workforce in England as part of ongoing reform work.

The from DHSC includes details of an uplift to the Workforce Development Fund (WDF), which is for the remainder of the 2023-24 financial year. This will support the delivery of the government’s adult social care workforce reform objectives and provide an immediate boost to training for the frontline care workforce, by funding courses from the current .

, published in December 2021, set out the government’s 10 year vision for adult social care and included a commitment to provide a funded learning and development offer.

In the , published in April 2023, the government confirmed that the funded training offer will include funding for:

  • a new level 2 adult social Care Certificate qualification, with the intention that over time this new qualification will become the baseline standard for all new care workers to work towards when they join the profession
  • learning and development, including training courses on healthcare interventions to support delegation, learning disabilities including autism, dementia care and leadership
  • continuing professional development for registered nurses and other eligible regulated professionals
  • digital skills training and development of a new leadership qualification based on the recently updated Digital Skills Framework (from Digital Social Care).

 

Transition from WDF to new fund

The WDF will be scaled down in 2024-25. It will only be possible to claim WDF for learning which is already in progress. This means that qualifications and apprenticeships which start on or before 31 March 2024 will be eligible for the WDF as long as the learner completes and the certificate is issued by 31 March 2025.

This is to ensure that employers who have already paid for learning and development are not left out of pocket. Courses and qualifications which start on or after 1 April 2024 will not be eligible for funding through the WDF.

In 2024-25, all employers will claim WDF directly from Ƶ. There will be a tender opportunity for large national organisations to apply and further details will be made available in due course via our news.

Subject to confirmation of funding from DHSC, in 2024-25 funding for user-led organisations, individual employers and personal assistants will be made available in the usual ways through Ƶ.

 

Adult Social Care Training and Development Fund

In the 2024-25 financial year a new learning and development fund will be launched: the Adult Social Care Training and Development Fund. This new fund will not be administered by Ƶ.

This fund will be available to eligible adult social care employers in England, who will be able to claim reimbursement for training costs for qualifying staff. Reimbursement will require evidence of spend. Further information on this new fund has been published in a , now available on the GOV.UK website.

The new guidance document covers:

  • the eligibility criteria for being able to make claims through the fund
  • how the funding can be used, including the courses and qualifications within scope of the fund
  • when the funding will be available
  • the fund reimbursement rates
  • the transition arrangements from the Workforce Development Fund
  • details on how adult social care employers will be able to make a claim

Further queries regarding this new fund should be directed to ASCreimbursement@dhsc.gov.uk