Workforce Development Fund

A female care worker is sat with someone who needs care and support holding a pen The Workforce Development Fund supports the learning and development of adult social care workers in England. 

You could claim money towards developing your employees 

If you’re an adult social care employer in England, you can claim the Workforce Development Fund (WDF) towards the costs of your employees completing adult social care qualifications, units and learning programmes. 

If you’d prefer to read our leaflet, you can download it here

If you are a learning provider, large national organisation (1000+ employees) or an employer led partnership, please visit the appropriate page. You can also read more about how the WDF has helped others.

The Workforce Development Fund is changing in 2018/19 due to the move to the Regulated Qualifications Framework and the apprenticeship standard. There are still many qualifications that will be funded but it is important that you know which ones and what will be different. Please click here for further information.

The Workforce Development Fund (WDF) is funding from the Department of Health and Social Care which is disbursed by Skills for Care. It’s a limited pot of money which funds qualifications, units and learning programmes to support the ongoing professional development of staff across adult social care in England. 

Employers can claim back a contribution towards the costs of employees completing health and social care qualifications, units, Apprenticeships and learning programmes. Employers who directly incur costs for learning and development, such as course fees, can access the WDF to reclaim a contribution towards these costs.

You can if you are an adult social care employer operating in England. 

You can claim for units, qualifications and learning programmes completed between 1 January 2017 and 31 March 2018. You can claim WDF towards the cost of course fees (or employer contributions) and associated costs, such as employees’ salaries whilst they are undertaking training, coaching and mentoring costs, venue costs for the training and wage replacement costs.

There are different ways to access the fund depending on your location.

There are over 400 units eligible for funding that make up adult social care qualifications. A list of eligible units, qualifications and learning programmes is available at

WDF pays a contribution of £15 per QCF credit, with a maximum of 60 credits per learner per funding year. How much you can claim back will depend on the qualification, the units selected and how many credits make up those units. Learning programmes and RQF qualifications are funded to the value advertised on completion.

Here are some examples of what could be claimed:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) (46 credits) - up to £690
  • Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care (58 credits) - up to £870
  • Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care (minimum 70 credits) - up to £1050*
  • Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s
  • Services, adult pathways (minimum 80 credits) – up to £1200*
  • RQF Level 4 Certificate in Principles of Leadership and Management in Adult Care - £400
  • ‘Lead to Succeed’ learning programme - £350

*A maximum of 60 credits per learner, per funding year can be claimed so qualifications larger than 60 credits will need to be claimed over more than one funding year. Funding years run from 1 April to 31 March. 

For a list of funded adult social care qualifications and learning programmes visit

Please note that the current Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) will be withdrawn to make way for the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) between now and December 2017.

WDF is a contribution to the cost of employees completing vocational qualifications and learning programmes from our list of acceptable units. This funding allows employers to claim from more than one source, for example the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) or the Skills Funding Agency (SFA). 

There are some important points to note:

  • Where employers are claiming from more than one source of public funding, or using the apprenticeship levy, they must ensure that they do not claim the same cost from more than one source e.g. if the course fee has been covered from one source of public funding, or paid for by the apprenticeship levy, it cannot be claimed via WDF.
  • It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that they do not claim more funding than the cost to them of employees undertaking training. Direct costs such as course fees*, employees’ salaries and backfill if required (i.e. wage replacement costs) can be included for this fund.
  • Costs must be incurred before WDF is claimed.
  • Employers must ensure that they have records in place to evidence the costs of any funding claim they make. 

*Employers paying the apprenticeship levy cannot claim WDF towards course fees or end-point assessment costs but can claim it towards other direct costs, such as the 20% off the job training time.