In this guest blog Skills for Care shares how the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) can help you in 2022 and new features that have recently been added to the service.
The Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) is the leading source of workforce intelligence for the adult social care workforce in England.
We officially celebrated the launch of ASC-WDS in November 2021, but in fact we have been helping adult social care providers to manage their workforce data for over 15 years, and we currently have 20,000 providers using the service.
ASC-WDS is a free online service which helps adult social care providers to manage data about their workforce including training records, qualifications, job roles, demographical information, and more. It provides tools and benefits for employers to use in their workplace and collects crucial data about the adult social care workforce.
Skills for Care uses this data to create workforce intelligence which plays a huge part in shaping the sector. It’s used by key sector leaders including the Government, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), and local authorities to guide decision-making, policy, and planning.
If you’re already signed-up to ASC-WDS or thinking about joining up, find out more about how our service can help you in 2022.
Access exclusive resources and discounts
The recently launched ASC-WDS Benefits Bundle means all new and existing ASC-WDS account holders now also gain special offers and discounts across Skills for Care’s products and services, including 10% off all items in our bookshop and our e-learning modules.
Some Skills for Care’s endorsed training providers have added their support to the ASC-WDS Benefits Bundle. Users can claim exclusive discounts such as 50% activity provision qualifications with NAPA, or buy two training courses and get a third free with Coleman Training and Consultancy.
Managing training needs
ASC-WDS is a great way to help you stay on top of staff training needs. You can store all training records in one place and set mandatory training for each job role. You’ll be alerted when any training is set to expire so you can ensure refresher training is undertaken in time.
ASC-WDS users also gain access to free training programmes, such as the ‘Rapid induction programme’ which supports new entrants into care to gain essential knowledge so that they’re ready to start work.
Additionally, an up-to-date ASC-WDS account means adult social care providers are eligible to claim from the Workforce Development Fund (WDF) which support a wide range of continuous development programmes and qualifications for social care staff at all levels. Employers can claim back contributions toward the cost of the learning or associated costs incurred such as replacement wages.
Perhaps one of the lesser known features of ASC-WDS is the benchmarking function.
ASC-WDS allows CQC regulated care homes and domiciliary care providers to benchmark themselves against other similar providers as well as ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ providers. Benchmarking looks at four key metrics including pay, turnover, sickness, and qualifications – this allows you to compare yourself to other organisations and identify where any changes are needed.
It also allows you to see where you excel compared to other social care providers, so that you can shout about this – for example promoting the fact that you have a low turnover rate when recruiting new staff will show that your organisation is a good place to work.
Having your say
One of the biggest impacts which ASC-WDS has for social care employers, and the sector, is the chance for people working in social care to help create an accurate picture of the sector which highlights key areas where support is needed.
The data that we gain through ASC-WDS is used by our workforce intelligence team to provide vital sector insights and reports, including our ‘State of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ report, analysing key figures including the make-up of the sector, the demographics of the workforce, key trends and future projections.
It’s vital insights like this which are used by the government, DHSC, local authorities and other key decision makers to form policies and aid workforce planning, including decisions around the impacts of COVID-19, Brexit, and current recruitment challenges.