To be eligible to apply for the funding you must meet the following requirements:
These eight steps tell you how to apply for WDF but if you would like further information, please refer to our detailed guidance.
If you would prefer to apply via a partnership rather than directly from Skills for Care, you can join a national partnership. All employers across England can apply to join a national partnership regardless of your location, and may be most suited to organisations that have services operating in a number of different areas.
1. Identify learning needs of your staff
Commission learning and development for employees for eligible units, qualifications and learning programmes. For details of these visit www.skillsforcare.org.uk/WDFunits. You can also download the list of funded qualifications and learning programmes which includes details on the minimum number of credits. For those who are using formal qualification processes to deliver the Care Certificate, you can download our guide which maps units to the Care Certificate which sets out how it maps across to QCF units in accredited qualifications. It enables you to identify a monetary value for each unit.
2. Find a learning provider
Employers have free choice as to which learning provider they use to deliver learning and development to their staff.
Our choosing workforce learning guidance provides tips for finding a suitable learning provider. You can also search our bank of endorsed training providers who have passed quality assurance processes to ensure high quality learning.
Things to check before you enter into a contract
You should ensure that the learning provider will supply you with unit summary sheets, or equivalent, signed off by the internal verifier on completion of the units. You will need this to claim funding (see step 7). Check you will not be charged for this.
Once you’ve agreed terms with the learning provider we recommend that a written agreement is put in place between both parties.
Some learning providers promote that they deliver qualifications which are fully funded through the WDF either through their website information or promotional materials or via their sales representatives. Please be aware that any learning provider who promises ‘free’ training as the learning is funded by the WDF is providing employers with incorrect advice as to how this funding works. We would recommend that you seek clarification from organisations if they make such promises as they cannot provide this guarantee.
Further information can be found in the FAQs.
3. Get your NMDS-SC number
If you’re not already on the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) then you’ll need to set up an account. The NMDS-SC is an online data collection for the whole adult social care workforce and sector. Before you get started please read the requirements for completing NMDS-SC and download the guidance on how to complete it in order to claim WDF.
Once you’ve done this, please visit www.nmds-sc-online.org.uk to sign up.
4. Contact Skills for Care
Complete the declaration form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should you have any further queries once you have read all of the information on this page, please contact Amy Shanahan on 0113 241 1269 or Maria Markham on 0113 241 1271.
5. Sign an agreement with Skills for Care
Skills for Care will validate that you meet the eligibility criteria for direct access to WDF. Once done we will issue an agreement to you for signature and return. The agreement will be issued by email and can be signed electronically.
6. Check that your NMDS-SC account complies with WDF requirements
Update your NMDS-SC account in line with the requirements for WDF. For details of the requirements visit www.skillsforcare.org.uk/WDFnmds-sc. You can generate reports to check whether your account meets the requirements and we have produced detailed guidance on how to do this. When these requirements have been met, Skills for Care will send you a claim form.
7. Claim for completed units, qualifications and learning programmes
You must complete a claims submission form for every claim made.
When your employees have completed eligible units, qualifications and learning programmes submit the unit summary sheets*, or equivalent (make sure it captures the same information as the unit summary sheet), signed off by the internal verifier to Skills for Care. For learning programmes and RQF qualifications, submit a copy of the learner’s certificate with your claim form.
You can use our qualification multiple unit summary sheet* if an employee is completing multiple units and will be claimed together.
If you don’t have a unit summary sheet a copy of the learner's certificate with a summary of the units completed will be accepted as evidence of unit completion.
Certificates must contain the following information:
- candidate name
- candidate registration number
- unique learner number (QCF qualifications/units only)
- our unit code as per the acceptable units list (our unit codes will need to be written on, if the awarding organisation uses different codes)
- name of units completed (QCF units only)
- the date of issue of the certificate must fall within our advertised dates for the funding year, so 1 January 2017 - 31 March 2018 for 2017/18
- name of the awarding organisation (QCF and RQF only)
- name of the learning provider or centre number.
Detailed guidance is available on how to put a claim together.
Skills for Care process your claim for valid learning as long as steps 4, 5, 6 and 7 have been completed in full.
You’re responsible for maintaining a clear audit trail of funding received and spent and must be able to confirm details of learning and development funded through WDF if required so we recommend you retain copies of the evidence for your records.
*Interactive versions of the unit summary sheet and multiple unit summary sheet templates are available. This allows you to choose the unit code from the drop down list which then prepopulates the associated unit name and credit value in correct field.
8. Receive payment from Skills for Care
You will be contacted directly if there are any queries with your claim. You will be notified in writing if any learning cannot be claimed.