Workforce Development Fund

A female care worker is sat with someone who needs care and support holding a pen

The Workforce Development Fund supports the learning and development of adult social care workers in England. 

You could claim money towards developing your employees

If you’re an adult social care employer in England, you can claim the Workforce Development Fund (WDF) towards the costs of your employees completing adult social care qualifications and learning programmes.

Due to the introduction of the Regulated Qualifications Framework in 2017 and the new apprenticeships standards introduced to comply with Government reforms, a number of changes have been made to the way the WDF is disbursed.

The two main changes are that:

  1. funding is now claimed for completed qualifications or learning programmes and is evidenced by a copy of the learner's certificate.

  2. there is a financial limit per learner within a single funding year.

Find out more about the WDF below.

 

The WDF is funding from the Department of Health and Social Care which is disbursed by Skills for Care. It’s a limited pot of money which funds qualifications and learning programmes to support the continuing professional development of staff across adult social care in England.

Employers can claim back a contribution towards the costs of employees completing health and social care qualifications and learning programmes. Employers who directly incur costs for learning and development can access the WDF to reclaim a contribution towards these costs.

If you’re an adult social care employer operating in England you can apply for the funding.

You can claim for qualifications and learning programmes completed between 1 January 2018 and 31 March 2019. You can claim WDF towards the cost of course fees (or employer contributions) and associated costs, such as employees’ salaries whilst they are undertaking training, coaching and mentoring costs, venue costs for the training and wage replacement costs.

Yes, you can claim WDF because the learner is required to complete a diploma as part of the apprenticeship standard. What you can claim for is different depending on whether you are a levy paying or non-levy paying employer.

I'm a levy payer, what can I claim for?

As a levy paying employer, you’ll use your levy pot to pay for the training and end-point assessment costs of the apprenticeship (up to the Government cap) - you can't claim WDF for this.

You can claim WDF towards any other associated costs of the apprenticeship, up to our advertised funding value, for example wage replacement costs that may be required, when the learner is released, to fulfil the 20% off-the-job learning time requirement.

I’m a non-levy payer, what can I claim for?

As a non-levy payer, the Government will contribute 90% of the training and assessment costs, up to the cap and you can’t claim WDF for this. The remaining 10% and any additional cost will be met by you, the employer – you can claim WDF towards this cost.

You can also claim WDF towards any other associated costs of the apprenticeship, up to our advertised funding value, for example wage replacement costs that may be required, when the learner is released, to fulfil the 20% off-the-job learning time requirement.

 There are different ways to access the fund depending on your location.

The WDF contribution depends on the size of the qualification or learning programme. All qualifications and learning programmes are funded up to the value advertised on completion. A maximum of £1,200 can be claimed per learner per funding year. Funding years run from 1 April to 31 March.

Here are some examples of what could be claimed:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Care: £690

  • Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care: £870

  • Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care: £1,050

  • Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services, adult pathways: £1,200

  • Level 5 Certificate of Fundamental Knowledge in Commissioning for Wellbeing: £300

  • ‘Lead to Succeed’ learning programme: £350

Click here for a full list of funded adult social care qualifications and learning programmes.

WDF is a contribution to the cost of employees completing vocational qualifications and learning programmes from our list of funded qualifications and learning programmes. This funding allows employers to claim from more than one source, for example the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) who provide funding for apprenticeships.

There are some important points to note:

  • Where employers are claiming from more than one source of public funding, or using the apprenticeship levy, they must ensure that they do not claim the same cost from more than one source e.g. if the course fee has been covered from one source of public funding, or paid for by the apprenticeship levy, it cannot be claimed via WDF.

  • It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that they do not claim more funding than the cost to them of employees undertaking training. Direct costs such as course fees*, employees’ salaries and backfill if required (i.e. wage replacement costs) can be included for this fund.

  • Costs must be incurred before WDF is claimed.

  • Employers must ensure that they have records in place to evidence the costs of any funding claim they make.

*Employers paying the apprenticeship levy cannot claim WDF towards course fees or end-point assessment costs but can claim it towards other direct costs, such as the 20% off the job training time.