Workforce Development Fund

All staff working in adult social care should be able to access and take part in learning and development so they can carry out their role effectively and deliver high quality care.

Skills for Care knows that there is a strong business case for investing in qualifications and development of staff and that employers recognise this.

The Workforce Development Fund is available to support employers to make that investment which benefits the organisation, the workers and those who need care and support.

The Workforce Development Fund (WDF) is a funding stream from the Department of Health distributed by Skills for Care.

It is a finite pot of money which focuses on the achievement of qualification units and supports the ongoing professional development of staff across the adult social care sector within England. 

Employers can use the WDF to make a significant contribution towards the costs of workers' completing units and qualifications on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF), as well as university qualifications included in the Higher Apprenticeship in Care Leadership and Management.

It can also be used to help fund the delivery of intermediate, advanced and higher level Apprenticeships in social care.

The fund is distributed by Skills for Care via a network of employer led partnerships and large national organisations (grant holders):

  • An 'area or national partnership' is a collection of social care employers who come together to 'pool' their workforce development needs.

The lead partner of an employer led partnership is responsible for disbursing WDF to its members, and for supporting those members to comply with Skills for Care's eligibility criteria and evidence requirements.

A 'national' employer partnership - is a partnership whose membership spans across more than two areas as per Skills for Care's classification.

Details of partnerships are available by clicking here.

Large national organisations are responsible for accessing funding on behalf of their own workforce.

Details of large national organisations who have been awarded a grant can be found here


To be eligible for WDF funding you must:

Please note that the links in this section take you to introductory information about the NMDS-SC and QCF, useful if you are unfamiliar with these. To learn more about the NMDS-SC requirements and the eligible QCF units for WDF please visit the Accessing WDF page by clicking here.

If you are a learning provider delivering units from the list of acceptable units 2014/2015 you can signpost employers to the WDF. We pay £15 per credit for qualifications on the health and social care Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) units.

Once a candidate has completed an eligible unit, you must sign off a completed QCF unit summary sheet in full to enable the employer to claim the funding. They will not receive any funds without this.

For further information click on the following:

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