Skills for Care
Over half a million adult social care workers support people with a learning disability and/or autistic people in England
It’s vital that adult social care workers have the right skills and knowledge to provide high quality, person-centred care and support.
The Core Capabilities Framework for supporting people with a learning disability sets out the skills and knowledge that health and social care workers need to deliver high-quality care and support.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines can also help you plan support and identify what learning and development your workforce needs.
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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. 
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Explore 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.



2022/23 Workforce Experts Advisory Group facilitators 

We are looking for an organisation to facilitate our Workforce Experts Advisory Group for the next year.

This group helps Skills for Care and Health Education England with workforce development and is made up of people who have a learning disability, autistic people, and people who are family carers. Professionals can join the group as ‘guest learners’ to learn from the group members.

We are looking for an organisation to facilitate this group from summer 2022 to summer 2023. The team doing this must include at least one person who has a learning disability. There is money available to pay the team for their time.

If you are interested in facilitating the group there are other documents with more information, which you can request by emailing

How to apply

If you would like to apply for this role please look at the documents listed above. To apply please send us:

  • No more than 1,000 words and no more than five pages of easy-read writing saying why your team or organisation would be good for the job.
  • An extra sheet showing how you will use the budget.
  • A recorded presentation about your work supporting people who have a learning disability and autistic people to have a voice in health and social care. This should show how you work together as a team to help people understand  things.

Applications and recordings should be emailed to

The closing date for applications is Thursday 21 July 2022 at 12:00.

Short listed candidates will be asked as a team to do an interview and short group facilitation exercise to role play a meeting online. This will take place on the afternoons of the Tuesday 02 and Wednesday 03 August 2022. 


The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training for learning disability and/or autistic health and social care staff

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
For any enquiries please email us or HEE. 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.
Identifying workforce learning and development needs examples
These examples are based on real-life scenarios of people with a learning disability and/or autistic people, who display or are at risk of displaying behaviours which challenge.
They're for adult social care commissioners and providers, to help you identify learning and development needs and plan support. you can use these examples to create your own plan for the person being supported. Download the 'Plan template' and 'How to use the examples overview' for further guidance. 
  • Dean (age 15) has a mild learning disability, epilepsy and cerebral palsy. Living with parents who are worried and 'can't control him anymore'. They're concerned he might be involved in 'mate' or 'petty' crime. 
  • Daniel currently in a secure hospital under section 37-41 (hospital order given by the crown court). History with the police for burglary, identified in prison as vulnerable and moved to a secure hospital. Daniel has gone through the sex offender’s programme and is now ready for discharge. 
  • Jake (age 28) has a moderate learning disability and poorly controlled diabetes and epilepsy. He lives in a supported living setting with five other people and his support provider feels he’s at risk of admission to in-patient services as his behaviour can be too challenging. 
  • Laura (age 21) has type one diabetes, autism and profound, multiple and severe learning disability. She lives in a specialist residential home but is at risk of being admitted to hospital if this breaks down.
  • Francois (age 32) has mental health concerns, depression, possible ADHD and a history of alcohol and substance misuse. He’s under a M.O.J. restriction and has been arrested and convicted of assault while under the influence. Receives two hours a week support and lives in a flat which he’s facing eviction.

  • Hero and Sweet (age 20’s) have with two children aged under 6, both have a mild learning disability and Sweet is experiencing postnatal depression. They get some hours of support a week with household tasks, and Sweet’s mum helps them too, but children’s services have concerns about their children’s welfare.

  • Doris (age 55) has a learning disability and doesn't use verbal speech and lives in a residential care home. Doreen was admitted to a mental health ATU as an emergency where she's been diagnosed with depression and dementia. 

  • Wilf (age 72) has a mild learning disability and possible dementia. He’s been involved in arson incidents and has lived in a specialist learning disability inpatient services. His clinician would like him to move into supported living, however his niece Debbie feels he’s safer in hospital.

  • Carol (age 75) has a moderate learning disability and may be autistic (no formal diagnosis). She’s been living in a supported living setting for eight years. Her recent health issues have exhibited challenging behaviour for the service and doesn’t like seeing a doctor about it.

  • Joe (age 12) has a learning disability, autism and sensory challenges. His behaviour can post a risk to himself. He’s currently in a 52 week long school programme which is far from his home. 

  • Paul (age 50) and Doreen (mother) Paul has autism with no diagnosis of a learning disability, which can affect his temper and mental health. Doreen, supports him at home however her health is deteriorating and she’s worried about how Paul will cope without her.


Further information

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.
This qualification was designed for new and existing commissioners looking to refresh knowledge, understand more about commissioning for wellbeing and providers of health, and social care services wanting to learn more about commissioning. There is a version of this qualification specifically for commissioners of  learning disability and/or autism 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
In July 2020 Skills for Care and Learning Disability England led this webinar and it was building on their work with NDTi and VODG on a project to improve access to Annual Health Checks. The session was focused on annual health checks and included some examples of how they can help people despite current COVID-19 restrictions.
Keep up to date
There's lots of work happening, nationally and locally, to develop and support the learning disability and/or autism workforce. 

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Skills for Care expert group

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 is working on, and how to get involved.