Skills for Care

With over half a million adult social care workers supporting people living with autism or a learning disability in England.

It's improtant that the workforce has the right values, skills and knowledge to provide high quality, person-centred care and support.

We supported Skills for Health in developing the Core Capabilities Framework for Supporting Autistic People sets out the skills and knowledge that health and social care workers need to deliver high-quality care and support. You can use the framework to support you identify what learning and development your workforce needs.

View the Supporting Autistic People Framework | Easy read version


PDF - 391MB

We’ve also collated a list of learning resources developed by a range of organisations. They’ll help you to increase awareness and understanding of autism across your workforce so people can recognise and respond to the needs of autistic people.

PDF - 523kb

For people who already know how to carry out professional assessments but want to know more about autism so they can make reasonable adjustments to their practice to ensure a client or patient with autism gets the best intervention possible.



Following Oliver McGowans death, in November 2019 the Government published 'Right to be heard' its response to the consultation on proposals for introducing mandatory learning disability and autism training for health and social care staff

The response included a commitment to develop a standardised training package that aims to make sure staff working in health and social care receive learning disability and autism training, at the right level for their role which Skills for Care and HEE are co-ordinating the development of.

Trials and evaluation

If you have a question, please email us or HEE. You can also visit the Health Education England website to find out more about Oliver's campaign, the trial partners, what the training looks like, FAQs and stakeholder feedback.

Skills for Care, National Development Team for Inclusion and the National Autistic Society have developed three resources to support health and social care commissioners improve how they commission services that support autistic people and improve the outcomes for them and their families.

The following three resources have been developed in partnership with autistic people and organisations that are engaged with autistic people:


Explains the things that you need to analyse, the things that you need to do, and who/what organisations you should engage with. It also has links to useful guidance and information to help you identify and plan the changes needed to improve your commissioning practices to deliver person-centred outcomes for local autistic people.

View the framework

Framework diagram

This diagram shows the support services that autistic people and their family members should be able access and therefore the support services you need to commission from diagnosis to post diagnostic assessment including ongoing support.

View the diagram

Population calculator for autistic people

Use can use this tool to estimate the number of autistic people in your area and it covers 2020 to 2035.

View the population calculator

During autumn 2021 we’re planning to run some webinars exploring how to use these resources, sign up to our learning disability and autism newsletter to keep updated.

We would also like to share good commissioning practice examples to support this document so if you have any feedback or examples, please share them with us by emailing

This research report (published in December 2018) explores the adult social care workforce supporting people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people, using data from the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care.

Download the report

We commissioned a research project to find out if families caring for a young person with a learning disability and/or autism had access to tailored learning and development support their transition into adulthood better.

Download the report

This guide helps employers to think about how they can develop their workforce to identify what carers need to understand about personal relationships and how they can create a workforce development programme.

Download the guide

Skills for Care developed the Level 5 Commissioning for Wellbeing qualification to support the learning and development needs of people who commission social care services.

Find out more

We’ve developed a guide in partnership with East Sussex County Council (ESCC) which supports people with learning disabilities and/or autism with COVID-19 challenges. The guidelines aim to help the workforce support people to adapt their behaviour to continue to safely deliver care without increasing anxiety for themselves or the person they’re caring for.

Find out more

Health Education England has commissioned NDTi and Skills for Care to develop a resource to support people working in health and social care who don’t regularly support people with a learning disability and/or autistic people.  

View the resource

This resource is different to the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training trials and is focussed on making reasonable adjustments, the trials cover wider content and reasonable adjustments will form an element of the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training.


Skills for Care Expert Group - Get involved

We facilitate an 'expert group of people with a learning disability and autistic people' to make sure the resources meet sector needs, find out more about what the group are working on and how to get involved.

Autism Peer Support Capability Framework - survey

In December and January we worked to engage people to tell us what should be in the new autism peer support worker competencies. Colleagues at Oxford Health Foundation Trust have worked since then to develop draft capability framework and curriculum and now invite you to comment on these.

Copies of the draft framework and curriculum are available on the SEDS website.

Find the survey which closes on Friday 6 May 2022.


Keep up to date

There's lots of work happening, nationally and locally, to develop and support the learning disability and/or autism workforce. 

Create an account  and select ‘Learning disability and autism newsletter’ within subscriptions.

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