How to claim funding through a partnership

If you are not in one of the advertised local authority areas, you must apply for the Workforce Development Fund through an employer led partnership. An employer led partnership is a collection of adult social care employers, which may include micro employers, who come together to ‘pool’ their workforce development needs and potentially commission training to collectively meet those needs. All partnerships are open to new members throughout the year. 

Within each partnership there is a ‘grant holder’ who is responsible for the disbursal of the funding within the partnership, and supporting their members to access the fund. You can find out more about the requirements that grant holders and their partnerships should exercise in disbursing WDF

To be eligible to apply for the funding you must meet the following requirements:

  • be an adult social care employer in England
  • have an NMDS-SC account that meets WDF requirements
  • complete a member’s declaration form and return it to the partnership lead
  • submit completed qualification unit summary sheets or a copy of each learner’s certificate to evidence claims. 

More detail is available about the requirements and your responsibilities as an employer when claiming WDF

These seven steps tell you how to apply for WDF but if you would like further information, please refer to our detailed guidance

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.

Employers have free choice as to which learning provider they use to deliver learning and development to their staff. In some cases the lead organisation for a WDF partnership may have a training arm to their business but they cannot make it a requirement for employers who are accessing their training provision to join their WDF partnership or for members to use their training provision. This represents a conflict of interests and is expressly forbidden. 

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 6). 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 for employers.

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.

Look at the following list of partnerships and decide which one you want to join:

Send your completed member's declaration form to the lead partner of your chosen partnership. The partnership will send this to Skills for Care. The completed form confirms your agreement to the terms which employers are bound by. Any employer who has used a partnership before to claim WDF does not need to complete a declaration form, unless you are joining a new partnership. 

Employers must join and liaise with the partnership directly. A third party, such as a learning provider, cannot do this on an employer’s behalf.

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 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 the partnership. 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. 

You must complete a WDF employer claim submission form, or equivalent supplied by your partnership, and also send this to your partnership. 

Your partnership will send them to Skills for Care who will verify the claim.  

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.

Once claims have been successfully verified by Skills for Care, payment is made to the partnership who will then pay their members.

 

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