How to claim funding directly from Skills for Care

If you're an employer in one of the advertised local authority areas, you can claim funding directly from Skills for Care. 

To be eligible to apply for the funding you must meet the following requirements:

  • be an adult social care employer in England
  • have an NMDS-SC account that meets WDF requirements
  • complete a direct access declaration form and return it to Skills for Care
  • submit a copy of each learner’s certificate to evidence claims. 

More detail is available about the requirements and your responsibilities as an employer when claiming WDF

If you would prefer to apply via a partnership rather than directly from Skills for Care, you can join a national partnership. All employers across England can apply to join a national partnership regardless of your location, and may be most suited to organisations that have services operating in a number of different areas.

These eight steps tell you how to apply for WDF, but if you would like more information please refer to our detailed guidance

Commission learning and development for employees for eligible qualifications and learning programmes.

Employers have free choice as to which learning provider they use to deliver learning and development to their staff. 

You can find guidance in our learning and development guide on finding a suitable learning provider. You can also use our endorsed provider search directory to find a learning provider. Our endorsement framework provides a mark of quality that is given to the best learning and development in the adult social care sector.

Things to check before you enter into a contract

Some learning providers promote that they deliver qualifications which are fully funded through the WDF either through their website information or promotional materials or via their sales representatives. Please be aware that any learning provider who promises ‘free’ training as the learning is funded by the WDF is providing employers with incorrect advice as to how this funding works. We would recommend that you seek clarification from organisations if they make such promises as they cannot provide this guarantee. 

Further information can be found in the FAQs

If you’re not already on the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) then you’ll need to set up an account. The NMDS-SC is an online data collection for the whole adult social care workforce and sector. Before you get started please read the requirements for completing NMDS-SC and download the guidance on how to complete it in order to claim WDF.

Once you’ve done this, please visit www.nmds-sc-online.org.uk to sign up.

Skills for Care will validate that you meet the eligibility criteria for direct access to WDF. Once done we will issue an agreement to you for signature and return. The agreement will be issued by email and can be signed electronically. 

Update your NMDS-SC account in line with the requirements for WDF. You can generate reports to check whether your account meets the requirements and we have produced detailed guidance on how to do this. When these requirements have been met, Skills for Care will send you a claim form.

How to put together a Workforce Development Fund (WDF) claim 2018/19 will support you in making a claim.

Complete the claim submission form and submit it to us along with a copy of the learner's certificate.

Qualification certificates must contain the following information:

  • candidate name
  • candidate registration number
  • unique learner number
  • name of qualification qualification number as per our list of funded qualfications and learning programmes
  • the date of issue of the certificate must be between 1 January 2018 and 31 March 2019
  • name of the awarding organisation
  • name of the learning provider or centre number.
  • QCF certificates must contain the breakdown of units completed. You must complete the details of the units completed onto your claim form as per the codes on the unit look up list.

Learning programme certificates must contain the following information:

  • candidate name
  • date of birth
  • name of learning programme
  • our code as per the list of funded qualifications and learning programmes
  • the date of issue of the certificate must be between 1 January 2018 and 31 March 2019
  • name of endorsed learning provider.

Skills for Care process your claim for valid learning as long as steps 4, 5, 6 and 7 have been completed in full. 

You’re responsible for maintaining a clear audit trail of funding received and spent and must be able to confirm details of learning and development funded through WDF if required so we recommend you retain copies of the evidence for your records.

Please note if you are claiming funding for a completed QCF qualification, the amount of funding you will receive is the total advertised funding value of the qualification minus any funding you have already received. For example, you have already claimed funding (£360) for the 9 mandatory units within a level 2 diploma in health and social care. The total advertised funding value for the completed qualification is £690, therefore you will receive £330. (£690 - £360 = £330.)

You will be contacted directly if there are any queries with your claim. You will be notified in writing if any learning cannot be claimed.

To enable all employers to have the opportunity to claim funding during the year, we operate limits to the amount that can be claimed by individual organisations during the year. If you reach your limit we will advise you. You may have the opportunity to access additional funds at the end of the funding year. We will communicate further information about this directly during March 2019.