End of life care

Workforce development is key to providing high quality, person-centred end of life care.

Supporting someone who may be approaching the end of their life can be some of the most challenging work that any social care or health worker faces. This means that staff need the right skills and knowledge to do their job competently and confidently, and the right learning and development can help.

Managers also need to make sure that their service has enough trained staff to meet the needs and wishes of the people they support.

Our resources will support adult social care staff, and their managers, to develop their skills and knowledge in end of life care.


End of life core skills education and training framework

The ‘End of life core skills education and training framework’ outlines the core skills and knowledge that staff need to support people at their end of life.

You can use the standards to support a training needs analysis in your service - staff, managers and services can use the standards to see whether they have the skills and knowledge needed to provide a good service for people at their end of life and identify any gaps.

If you’re involved in designing or commissioning training, we recommend that the training meets these standards, and that you assess competence against the standards. 

Download the framework here.

The common core principles and competencies for social care and health workers working with adults at their end of life

This guide outlines the principles of high quality end of life care. It’s aimed at non-specialist workers and describes the competences, knowledge and values they should have.

Download the principles here


If new staff will be working with people who are their end of life, this should form part of their induction.

The Care Certificate

The Care Certificate is an agreed set of standards that sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected of specific job roles in the health and social care sectors. It's made up of the 15 minimum standards that should be covered if you are 'new to care' and should form part of a robust induction programme.

There isn’t a standard specific to end of life care, but standard 1 ensures that all staff understand their main duties and responsibilities, and know the standards and codes of conduct and practice that relate to their role.

Find out more about the Care Certificate, and download free resources to support induction, here


Ongoing learning and development ensures that everyone works in line with current regulation and standards of good practice. It can help you to improve your service, drive important changes and motivate your workers.

Bounce Back Boy

This training resource is based on the story of Josh Cawley, who was 22 when he died from the catastrophic injuries that his birth parents inflicted on him, which resulted in his inability to speak or to move from his wheelchair. He was adopted by Lynn Cawley whose devotion to Josh ensured that he lived his short life as positively and ‘normally’ as possible. 

Skills for Care worked with Royal College of Nursing and Hospice UK to develop two training resources, a film and a handbook, based on Josh’s story.

Adult social care staff can work through Josh’s journey and consider it in light of their own roles and responsibilities, to think about how they can improve their own end of life care practice. The facilitators handbook has ideas and activities to promote discussion, reflection, learning and action. 

Download the free training resources here. 


Working together to improve end of life care through better integration

This training pack increases awareness and understanding of how everyone can work together to improve end of life care.

It includes a film and booklet to help people to understand all the different job roles that may be involved in someone’s end of life care, and how they can work well together.

You can use the pack as part of a learning and development session, or to prompt and facilitate discussion in team meetings.

The pack includes:

There’s also a booklet and films about the different roles that might be involved in providing end of life care for someone.

The pack was developed with employers through a research project that aimed to find out what mattered most to people at their end of life. You can read a summary of this work here, and the evaluation report here.


‘Real stories, real insight' training resources are for domiciliary care staff and can be used for training or as part of a team discussion:

The training resource was developed in partnership with Bridgesfm for employers and/or managers of domiciliary care workers.


e-ELCA offers around 150 interactive eLearning sessions on end of life care, including assessment, advanced care planning, symptom management and communication skills.

There’s also a training needs analysis to identify what learning and development you and your workforce need.

You can access this free eLearning here.  


We can help you choose the right learning and the right provider for you.

Our 'Guide to developing your staff' can help you select the right learning for your staff and service.

We can also help you to find high quality learning providers. Skills for Care Endorsement finds and badges learning providers who we see as the best. Our endorsed providers deliver high quality learning and development to the social care sector.

Search for endorsed providers in our online directory.


Adult social care employers can claim back a contribution towards the cost of qualifications and learning programmes through our Workforce Development Fund (WDF).

The 2019-20 WDF provides funding towards various awards, certificates and a learning programme, offered by our endorsed providers, in end of life care.

Find out more here.