Discover NMDS-SC

Adult social care workforce information

The National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) is an online data collection service which collects information on the adult social care workforce in England. It’s the leading source of workforce information for the whole adult social care sector. 

If you’d like a good overview, watch our two minute animation:


Social care employers open accounts and enter worker information into NMDS-SC for a number of reasons. 

What does it tell me?

The NMDS-SC holds adult social care workforce data.  This includes how many workers there are, what types of jobs they do, where they’re based and what sort of service they work in, amongst many other things.   

There are over 22,000 care providing locations and 700,000 worker records registered so far on NMDS-SC. Thanks to our account holders, we have a very accurate picture of what’s happening in our sector.

Who uses it and how?

  • Employers use NMDS-SC to record information about their workers.  They use it to track training records, plan how many workers they need and use it to compare their business to other care providers locally or nationally. Find out more about how employers use NMDS-SC.
  • Government, other strategic bodies and large employers use our anonymised workforce information to make informed decisions about our sector.  Download our infographic to find out more.
  • Everyone who's interested in adult social care data such as Universities, researchers, policymakers, economists and students can access the NMDS-SC data. Find out more about how to access data for non-account holders below.
  • Local authorities use the NMDS-SC to better plan and support the services in their area. Every local authority enters their data into NMDS-SC. You can read more about this below.
  • Skills for Care - we publish a range of reports, shorter briefings and infographics to share what we know about our sector.  You can access those here. Some briefings focus entirely on who uses
    NMDS-SC data and how.  

NMDS-SC Version 2

We are beginning to develop a new version of the NMDS-SC.  The content of the new service will very much mirror the current one, however, it will be designed to be as user-friendly and intuitive as possible addressing the issues that have accumulated in a system that is now 10 years old.  We're using an agile approach to develop the NMDS-SC2 and you can read about this here.    

This discovery report is a summary of the key findings and issues from users about how the new NMDS-SC can best suit their needs and behaviours. This will inform the design and development of the new digital service. Thank you to all our account holders who gave their time and feedback.

The current NMDS-SC will continue to operate throughout 2018/19, with the new improved service available in the spring of 2019. All existing data will be seamlessly transferred behind the scenes and handled within the guidelines as stipulated by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Skills for Care continues to work closely with the Care Quality Commission as we develop the new service and ensure both systems complement each other where possible. 

We will keep you updated on progress. 

If you’re a social care provider who employs care providing staff and would like to register and enter your workers into NMDS-SC you might want to see what's involved in opening and maintaining an account. There are 3 easy steps:

1. Once you've decided NMDS-SC is for you, watch our two minute video on how to register an account.  
2. Visit to register.
3. Once you're approved, you'll want to use our employer checklist and video to get started.

The eguide is the best way to orientate yourself around the system.

The ‘help and guidance’ section of the website is full of useful checklists, guidance documents and webinars to help you make the most out of your account.   Once you've entered all your information you can start using more of the features of the system.

The NMDS-SC helps local authorities gain a clear understanding of the workforce in their local area.

The NMDS-SC workforce profile report can be used to benchmark the sector’s current position and help plan for the future. Local authorities can also access key information and statistics reports to see aggregated information about any of the 152 local authorities in England. 

The bulk upload facility allows local authorities to upload large amounts of workforce data into the NMDS-SC without the need for manual data entry. 

Completing the NMDS-SC is on the Department of Health and Social Care’s required list of local authority data returns. The one stop shop brings together all the help and support you'll need onto one page.   

Even if you’re not a social care employer, you can still access anonymised NMDS-SC information in two ways via:

  • screens called dashboards which sort the data and allow you to view and analyse it, quickly and easily - visit our open access dashboards
  • reports, briefings and infographics giving key information about the adult social care workforce.
  • If you'd like to find out more about dashboards, our video will explain how they work.

Read about the return on investment that employers get from NMDS-SC and how they use the system to inform decisions about their businesses.

If you've already opened an NMDS-SC account and are interested in becoming a case study to share your story with others, please download our case study questions.

Send your answers to

If you prefer to watch and learn about NMDS-SC, we have our own channel on Vimeo which contains useful films, animations and videos.


Our friendly support team is here to help you from the hours of 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. We encourage you to contact them with any queries you may have.  

Our support is free and you can also book tutorials at a time which is convenient to you.  Contact the NMDS-SC support service by calling 0845 873 0129/0113 241 0969 or emailing

Watch our animation which tells you all about the free support available: