Evaluating our impact

Three women sat at a table discussing some papers in front of them

We’re committed to evaluating the outcomes and impact of our work.

We’ve signed the NCVO Code of Good Impact Practice and are committed to evaluation that is credible because it is robust, independent, inclusive, transparent and planned. 

Independent evaluators ICF recently undertook an impact evaluation of Skills for Care’s activities over five years (between 2013/14 and 2017/18), exploring the question ‘What difference does Skills for Care make?’.

They found that during this period Skills for Care worked with 55% of care providing locations and progressed towards achieving its overall strategic vision. It delivered nearly three million products and resources to the sector, and provided at least 670,000 learning and development interventions.

Employers and staff reported that Skills for Care improved the skills, knowledge and confidence of their workforce (from entry-level to senior leadership) and improved the quality of their care. 90% of those surveyed were likely to recommend Skills for Care services to peers and colleagues.

The evaluation assessed Skills for Care as economical, efficient, and effective, delivering good value for money for the adult social care sector. For every £1 invested, Skills for Care generated at least £2.27 to the England economy.

Find out more about our impact by reading our latest impact infographic and the impact evaluation executive summary.

See our most recent evaluation reports below. 


The five year Apprenticeship Ambition Programme was launched in 2012/13 to further promote Apprenticeships in adult social care to meet the needs of an expanding sector. In 2016/17 Skills for Care’s Evidence and Impact team evaluated the programme to assess the impact of the Ambition on employers, learning providers and Apprentices. The evaluation found that the Ambition programme:

  • played an essential role in increasing the volume of Apprenticeships in the adult social care sector and has encouraged employers to develop sustainable Apprenticeship models
  • specifically encouraged new people to enter the sector; supported new emerging roles to fill skills gaps and enable employers, learning providers and potential learners to overcome challenges to Apprenticeship engagement including promotion, recruitment and growing the sector; and has supported employers to grow their own workforce and retain their Apprentices and staff
  • has supported the development of new frameworks and pathways and promoted existing routes, including the Advanced Apprenticeship, Higher Apprenticeship and the new Apprenticeship Standards, to meet the needs of an ever expanding and changing sector.

The Graduate Programme aims to develop future leaders for social care; twenty graduates were recruited onto its sixth cohort in January 2016, which completed in January 2017. The evaluation showed that:

Trainees have:

  • the right passion and values to work in social care
  • a belief in their readiness to commence a management career in social care
  • improved the quality of care and;
  • added value in their placement organisations.

 The Graduate Programme has:

  • raised trainees’ level of leadership and management skills
  • raised their understanding of social care values and competency in practice
  • increased their knowledge and experience of the social care sector.

Over four-fifths of trainees who had completed the programme had found employment by February 2017. The majority of the jobs found by Cohort Six trainees were within their host organisation, suggesting a sustainable benefit to the host organisation in terms of talent retention.

More information about the Graduate Programme can be found here.

Skills for Care commissioned independent consultants to assess levels of awareness of the online resource Finding and Keeping Workers among adult social care employers. The study also aimed to understand the barriers to using the resource and its effectiveness compared to other sources of information, advice and guidance.  Employers were also asked about the impacts of the resource on their own organisations and the adult social care sector more widely. This report gives a summary of the key findings.

Registered managers' networks aim to reduce isolation at a local level by offering peer support. They also give registered managers the opportunity to speak to people who can assist with the quality agenda, like commissioners and regulators. 

This evaluation investigated whether registered managers were finding the networks helpful and what we could do to improve them by asking 143 attendees to answer evaluation questions.

Key findings

  • The networks are effective in helping registered managers feel supported.
  • Reducing isolation is one of the key ways in which networks help registered managers. 

Download the executive summary

In 2017, an independent evaluation was undertaken of the Workforce Development Fund (WDF), Individual Employer (IE) fund and the Workforce Development Innovation Fund (WDIF) which looked at activity over the last three years. The evaluation was designed to provide an up-to-date assessment of the impact of the three funding streams, including their impact on quality of care. 

The executive summary highlights the key findings.

The Workforce Development Innovation Fund (WDIF) aims to fund projects that are innovative in their approach to influencing workforce development in the longer term and that support our vision of a confident, caring, skilled and well-led workforce.

This executive summary provides of a summary of findings from the nine projects' the WDIF funded in 2017-18.