Core skills

Improving the English, number, digital and employability skills of you and your workers

Everyone working in adult social care needs English, number, digital and employability skills, including team work, and problem solving skills. Together these are known as core skills.

We’ve got resources to help you ensure you and your staff have the right core skills. 

Why are core skills important? 

Different roles require a different level of skill. Having the right core skills will ensure social care workers:

  • provide high quality care and support
  • have the ability to complete qualifications and training, including the Care Certificate and health and social care diplomas
  • meet sector standards, including CQC requirements and The Social Care Commitment.

Core skills in social care

Core skills ensure social care workers can complete everyday tasks like:

  • communicating with the people they support
  • writing a care plan
  • reading and following a risk assessment
  • booking a health appointment online
  • recording fluid intake and output
  • working in a team.

What are core skills in social care? explains what core skills are needed by social care workers and why they are so important.

Develop your English, number, digital and employability skills  

To ensure social care workers have the right core skills, we have a resource library with links to tools to develop English, maths, digital and employability skills.

It includes links to:

To support social care managers, the Core skills practical guide offers practical advice on developing the core skills of your workers. It also explains what core skills are and why they are so important. 

Core skills are crucial to ensure you and your workers provide high quality care and support.

The impact of poorly developed core skills at work could mean workers:

  • struggle to read and understand procedures and policies
  • are unable to communicate with people who need care and support
  • don’t always take accurate measurements or readings leading to mistakes
  • are unable to write clearly and accurately when completing care plans, leaving handover notes or filling in charts
  • cannot make best use of information and resources available on the internet
  • find it difficult to achieve vocational qualifications.

If you're a social care manager, Core skills: the practical guide supports you to develop the core skills of your workers.

It includes tips and resources on:

  • ensuring staff are aware of core skills and why they matter
  • checking staff have the core skills their job requires
  • making sure staff know how they are expected to apply core skills in their work
  • providing support and help to develop core skills in the workplace

There are six additional sections offering employers advice on how to support core skills development, information on different learning styles and employer responsibilites around core skills.

The full guide is available in hard copy by emailing


To ensure you and your workers have the correct level of core skills for their role, we have a range of resources to support the development of literacy, numeracy, ICT and employability skills.

You can find useful links to free training and advice and practical resources in our resource library.


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