Skills For Health have announced that the new Learning Disabilities Core Skills Training Framework will be available to download soon.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Department of Health has commissioned Skills for Health, Health Education England and Skills for Care to develop a Core Skills Education and Training Framework for the learning disability workforce.

Currently, there are 1.5 million people in the UK living with a learning disability. Ensuring the workforce understand and meet the needs of people with a learning disability is crucial to improving the quality of care they receive and their overall quality of life.

The Learning Disabilities Core Skills Education and Training Framework is a guidance document which will set out the standards for delivery of learning education and training for the learning disability workforce. This framework is being developed in parallel with a similar framework for mental health.


The cross Government response to the Confidential Inquiry into the premature deaths of people with learning disabilities, Transforming care: A national response to Winterbourne View Hospital and the Winterbourne View Concordat emphasises the need for workforce development across the professions and services including guidance for social workers, minimum standards for healthcare support workers and guidance for commissioners on workforce development.

In line with the above, Health Education England, in the most recent Mandate 2014-2015, was assigned the task of working 'together with the Department of Health, providers, clinical leaders, and other partners to improve the skills and capability of the workforce to respond to the needs of people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour.


The framework would be applicable to health and care employers and also to educational organisations which train students who will subsequently be employed in the health and care workforce.

The core skills and knowledge described in the framework will be defined at 3 levels:

Level 1 - knowledge for roles that require general awareness of learning disabilities

Level 2 - knowledge and skills for roles that will have some regular contact with people with a learning disability

Level 3 - knowledge and skills for those working with/caring for people with a learning disability

The framework would describe the core skills and knowledge i.e. that which is common and transferable across different types of service provision. Specialist skills and knowledge will be outside the scope of the framework.

At each level, the framework will set out the expected learning outcomes for delivery of education and training related to the core skills and knowledge. The Framework will include key policy and legal references and be aligned to relevant quality and regulatory standards.

A key benefit of establishing a core skills education and training framework is that as individuals move between roles or organisations, their core training can be recognised to minimise the duplication or repetition of training. 

Examples of practical applications of the framework for employer organisations also include:

  • Identifying key skills and knowledge for roles and teams
  • Planning and designing content of education & training
  • Commissioning of education & training
  • Conducting training needs analysis
  • Supporting performance management processes and the assessment of competence

The framework does not seek to replace existing materials but rather to complement them and articulate the links between. The aim is to provide a common framework of core skills and knowledge promoting higher level of consistency with respect to quality of service provision, and providing the basis of a common language to enable improved collaborative working and joint training across sectors

Skills for Health are asking that you help spread the word of the framework. You can do this by joining their Thunderclap via Twitter and Facebook. By signing up to the Thunderclap you can take part in the Launch on 28th July. Click here to join:

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