A lady with autism smiling and holding hands with a female care worker It is estimated half a million people in the UK are living with Autism. 

It is estimated that more than half a million people in the UK are living with Autism. Every health and social care worker should have the skills and knowledge to provide a high quality service to people with autism, their families or others who care for them.

We’ve worked with the National Autistic Society and Skills for Health on resources to help you ensure your workers have the right skills and knowledge when working with people with autism.

What is autism?

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them (National Autistic Society).

It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. 

How can we help?

Our resources help you understand what skills and knowledge are required to support people with autism, their carers and families. We also have resources to support you to develop the skills of your staff when working with people with autism.  


The Autism skills and knowledge list enables individual workers, services and teams to work out whether they have the knowledge and skills needed to provide a good service to people who have autism. It will also be useful for people who are arranging or providing training to workers.

Implementing the autism skills and knowledge list through staff training and development maps autism specific qualification units (from the Qualifications and Credit Framework) to the skills and knowledge list, to help you develop skills through formal qualifications.

We would be interested in hearing from people who have used this guide about the difference it has made. Please email


There are two autism specific qualifications available. These are a Level 3 Award and a Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Individuals on the Autistic Spectrum. There are four units in these qualifications:

To support workers to complete these qualifications, the National Autistic Society has developed a series of e:learning modules that are available to purchase online.

Once completed, learners could use these modules as evidence towards the completion of qualifications, however this will need to be agreed with the awarding organisation or assessor beforehand.

You can see how the modules can be used to complete National Autism Qualifications.

There are also autism units in the Level 2 and 3 Diplomas in Health and Social Care (HSC) and the Level 5 Diploma in leadership in health and social care:

Our Autism awareness learning resources lists training materials that have been developed by a range of organisations. They all aim to increase awareness and understanding of autism to enable frontline staff to better recognise and respond more effectively to the needs of adults with autism.

How to do a great assessment for someone who has autism will be useful to social workers, community care assessors, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and other health professionals, including those who are working to assess people for benefit claims. It will provide these workers with the knowledge to undertake assessments with people who have autism. The short guide is supported by a video featuring people with lived experience sharing their hints and tips.

How to be a great autistic individual employer is for autistic individual employers who are employing a personal assistant(s) for themselves or on behalf of an individual with autism.

How to be a great personal assistant for someone with autism is for personal assistants who are providing care and support for an individual with autism.




If you’re looking for new and innovative ways to improve the quality of care you provide take a look at Learn from Others and select 'autism' under areas of interest.

This free resource lets you to find out about good practice in other organisations and learn from some their challenges. It is valuable in helping make the best use of often limited resources.  

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