Workforce Development Fund 2016-17

Workforce Development Fund

Care Focus is pleased to announce that we have been awarded the Skills for Care Workforce Development Contract for 2016/17 in the following areas:

Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, Devon, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

In 2016-17, you can claim for units and qualifications completed between 1 January 2016 and 31 March 2017. You can claim WDF towards the cost of course fees (or employer contributions), and associated costs, such as employees’ salaries while they are undertaking training, coaching and mentoring costs, venue costs for the training and wage replacement costs.

We aim to ensure a fair system whereby all have access to the funding application process. Care Focus is contracted to meet specific milestones throughout the year and will therefore, process claims on a first come first served basis initially. The first of these, is at the end of June 2016. However, given the significant reduction to funding this year, it is highly likely that a ‘cap’ on the amount that may be claimed by each organisation, will be implemented.

All funding is discretionary, may be limited and cannot be guaranteed. Please send us your claims as soon as possible to allow us to submit swiftly. The details on this page may be amended later depending on our requirements by Skills for Care or changes to our contract.

If you have any questions contact 01823 274 627 or email



How to submit an application for WDF

Step 1. Ensure you have met the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) criteria

To be eligible for WDF you must meet the following criteria when completing/updating your NMDS-SC:

  • An establishment must fully complete and update an NMDS-SC organisational record after 1 April 2016.
  • The establishment must fully complete individual worker records for a minimum of 90% of its total workforce (this includes any staff who are not care-providing). These must be fully updated after 1 April 2016.

If you require help with accessing your account then please contact the NMDS-SC helpdesk on 0845 873 0129.

Download the guidance below to ensure you meet the above the criteria.

How to complete NMDS-SC to claim WDF

How to check eligibility: To access the report, login to your account at Click on the ‘reports section’ on the left hand side of the screen, scroll down to ‘My Reports’ and click on the link ‘click here to view My Reports’. Scroll down to ‘My Workforce Development Fund NMDS-SC Requirements Report’ and click on ‘run report’.

Step 2. Gather evidence to submit with your application (Unit Summary Sheet or Certificate)

Obtain copies of the unit summary sheets for completed units from your training provider.  These must be signed and dated by the internal verifier after the 1st January 2016.  We can also accept certificates along with a list of the units completed (usually part of the certificate) as evidence. The date on the certificate must be after 1st January 2016.

We also provide blank unit summary sheets (see below) for your training provider to complete to ensure you meet the evidence requirements when applying for this fund.

Blank Single Unit Summary Sheet

Blank Multiple Unit Summary Sheet

Step 3. Complete and Submit Claim Form

If you have not claimed Workforce Development Fund through Care Focus within the last 2 years then please complete the members declaration form below so we can add you as a partner.

Members Declaration Form 2016-17

Please complete the application form below for each batch of units you send to Care Focus.

WDF Claim Form 2016-17

The deadline for submitting WDF 2016-17 applications is the 20th March 2017.

Please do not use forms from previous years as these cannot be accepted by Skills for Care.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s in it for my organisation?

WDF is a contribution towards the cost of completing units and qualifications on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF), meaning you can claim back a proportion of the costs of your workers’ training. Funding is calculated on the credit size of QCF units – £15 per credit.

Below are some examples of what could be claimed:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care (minimum of 46 credits) – up to £690
  • Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care (minimum of 58 credits) – up to £870
  • Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services (minimum of 80 credits) – up to £1200*

*A maximum of 60 credits per learner per funding year can be claimed so qualifications which are larger than 60 credits will need to be claimed over more than one funding year.

You can download a full list of the individual units and table of qualifications covered under the WDF.

List of Acceptable Units for WDF 2016-17

What costs can I claim for?

Employers can make claims for WDF to support the cost of course fees (or employer contributions) and/or for associated costs, such as employees’ salaries while they are undertaking training, coaching and mentoring costs, venue costs for the training and if required backfill (wage replacement costs).

Important: You must ensure that you have records in place to evidence the costs of any funding claims you make. Where associated costs are being claimed these records may contain staff salary information, timesheets, invoices for venue costs etc as appropriate. The overarching principle is that an employer is not making a profit from their employees undertaking training.

What about double funding?

WDF is a contribution to the cost of employees completing vocational qualifications from our list of acceptable units. This funding allows employers to claim from more than one source, for example the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) or the Skills Funding Agency (SFA).

There are some important points to note:

  • Where employers are claiming from more than one source of public funding they must ensure that they do not claim the same cost from more than one source e.g. if the course fee has
    been covered from one source of public funding, it cannot be claimed via WDF.
  • It is an employers’ responsibility to ensure that they do not claim more funding than the cost to them of employees undertaking training but direct costs such as course fees, employees’ salaries and backfill if required (i.e. wage replacement costs) can be included for this fund.
  • Costs must be incurred before WDF is claimed. Employers must ensure that they have records in place to evidence the costs of any funding claim they make.

Can I claim if if the learner has taken out an Advanced Learning Loan?

24+ Advanced Learning Loans are available for learners who are starting courses on or after 1 August 2013. As advanced learning loans are taken out by the learner and WDF is an employer fund, WDF cannot be claimed for advanced learning loans. However an employer can pay towards the cost of training delivery to reduce the amount of loan that the learner has to take out and WDF can be claimed to cover the employer contribution.

Can I use any training provider?

Yes, there are no restrictions on which training provider you use.  If you trying to find a training provider then visit for a list of courses and training providers.

Can I claim if we employ our own assessor and deliver in-house QCF qualifications?

Yes, costs for training delivered in-house can be claimed including registration costs, assessor and other associated costs.

Existing national contract holders with Skills for Care

Note: For large national organisations that hold a WDF contract with Skills for Care, where funding for their establishments is being accessed via the national contract, those establishments are not able to join a local WDF partnership.