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. 

Our impact 2018/19

Our latest impact infographic shows that Skills for Care:

  • had over 800,000 unique downloads of our digital publications
  • delivered over 270 events – at least one per working day of the year – with over 5,000 people attending them
  • dealt with almost 5,900 enquiries to our Information Service.

Download our impact infographic to see how we’ve helped adult social care employers to recruit, develop and lead their workforce.


In 2019, Skills for Care commissioned an independent evaluation of the Workforce Development Fund, including Individual Employer funding and the Workforce Development Innovation Fund over the previous two years. Employers told the evaluators that they are providing better care, have a more skilled staff team and have improved staff morale as a direct consequence of the Workforce Development Fund.

A high proportion said that the mainstream fund is addressing the most pressing skills issues that they face. Large proportions of employers also spoke of productivity and efficiency improvements, while lead partners were confident that accessing good quality training through the Fund can have a positive impact on CQC ratings

For every £1 of the Workforce Development Fund invested in the social care sector across the two years, £7.51 was generated for the England economy.

Download executive summary here

 Independent evaluators ICF 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 the impact evaluation executive summary.


 The Workforce Development Innovation Fund aims to fund projects that are innovative in their approach to influencing workforce development in the longer term, and that support Skills for Care’s vision of a confident, caring, skilled and well-led workforce that is valued by people who need care and support.

Read the exectuive summary from the self-evaluation reports for 2018-19.


 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.

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




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.


Workplace career activities

 I Care…Ambassadors are people who work in social care and promote social care careers, to help people decide if it's 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.

Key findings

  • 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


Integrated I Care…Ambassadors: two years on

During 2017, Skills for Care supported three I Care…Ambassador partnership services to pilot an integrated model of I Care…Ambassadors. Following on from a positive pilot evaluation, Skills for Care decided to empower all services to become integrated, if they wished to.

This study sought to explore the extent to which this opportunity has been taken up by I Care…Ambassador services, what issues have been encountered, what outcomes achieved, and what lessons learned to date.

Read the full report here.