Workforce development innovation fund

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Applications for the fund are now open so if you have an innovative workforce development project which is in development, being tested, improved or is looking to reach new audiences then this might be for you.

The Workforce Development Innovation Fund (WDIF) supports innovative projects which increase the skills and competence of staff. Its fundamental aim is to improve service quality and embed person centred values within the workforce.

Applications for WDIF must look to address one of the advertised priorities, as outlined in the ‘What will be funded?’ section, and deliver to Skills for Care tangible resources or products which have been tested as part of the project.

The deadline for applications is 1pm on Thursday 16 June 2016.

Visit Learn from Others to see how others have used the WDIF.

How can I apply?

It is essential that you read the guidance document before completing the application form as it provides more detail about each section.

There are two types of application form:

  • Individual organisations – to be used if you are applying on behalf of your own organisation and will include your own workforce only.
  • Partnership – to be used if you are applying on behalf of a group of adult social care employers and will include any of their workforces in the project. 

Ensure that you complete the correct application form as completing the wrong application form will result in your application being invalid.

Please email your fully completed application form to by 1pm on Thursday 16 June 2016. Please include your organisation name in the email subject title.

For the purposes of this fund we are using the model of an ‘innovation spectrum’ from the Spring Consortium, for the Department of Education, 2014. This frames innovation as a dynamic process, moving from an initial idea to scalability and sustainability. ‘New’ ideas are only one part of innovation: piloting, scaling and improving are as important. Projects may be at any point in the innovation spectrum.

Skills for Care’s focus is on leadership and workforce in the adult social care sector. Working with employers, everything we do is in support of our vision of a confident, caring, skilled and well-led workforce that is valued by people who need care and support. In 2016-17 our overarching priorities are leadership for positive transformation, recruitment and retention and developing workforce capability.

Through WDIF we want to support projects that align with this purpose, whilst also addressing specific and significant issue(s) within the adult social care sector. We are particularly interested in projects that will focus on any of the issues outlined below:

  1. Ensuring registered managers or frontline managers are skilled in attracting, selecting and keeping high quality social care workers, including registered professionals.
  2. Testing approaches to workforce planning and skills development across integrated mental health care pathways
  3. Designing a collaborative approach between social care employers to ensure that the adult social care sector has the high quality leaders and managers it needs in the short, medium and long term.
  4. Supporting the development of knowledge and skills to support the implementation of the wellbeing principle, including the development and implementation of co-production and person-centred assessment and care planning approaches.
  5. Supporting the development of social care managers’ ability to promote and ensure the resilience and wellbeing of their staff

All of these priorities are explained in more detail in the guidance document.


All projects funded via WDIF must demonstrate that consideration has been given to the scalability, transferability and sustainability of the project.

All projects funded via WDIF 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 provide these to Skills for Care when the project ends
  • result in an evaluation report which describes the project approach and lessons learned from delivery and a case study. This will be used by Skills for Care to share good practice and learning with other adult social care employers. Case studies and resources from previous WDIF projects can be found on Learn from Others.

If you are delivering Health and Social Care QCF qualifications as part of the project, it will be necessary to complete the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) as set out in the requirements for completing NMDS-SC.

If you are making an application and intend to deliver learning to third party organisations, meeting these requirements is applicable to those third party organisations who will be accessing the learning. It is therefore imperative that you ensure you fully understand this requirement and factor this into your planning of the project from the outset. 


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