Skills for Care

In 2014, The NHS Equality and Diversity Council took action to ensure employees from black and minority ethnic backgrounds have equal access to career opportunities and receive fair treatment in the workplace. This resulted in the development of the NHS WRES.

NHS studies shows that a motivated, included and valued workforce, helps deliver high quality patient care, increased patient satisfaction and better patient safety.

Skills for Care commissioned a scoping review on developing a WRES for Social Care, funded with support from the NHS.

In 2018, Skills for Care held a roundtable event, and invited colleagues from across the sector to talk to about race equality. The subsequent report written by Roger Kline and Karen Linde, provided a base line on the state of progress on race equality in the social care sector. The report highlighted the need to improve understanding across the sector on race equality issues. Similarly with the NHS, they identified a need to take focused action to address the experiences of Black and minoritised ethnic workers.


Phase one

The initial phase of the SC-WRES was launched by a programme group including the Chief Social Worker for Adults, Skills for Care and the Department for Education. The SC-WRES is a process that organisations can use to address, evidence and make progress in race equality. The SC-WRES Standard comprises nine measurable metrics to examine disparities in race equalities.

After consultation with key stakeholders, phase one of the SC-WRES was tested with 18 local authority sites across England. The local authorities collected data, evaluating their internal policies, process, systems and data against the SC-WRES Metrics. The test sites are also encouraged to engage directly with their workers; to promote anti-racist and anti-discriminatory practice, create safe spaces and will also examine the accuracy of the data that they collect.

The data collected by each test site covers:

  • percentage of staff from ethnic minorities across pay bands compared with the percentage of staff in the rest of the workforce

  • comparative rate of from ethnic minorities being appointed from shortlisting

  • comparative rate of staff from ethnic minorities entering a formal disciplinary process

  • comparative rate of staff from ethnic minorities entering a fitness to practice process

  • comparative rate of staff from ethnic minorities accessing funded non-mandatory CPD

  • percentage of staff from ethnic minorities experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from service users, relatives or the public in last 12 months

  • percentage of staff from ethnic minorities experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse in the last 12 months from managers, colleagues or senior staff

  • comparative rate of employees from ethnic minorities leaving the organisation during the last year 

  • composition of the organisations’ senior management.

The individual local authority data return was submitted to Skills for Care and a report was generated which compiled data from across the 18 test sites, identifying themes and trends. Organisations will be able to demonstrate progress against the nine metrics. There are further measurements planned which will indicate whether action plans are achieving better race equality for staff.

The SC-WRES is committed to sharing the findings of all organisations who have committed to it so that good practice is disseminated.