Skills for Care

How ASC-WDS is being used locally

23 Oct 2023

3 min read

Skills for Care

  • Skills for Care

Skills for Care’s area colleagues share insights into how the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) is being used by providers in their area.

ASC-WDS has many benefits for employers – from having a safe place to store staff records, to  keeping on top of training, to providing access to the Workforce Development Fund (WDF), and offering a unique opportunity to benchmark your organisation against others.

Importantly, using ASC-WDS also allows social care managers to play their part in contributing to shaping sector insights and policy, and influencing decisions made about the sector by the Government and other stakeholders.

We know that different organisations will use ASC-WDS in different ways and find certain elements of the service most useful.

We spoke to some of our area colleagues to find out more about how care providers and local authorities in their area are using ASC-WDS, to give you inspiration on how you can make sure to get the most out of ASC-WDS.


Matthew Errington, Locality Manager, North West

When promoting ASC-WDS in the areas I cover, the biggest draw for providers is the ability to go on to claim workforce development funding. When looking at the time investment of completing the return versus the amount they can claim, it always entices providers to register for an account. The digital learning modules for managers and cost neutral leadership programmes are always of interest to providers. Quite often managers aren’t aware of the process for how to claim funding and what the funding can be used for, so being able to explain the process and the cap of £2k per worker per year, always helps to bring people in to creating accounts. Also really important to make it clear this only needs to be a return done annually, pressing home its not a massively onerous time commitment.


Emma White, Locality Manager, Eastern

As a locality manager I engage with providers in my area on a regular basis and I always highlight the benefits of having and utilising an ASC-WDS account.

New providers in particular are often very surprised to find out that they can register for an ASC-WDS account and access the many benefits to them as a business, such as free storage for staff records and the use of a training record function.

When I then discuss with them that completion of their ASC-WDS means that they can access workforce development funding they are really pleased that we connected and they have the opportunity to help develop their staff as their business grows.

Even for providers who have used ASC-WDS for a while, it's important to check in during conversations with them to see if they're getting the most from their account because business needs change and so do personnel who may complete the ASC-WDS.

The functions that are available in ASC-WDS are wide ranging and a provider recently told me that being able to benchmark their service against others of the same type in their area was really beneficial when looking at the rate of pay for their care workers, something that they hadn’t utilised before.

Increasingly care providers and managers are recognising that having an ASC-WDS account and completing their data means that they have a voice for the sector, which I feel is one of the most important but often overlooked reasons of all.


Shirley Way, Head of Area, Midlands

When working in the areas we hear about a range of ways that our data is used by social care providers, integrated care systems (ICSs) and local authorities. As an example, earlier this year we heard from a commissioner that data from our Skills for Care workforce intelligence was used within a paper going to their cabinet members to support the proposal to uplift fees for homecare provision. This was a successful proposal, with the data giving evidence on the size of the workforce, the demographics and the issues they face in regard to recruitment and retention.


Find out more about ASC-WDS and sign-up.

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