Qualifications can play an important role in learning and development and there are a wide variety available within adult social care. They are assessed by a learning provider and accredited by a recognised awarding organisation meaning you should be assured of the skills and knowledge developed by the learner.

We’ve developed adult social care specifications in partnership with employers and awarding organisations to be sure that core qualifications meet the needs of people who access care and support.

The creation of the qualification specifications also gave the adult social care and health sectors an opportunity to integrate learning and development and improve the portability of qualifications between the two sectors.

Find out more about the qualification specifications.


Diplomas, larger qualifications, enable learners to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to become competent workers. They have optional units allowing the learner to develop knowledge and skills in areas of interest or the organisations’ priorities.

Awards and certificates

There are also a range of awards and certificates that are shorter in length than a diploma. They focus on a particular area of specialism and enable workers to continue their professional development through qualifications.

Take a look at the qualifications section of our learning and development guide where you’ll find more information and guidance to help you understand qualifications and how you could use them within your organisation.

A qualification has been developed to support commissioners. 

Find out about the Level 5 Certificate in Principles of Commissioning for Wellbeing.


Qualifications can be expensive but employers can claim money towards the costs of employees completing adult social care qualifications and learning programmes from the Workforce Development Fund.

Find out more about the Workforce Development Fund.