DHSC sets out plans for funding adult social care training

Employers, including local authorities, will be able to claim up to £4.5m each towards funding training courses for their staff in 2024-25 but total value of resource will only be revealed in the summer

Colleagues engaged in training session
Photo: Chanelle Malambo/peopleimages.com/AdobeStock

The government has set out some of the details of its new fund for subsidising training for adult social care staff.

Adult social care providers who directly employ care staff, including councils, will be able to claim up to £4.5m each towards training courses for care staff and continuing professional development (CPD) for regulated practitioners in 2024-25.

Though the full value of the adult social care training and development fund will not be revealed until the summer, it will be significantly more resourced than its predecessor, the workforce development fund (WDF), said the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

However, the DHSC original plan to invest £500m in boosting the skills, career development and wellbeing of the adult social care workforce from 2022-25 has been scaled back to spending £250m from 2023-25, of which the new fund is a part.

Funding for care staff training and professionals’ CPD

The funding covers learning undertaken from April 2024 to March 2025 and will be split into two: a care skills element to subsidise training courses for staff in non-regulated roles, such as care workers and registered managers of provider services; and a revalidation element to finance CPD for regulated professionals.

Details of the latter will be announced in the summer and it is not clear as yet whether it will cover CPD for social workers. The DHSC has implied that it will be just for nurses, occupational therapists, nursing associates and allied health professionals, such as physiotherapists and speech and language therapists, working in adult social care.

Setting out the details of the care skills element this week, the DHSC said the fund would provide reimbursements of between £55 and £2,035 for almost 200 specific courses. These cover skills areas such as assessment, commissioning and training other staff; learning about particular conditions or areas of need, such as dementia, learning disabilities, stroke or autism; and general adult care  qualifications at a range of different levels.

Employers, who must be registered with the adult social care workforce data set to access funding, will be able to claim reimbursements through an online claims service, run by the NHS Business Services Authority and launched this summer.

Reimbursements will generally be made following course completions and paid regardless of whether the learner passes or not. They will not be available for course repeats.

Tackling low levels of qualification in sector

The DHSC is providing £53.9m in 2024-25 specifically to support up to 37,000 direct care staff complete a level 2 adult social care certificate, which will be launched in June and will be overseen by Skills for Care.

The certificate is designed to address the issue that, as of March 2023, 54% of adult social care staff did not have a relevant qualification and just 42% of care staff had a qualification at level 2 (equivalent to a good GCSE) or above, down from 49% in March 2018.

It is also aiming to address the lack of consistency in the delivery of the existing care certificate, which leads to staff having to redo training when they change employers.

The DHSC will provide a maximum £1,500 subsidy to each learner who enrols on the level 2 certificate up to March 2025, with the course expected to take about 369 hours to complete.

While it is open to staff who already have a relevant qualification, employers will be encouraged to prioritise those who do not.

The workforce development fund (WDF), which has provided about £11m a year in subsidies for adult social care training courses, will be wound up in 2024-25. Funding is only available to learners who started on or before 31 March 2024 and who receive their certificate of completion by 31 March 2025.

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One Response to DHSC sets out plans for funding adult social care training

  1. Leah April 12, 2024 at 3:11 pm #

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