Social care staff set to benefit from improved training and development opportunities | QCS

Social care staff set to benefit from improved training and development opportunities

Dementia Care
October 4, 2022

Michelle Roby, Employment law adviser at Napthens, on how the Government plans to increase learning and development opportunities for social care workers.

The Government is working with the adult social care sector on plans to support staff development and wellbeing.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that social care staff are to be offered opportunities to further develop their careers over the next three years.

The Government will be working alongside those in the social care sector to lay the foundations for staff training and support, including the creation of a new knowledge and skills framework, to ensure that there is a clear path to progress.

Training and development opportunities

The DHSC is currently speaking to training providers and representatives from the care sector to develop new learning and development opportunities from April 2023, which will be funded using part of the £500m the Government announced in the last spending review.

The learning and development opportunities the Government plans to introduce include:

  • New financial support to help adult social care employers with the cost of providing continuing professional development (CPD) for registered nurses and allied health professionals
  • A new Care Certificate qualification, which will allow care workers to change roles without having to repeat this training. More than 100,000 training places are expected to be funded by the Government
  • A digital hub and skills passport that will act as a voluntary register of staff and verified records of their skills and qualifications

What is needed to work in social care?

The new framework will set out the knowledge, skills, values and behaviours that people need to work in adult social care. It is hoped that by better supporting careers and staff wellbeing, potential care workers would be more likely to apply, and current workers are more likely to want to remain in the profession.

For level 5 managers there will be additional funding to assist with further qualifications. All registered managers who do not hold a level 5 or equivalent qualification will be able to access a funded Diploma in Leadership and Management in Adult Care.

The Government will also invest in level 2, 3 and 4 qualifications to ensure individuals working across social care have the option of taking up qualifications.

Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, Deborah Sturdy, said: ‘A key priority when I took on this role was to improve training and career opportunities for our hardworking staff. Providing care is a skill which requires nurturing and if we want to retain the best of the profession, we need to care for them too. The skills framework will offer progression and improved opportunities which all our staff deserve.’

The DHSC first announced its £500m package for supporting professional development and staff mental wellbeing last September. As part of that package, it created the Workforce Development Fund, to work alongside Skills for Care, to support career progression.

The Workforce Development Fund has so far helped more than 14,000 care workers from across more than 2,300 organisations to progress, despite the pressures of the pandemic, according to the DHSC.

The Workforce Development Fund will continue this year to provide funded training to adult social care employers in England to support the development of their staff at all levels, offering funding for a wide range of qualifications, learning programmes and digital learning modules.

Miriam Deakin, Interim Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policy and Strategy of NHS Providers said: ‘A lack of clear pathways for career progression and staff burnout have been cited as two major contributors to why adult social care providers struggle to retain staff. Health and care leaders welcomed the £500m support package when it was originally announced in September 2021, but more action is needed by government in the short and longer term to place our social care system on a sustainable footing.’

If you have any questions in relation to this article or any advice in relation to payment of holiday pay, please do not hesitate to contact a member of Napthens’ Employment team. Please note, the Napthens Employment team are able to offer 30 minutes of free advice to QCS members.


Employment Law Specialists


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