Skills for Care


The National Minimum Dataset for Social Care (NMDS-SC) is the leading source of key workforce intelligence for the social care sector in England. (NMDS-SC) was designed, built and implemented by Tribal as a bespoke project in partnership with Skills for Care.

The requirement

Skills for Care is part of Skills for Care and Development, a Sector Skills Council. It ensures that England’s population of adult social care workers have the right skills and qualifications, and are working in the right places, to perform their roles effectively. Skills for Care is required to provide accurate and up to date workforce intelligence data covering the social care sector to the Department of Health, as well as for its own use. The required data comes from a wide range of social care providers as well as people who employ their own care and support staff. With government policy changes and evolving expectations of those needing care, quality data is critical in informing training and policy decisions up to the highest level, and in developing tools and resources that meet the sector’s changing workforce development needs. To achieve this requirement, the major strategic task of Skills for Care is to be able to gather the relevant workforce information efficiently, reliably and effectively.

The data needs to paint the current picture at the local, regional and national level, and not be an assembly of disjointed fragments from different points in time. The NMDS-SC is Skills for Care’s online strategic vehicle for achieving this.

Meeting the requirement

Tribal consultants worked in partnership with Skills for Care to understand the requirements of a diverse set of stakeholders - including the Department of Health, the former Department for Education and Skills, the former Commission for Social Care Inspection, the former General Social Care Council, and the former Learning and Skills Council - to ensure that the design of the system was aligned and responsive to their organisational processes. The system spans all 152 Local Authorities in England and gathers information across many of the 48,000+ care providers who offer a social care service, as well as gathering individual skills and qualifications data on many of the 1.5 million workers employed in the adult social care sector.

Tribal provides:

Development services for the original system, plus ongoing change management, including a wide range of reports for establishments and, more recently, flexible and engaging dashboard reports
PRINCE2 project management support
Support services: 2nd level service desk and application support
Service delivery management tied to a Service Level Agreement and using the ITIL framework
Hosting in a Tier-1 data centre to ISO27001 standards
Implementation and training

The benefits

The National Minimum Dataset for Social Care Online is now established as a leading source of robust workforce intelligence for adult social care. It is benefiting employers in the sector by providing consistent and timely workforce data, which allows demonstrably better planning and targeting of resources. More strategically, it provides the ability to benchmark services and to identify long-term planning issues for future social care provision at all levels. It is a flexible and proactive initiative that meets the specific needs of employers and the sector as a whole.

“Skills for Care is not a technology company. Tribal consultants have been able to quickly understand our requirements as stated in a non technical manner and advised, designed and implemented a solution that meets our requirements and offers best value.”

Thea Seville, Head of Strategic Workforce Intelligence

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