Commissioning for wellbeing

Photo of Emma B & W Emma Sutton-Thompson is the first person in England to have successfully completed the qualification.

Level 5 Certificate in commissioning for wellbeing

This qualification has been developed to support current and aspiring commissioners in achieving a rich, diverse and sustainable market of provision. It will also help ensure that personalised support and care is available where, how and when it is needed.

Who is it aimed at?
Primarily designed for new commissioners, but can also be useful for:

  • existing commissioners to refresh knowledge
  • individuals wanting to understand more about commissioning for wellbeing
  • providers of health and social care services to learn more about commissioning.

How will it be assessed?
Learners will be required to demonstrate an indepth understanding of the commissioning role and the skills needed to carry it out, including that they understand;

  • the role of the commissioner for wellbeing
  • the commissioning cycle
  • outcomes-focused commissioning
  • professional development for effective commissioning.

“I wanted the opportunity to consolidate all my experience, knowledge and skills in commissioning.  The certificate has given me extensive knowledge and understanding which I will use to strengthen my work at Halton. I now really understand the true meaning of person-centred commissioning for wellbeing and how to engage with users of services to co-design services and improve outcomes.”   

- Emma Sutton, Practice Manager for the Policy, Performance and Customer Care team at Halton Borough Council. 

Commissioning for wellbeing with a learning disability and autism focus

When support for people with a learning disability is commissioned well, it can make a significant difference to someone’s’ life. Throughout 2020 Skills for Care, in partnership with Bespoke Consultancy Education, has been delivering a pilot across the South West to deliver the qualification with a learning disability and/or autism focus.

The qualification tackles the challenge of defining and delivering wellbeing outcomes in an increasingly complex environment. It highlights not only the importance of consultation and coproduction at every stage of the commissioning cycle, but also unpicks the legislative requirements to manage the market effectively and considers the role of stakeholders while placing people at the heart of the process.

Find out more about the pilot


All commissioners should do this course and it should be fundamental to every aspect to a commissioners world."


- Learner from the pilot.

“The qualification is challenging and pushes you – it’s not easy but the gains are immeasurable!” 


- Learner from the pilot.

This opportunity is now available across the rest of England for commissioners, providers of health and social care services and other professionals involved in commissioning services for people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

It will give learners the opportunity to connect with other commissioning staff across the country, to learn what they’re doing and how they approach their work. It will help improve confidence, motivation as well as increase skills and knowledge.

Skills for Care is working with the two learning providers, Bespoke Consultancy Education and HASCA to co-ordinate cohorts of learners from Social Care and Health organisations.

Find out more about this qualification

To apply for a funded place please download and complete this Expression of Interest form and return to Please email us if you have any questions or you may find the answer to your question on the FAQ document. You can also view the information session slides we delivered to provide commissioners with more information.


Launched by Highfield Qualifications, the qualification was developed by Skills for Care, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care (ADASS), the Local Government Association (LGA) and United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) in partnership with commissioners, provider associations and personal assistant employers, to support the learning and development needs of people who commission social care services. 


  • Improved outcomes for people accessing services - develop the knowledge and skills needed to commission services that truly reflect the needs, preferences and aspirations of people wanting or needing to access wellbeing services.
  • Improved quality and safety of wellbeing services - fully understand the market, legislative requirements, population needs and other key aspects to design innovative interventions, recognise where services may not be achieving outcomes, and take appropriate action.
  • Improved ability to respond to the market - plan more efficiently by achieving a detailed understanding of how to assess and meet current and future population needs.
  • Improved workforce knowledge, skill and morale - feel valued, supported and invested in, leads to improved motivation and a sense of commitment and belonging. 

The role of "Commissioner for Wellbeing"

  • the central importance for commissioners of maintaining a focus on people
  • the remit, aims, core features and scope of those who carry out commissioning for wellbeing and how these fit with wider trends in health and social care, housing, funding, commissioning and public service reform
  • current policy and legislative context of commissioning for wellbeing.

The commissioning cycle

  • importance of consultation and coproduction at every stage of the commissioning cycle
  • key elements of practice at each stage of the commissioning cycle; analysis, planning, implementation and review
  • the market for services that support wellbeing for the whole population in a locality including:
    • concept of market shaping 
    • concept of workforce shaping and what it means
    • the place of procurement and contracting within commissioning for wellbeing.

Outcomes-based commissioning

  • concept of outcomes-based commissioning and key features
  • sources of information and support for person-centred commissioning
  • concept and practice of coproduction in commissioning
  • partnership working for outcomes-based commissioning 
  • integrated commissioning for better outcomes.

Professional development for effective commissioning

  • analyse your learning needs to ensure knowledge and skills as a commissioner for wellbeing are developed and maintained
  • understand the use of data sources, research, networks, learning opportunities and support in developing and maintaining up to date knowledge and skills for commissioning
  • agree a professional/personal development plan
  • understand the features of reflective practice and its importance including feedback from those who use services.

The qualification is expected to take between nine and twelve months to complete.

Please contact the training providers (BCE/ Hasca) directly to find out about methods of delivery and further details.

  • Level 5 Certificate in commissioning for wellbeing
    Local authorities and employers can claim back up to £1300 (subject to funds being confirmed) per learner completing the qualification, payable on completion. Find out more about Workforce development funding.
  • Commissioning for wellbeing with a learning disability and autism focus
    This opportunity is fully funded, however is slightly different depending on whether you're a health or social care commissioner. If you're a Health commissioner, the qualification is funded directly by Skills for Care with the learning provider. If you're a social care commissioner, we intend to fund the qualification using a contribution from the Workforce Development Fund (WDF) and a top up from Skills for Care, subject to funds being confirmed. This means the Local Authority will need to pay £1,300 upfront to the learning provider and then claim this back through the WDF on completion of the qualification.

The following endorsed training providers deliver the course:

  • Hasca Ltd - Centre of Excellence - Contact Hasca
  • Bespoke Consultancy and Education Ltd - Endorsed provider - Contact BCE

Halton Borough Council told us: “We’re delighted that Emma has achieved this. She’s helped change the focus of some work from the development of a strategy for ‘consultation’ to a project of co-design focusing on the needs of a specific group and empowering the whole team to redesign pathways and services – this has made a huge difference to our team.”

if you're interested in delivering this qualification email us.  You can read more about the specification of the course here.