Workforce planning, transformation and commissioning

When you commission a service, you’re also commissioning the workforce that implements it.

We have guidance and tools to help both providers and commissioners to shape, commission, plan and develop the workforce. The complexities and ever-changing nature of adult social care means that commissioning and delivering personalised, preventative and good quality care and support services in any local area is a challenging process. It requires new ways of working, planning and commissioning, particularly with the COVID-19 pandemic, an ageing population and the integration of health and social care.

Our guidance and tools focus on the key assumptions of effective workforce shaping, commissioning and planning and the analyse, plan, do, review model. 

Key assumptions of effective workforce planning, shaping and commissioning

  • Strong effective shared leadership at all levels with a focus on continuous improvement, quality and outcomes.
  • Commitment, support, participation and collaboration from everyone involved in the process including leaders at all levels, the workforce, people being supported, families, carers, communities, adult social care providers, commissioners and other professionals.
  • Effective communication and information sharing with everyone, internally and externally, throughout the whole process is crucial to building open and honest working relationships.
  • Shared responsibility and accountability for performance and achievement of goals.
  • Positive appreciation for the contribution each party makes to the delivery of person-centred care and support.


The approach to strategic workforce planning, shaping and commissioning considers financial investment/disinvestment decisions, and the full implications for the whole workforce and labour market. The model shown in our 'Practical guide for workforce planning, shaping and commissioning' describes a systematic way of linking market/service shaping and commissioning, workforce shaping and commissioning and financial strategy making sure that the needs and aspirations of local individuals and communities are at its heart.  

We’ve grouped our guidance and tools into themes to reflect the various aspects of workforce shaping, planning, commissioning and development. We hope this will help you find what you need at each stage and we recommend using the ‘Strategic workforce planning, shaping and commissioning guide’ as the foundation.

Strategic workforce planning, shaping, and commissioning

Find a range of guidance and resources, including a self-assessment tool, links to adult social care data and information about the individual employer and personal assistant market.

Workforce learning and development

Find details on our guides and tools to help you plan, deliver and evaluate the learning and development you provide for your staff, as well as information on workforce assessments.


Operational workforce planning

Access our practical approaches to workforce planning guide and the planning and development tool, designed to help employers create, implement and update workforce plans.

Quality of care

Access a range of resources and tools to drive quality improvement, productivity and deliver personalised care. You’ll also find guidance on person-centred and community-based working.


Workforce change and transformation 

See our seven key principles to support workforce transformation and our outcomes measurement framework to help define the outcomes, actions and measurement of workforce change.  


Find resources to support joined up working across organisational boundaries and integrated care systems to deliver seamless quality care, as well as top tips for building trust.