Workforce development innovation fund (WDIF)

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People’s care and support needs change and the adult social care workforce in England has to adapt to meet the challenges that these changes can present.

The Workforce Development Innovation Fund (WDIF) is a special funding stream within the Workforce Development Fund (WDF). It aims to fund projects that are innovative in their approach to influencing workforce development in the longer term. It has a similar focus to WDF - on supporting ongoing professional development of staff through vocational qualifications by increasing skills and competence.

Applications for the 2014-15 fund have now closed.


For the purposes of this fund, innovation is defined as applying new and creative ways of working to learning and development within the workplace. Some projects may include the use of technology to support cost effective approaches to learning and development. 

Applications for the 2014-15 fund have now closed. We will be funding projects that address and fulfill any of the following:


  • Skills development to support prevention and early intervention through health, housing and social care integration which is underpinned by the Principles of workforce integration
  • Projects that demonstrate an innovative approach to implementing our Digital working, learning and information sharing strategy
  • Proposals which increase capacity and provision of the nutrition and hydration qualifications, specifically the level 2 awards in Food Safety in Health and Social Care Settings and in Promoting Food Safety and Nutrition in Health and Social Care Settings for adult social care
  • Proposals from employers who will design and deliver innovative projects to increase the capacity of delivery, and the take up of subject specific qualifications such as the Mental Capacity Act, diabetes, stroke. Further details can be found here 
  • Proposals which define the learning needed to address falls prevention and identify where this maps to existing QCF units with a view to developing the business case for any necessary further unit development. Take account of the outcomes from the forthcoming NICE consultation on standards for falls prevention if this moves forward within the grant period
  • Projects that demonstrate an innovative approach to implementing  our workforce development guidance for employers seeking to minimise the use of restrictive practices in health and social care, particularly in relation to supporting people with dementia 
  • Projects which apply skills led assessment to improve support for people with autistic spectrum conditions within the community 
  • Addressing workforce learning and development requirements for projects which show connection and integration of Public Health messages delivered in a social care context. Investigation into workforce skill requirements of merged roles
  • Proposals which test a response to other significant and demonstrable policy drivers within the adult social care sector.

All projects being funded will be:

  • scaleable
  • transferable
  • sustainable.

They must also:

  • deliver demonstrable business benefits and service quality improvements
  • deliver tangible resources or products which are developed and tested as part of the project and provided to Skills for Care when the project ends
  • result in an evaluation report which describes the project approach and lessons learned from delivery

Click here for a list of the WDIF 2014-2015 success applicants

A key part of the innovation fund is the sharing of good practice and learning from the projects.  

In addition to addressing and fulfilling the priorities and requirements, projects must also submit an evaluation which we will use to share good practice and other learning with adult social care employers. The evaluation enables successful applicants to celebrate project achievement, whilst highlighting how best to address some of the challenges encountered. 

Skills for Care's new Learn from Others resource is a home of good practice and innovation emerging from employers.  It includes the experiences of a large number of employers delivering workforce development and some of the learning materials that have emerged from innovative projects.

Care organisations and people who employ their own care and support can search a number of workforce needs, finding out more about how other organisations are successfully developing their people to provide better care and gain new skills, experience and qualifications.  Employers can contribute their own learning and users of the portal can also see what other resources and organisations can help.

 Click here for information relating to the claims process.

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