Skills for Care has launched its Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set service (ASC-WDS). The organisation’s workforce intelligence team share with us what the service is, how you can use it, and what benefits it brings to social care employers and the sector.
We’re thrilled to officially launch the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS), which is two years in the making.
Some of you reading this may be thinking, ‘but I already have an account, how can it just be launching?’
Well, ASC-WDS was first introduced with its core functionality two years ago, as a ‘minimum viable product.’ This means that since it went live, we’ve been working on building and improving the service based on the feedback from social care employers who use ASC-WDS. The result is a service which offers valuable tools for providers and now we’re ready to officially launch the service in full.
For those of you who aren’t already familiar with ASC-WDS let us tell you a little bit more about how it works and how it can help you and your teams.
What is ASC-WDS?
ASC-WDS is the leading source of intelligence about the adult social care workforce in England, funded by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
The data collected in ASC-WDS comes from the 20,000 social care providers who are already inputting their workforce data.
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.
How does it benefit social care employers?
The ASC-WDS service brings many practical benefits for social care employers in how they manage their team and service. Providers can use the service as a safe and free place to store important or sensitive information about their staff.
ASC-WDS makes it easy to stay on-top of staff training needs, as it allows you to store all training records in one place and set mandatory training for each job role. When a member of staff’s training is set to expire, you’ll be alerted so you can organise refresher training in plenty of time.
ASC-WDS users also gain access to 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). In 2020-21 funding was provided to support over 18,000 qualifications, learning programmes and digital modules.
ASC-WDS also allows care organisations to benchmark themselves against other similar providers for key metrics including pay, turnover, sickness, and qualifications.
And as at the service’s official launch in November, 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.
Making your voice heard
One of the biggest impacts which ASC-WDS has for social care employers, and the sector, is the chance to have your voice heard and to help us create an accurate picture of the adult social care workforce.
The data that we gain through ASC-WDS is used by our workforce intelligence team to provide vital sector insights and reports, including our recently released ‘State of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ report.
This report analyses key figures including the make-up of the sector, the demographics of the workforce, key trends, future projections, and this year, the impact of COVID-19 on the sector. It tells us that 105,000 staff vacancies are advertised each day, the average turnover rate for care workers is 34% and that we’ll need 490,000 more jobs by 2035 to keep up with the aging population.
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. By providing your data to ASC-WDS you can play a part in shaping the sector and providing insights which show where support and investment is needed for the sector to thrive.