We’re committed to evaluating the outcomes and impact of our work.
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.
Evaluation of the Apprenticeship Ambition
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.
Evaluation of the National Adult Social Care Graduate Management Programme
The Graduate Management programme aims to develop future leaders in health and social care. The seventh cohort started in January 2018 with 13 learners. It was the first cohort following an integrated programme, involving a six-to-eight-week placement at a health employer.
The evaluation found that all targets set by the Department of Health and Social Care were met.
- Up to 15 high-calibre graduates were recruited into social care who would otherwise not have entered (or been retained and progressed in).
- At least 80% completed the programme.
- A sustainable, financially secure and integrated programme was delivered suitable for scaling up in future cohorts.
Placement hosts were satisfied with the process of recruitment and matching and felt that their graduate learners had the right passion, values, conduct and attitude to excel in social care.
83% of those who completed the programme were offered a job either at their host or placement organisation.
A high proportion of graduates and hosts would recommend the programme to others.
This report gives a summary of the key findings.
More information about the Graduate Management programme can be found here.
Evaluation of Finding and Keeping Workers
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.
Evaluation of Registered Managers' Networks
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.
- 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.
Evaluation of the Aspiring manager's pilot
The aim of the Aspiring manager’s pilot was to address the lack of a defined route into becoming a registered manager, and the skills gap which exists between a care coordinator and this role and therefore the need to improve the recruitment, retention and quality of registered managers.
There’s strong evidence that the pilot achieved its aims and objectives with participants having grown in leadership skills, in particular, and they were all much better prepared for the transition to the role of registered manager and were keen to continue to develop themselves personally and professionally.
Download the executive summary here.
More information about supporting aspiring managers can be found in our ‘Developing new managers and deputies’ online guide here
Evaluation of the I Care…Ambassadors workplace career activities
I Care…Ambassadors are people who work in social care and promote social care careers, to help people decide if social care is the career for them.
In 2018/19, Skills for Care made a small amount of funding available to existing I Care…Ambassador services to improve the reach of the programme nationally, and to explore the use of I Care…Ambassadors in delivering workplace career opportunities, such as taster days, work experience, mentoring, buddying and work placements.
Four services were successful, delivering a different project aimed at developing the role of ambassadors in delivering in-work career opportunities, and each encountered different challenges and successes.
- Ambassador activity increased in all four projects.
- All four projects said that the skills and confidence of ambassadors in delivering workplace career activities had increased.
Download a summary of the report.