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How using data can support retention of the social care workforce

Skills for Care shares how using the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) can support social care managers with their staff retention.

ASC-WDS is the leading source of intelligence about the adult social care workforce in England, and is managed by Skills for Care.

The data is collected from social care providers who input their workforce data. The vital insights gained from this is only possible thanks to the 20,000 providers currently using the service.


Skills for Care uses this data to create workforce intelligence which plays a huge part in shaping the sector and is 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.

The service also has many direct and practical benefits for social care managers in how they manage their team and service, including helping them to understand their current workforce to support workforce planning. ASC-WDS provides access to funding for training and qualifications, safe and free management of staff and training records and the ability to benchmark against similar providers.  From November, ASC-WDS account holders will also gain special offers and discounts across Skills for Care’s products and services.

The sector is facing many challenges with recruitment, and forecasts project that for the sector to grow proportionately to the population aged 65+, we’ll need almost half a million more jobs in social care by 2035. With this in mind, it’s vital that we not only attract new people into the sector, but that we retain them too. This is how using ASC-WDS can help you to do that.

Invest in staff learning and development

In a previous study from Skills for Care, 94% of social care employers told us they had seen a positive impact on staff retention through investing in learning and development. Our data also shows that turnover rates are 8.1% lower when care workers receive training.

Providing ongoing professional development for your team is key because it makes staff feel valued, which increases their motivation, dedication, and job satisfaction.

ASC-WDS is a great solution for staying on-top of staff training needs, as it allows you to store all training records in one place and define mandatory training for each job role. You’ll even get an alert when training is set to expire.

ASC-WDS users can also gain access to exclusive 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 the Workforce Development Fund (WDF).

Compare yourself on key workforce metrics

The benchmarking functionality available in ASC-WDS enables providers to compare their organisation to similar local providers.

You can see where you rank in workforce metrics for pay, turnover, sickness, and staff qualifications. This insight provides a useful yard stick to evaluate your organisation against competitors. It could be used to make changes within your organisation which could impact on your retention rates.

This benchmarking functionality is currently available for CQC regulated care homes with nursing, care homes without nursing, and domiciliary care providers, though Skills for Care are working to make this available for other types of care provider in the future.

Shape the sector for the better

The benefits of ASC-WDS extend beyond your individual organisation.

By inputting your workforce data in the system, you help to provide the Government, local authorities, and policy makers with a true picture of the sector and highlight the areas that most need support.

By contributing to the voice of the sector, you can help provide decision makers with access to accurate information and evidence. This data can help to inform the decisions and policies which contribute to investment and support within the sector, and job satisfaction among the workforce.

Through providing your data you can aim to play a part in providing insights which can help to improve the sector for those who work in it and those who need care and support.

Find out more about ASC-WDS and sign up.

Discover more information and advice about retention with Skills for Care’s #RetainToGain spotlight.

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