In this section you will find answers to some frequently asked questions …
(this section will be updated as further useful questions are submitted by Partners)
Are there plans to discontinue WDF because of the Apprenticeship Levy? And where do I find out about this?
The new Apprenticeship Levy is due to come into force on 1st May 2017. The most recent guidance from Skills for Care about all Apprenticeship Funding can be found here.
Skills for Care have awarded WDF contracts to Lead Partners for 2017-18, i.e. this funding stream will continue until March 2018. Partners must keep good records to illustrate that they are not double-funding the qualifications for their employees – see questions below.
Before the end we of 2017-18 we anticipate being able to signpost our WDF Partners to ongoing funding sources, whether that be WDF, Apprenticeship funding or other sources.
Can WDF fund the Care Certificate?
WDF is only claimable for QCF units on the Skills for Care Acceptable Units list. This means that only Care Certificate standards delivered as qualification units by an accredited training provider are eligible for WDF. Care Certificate information enables those who are claiming the Workforce Development Fund to identify a monetary value for each unit.
Can I claim WDF if my training provider offers ‘free’ training?
WDF is a retrospective funding stream to cover costs up to, but not exceeding, the cost of training your employee/s. No profit must be made by claiming WDF. If training is ‘free’ only additional costs incurred can be funded, e.g. backfill/cover/overtime costs while the employee is engaged in the training; cost of using a workforce Assessor to observe a candidate. Records must be kept of costs incurred, and Skills for Care may audit them.
Can I claim funding from elsewhere?
This funding allows employers to claim from more than one source, for example the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) or the Skills Funding Agency (SFA). However, 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.
Can I claim WDF for my childcare employees?
No, WDF is only for employees in the Adult health and social care sector. To date, Skills for Care is not aware of any similar funding available from Department for Education (DfE) which has responsibility for children’s services.
Who can claim WDF?
- All organisations that directly employ adult social care staff are able to claim the funding. This includes hospices, agencies employing social care bank staff, community care services, advocacy services and more. Adult social care employers can claim WDF for volunteers as well as paid employees, and workers recruited from overseas.
- WDF can be claimed for QCF units achieved within an Apprenticeship framework, if criteria are met. No profit must be made by claiming WDF. The Skills for Care website also has information on other funding available for Apprenticeships.
- Individual Employers, for example those who employ Personal Assistants under a Personal Budget arrangement, can claim Individual Employer Funding direct from Skills for Care.
I thought I’d fully completed my NMDS-SC so why am I still ineligible for WDF?
To be eligible for WDF your NMDS must be updated on/after 01.04.16. Information which may assist you …..
If you log into your NMDS account, the left hand menu allows you to select the reports section. Select ‘My WDF/NMDS-SC requirements’ report. This should tell you if your establishment is WDF eligible. If Ineligible, you are advised to check the ‘My workers’ sheet of your NMDS. There is a banner which runs from columns C to T which specifies that these columns are ‘Required Fields for Workforce Development Funding’. Missing data is highlighted in red.
Both the worker records and the establishment records parts of your NMDS must be updated.
If you cannot trigger a ‘Yes’ in the WDF eligibility report when you have tried all this, there is an NMDS helpline on 0845 873 0129.
How to claim WDF
- complete an ARC WDF Claim Form 2016/17 – for each establishment
- attach to this the evidence for the units being submitted (see below)
We have produced a Checklist for common WDF errors for completing claims which may of help.
What Units will WDF Fund / How do I find the list of Acceptable Units?
- The WDF will fund a range of units from the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) only. The QCF units on the list relate to adult social care qualifications Table of health and social care qualifications for England.
- WDF does not fund mandatory training, e.g. Care Certificate. However, these may map across to some of the mandatory units of the health and social care diploma within the QCF. As long as these units are accredited with an awarding organisation then WDF can be claimed.
- Skills for Care produce a list of units Skills for Care List of Acceptable Units – September 16. The list records the unit code in the first column. This is the code that must be recorded for all units being claimed on your evidence documentation, we cannot accept any other codes.
What Evidence do I need to Submit?
A single or multiple unit evidence sheet which contains:
- Candidate name *
- Candidate’s Unique Learner Number (ULN) * (10 digits long) – see below
- Candidate Registration Number/Enrolment Number *
- Unit code and title *, as detailed on the Skills for Care List of Acceptable Units – September 16
- Name of Awarding Body *
- Name of Training Provider *
- Internal Verifier (IQA) signature and date for each unit (1/1/16 – 31/3/17)
- Attach this to a completed ARC WDF Claim Form 2016/17
What is a Unique Learner Number (ULN)?
- A unique learner number is a 10 digit number which is allocated to a learner and will be their’s for life. This links to the personal learning record which is a lifelong, verified record of a learner’s qualification achievements. Learning providers will be able to obtain a ULN for any learner who does not have one.
- WE ARE UNABLE TO CLAIM ANY FUNDING WITHOUT A LEARNER’S ULN BEING SUBMITTED AS PART OF THE EVIDENCE REQUIREMENTS.
Can I submit Certificates as Evidence?
- Yes, as long as all the evidence requirements are recorded – see ‘What Evidence do I need to Submit?” points marked as *. If certificate has invalid unit codes, (e.g. RITS codes) they can be handwritten on, so long as they match the correct title.
How long will it be before I receive a payment?
- We need to allow 20 working days for Skills for Care to process our submissions for funding. Once the money reaches our bank account we will process all approved payments to the organisation’s bank account by BACS transfer.
How much can I get?
- Skills for Care pay £15.00 per credit as long as the units are on Skills for Care List of Acceptable Units – September 16 and they have not previously been funded. Most units are worth between 2 and 6 credits, so you should receive between £30.00 and £90.00 per unit.
How many units can I claim for?
- This year Skills for Care have again set a limit of 60 credits (£900) per learner being submitted in the funding year.
- You can submit one unit or multiple units per claim – do not wait for a completed qualification before making claims
How can I involve my Learning Provider?
- Learning providers are chosen by employers at their own discretion. Skills for Care offer guidance on ‘Choosing your Learning Provider’ Many learning providers provide an excellent service and will be happy to meet your needs, including the provision of evidence to enable you to claim WDF.
- Skills for Care recommends that you have a written agreement with your learning provider to ensure that they can provide what is required. This should include supplying fully completed unit summary sheets (evidence) on a regular basis to enable WDF to be claimed by the employer/organisation directly via their WDF Partnership.
- Learning providers are often helpful in promoting WDF to employers, enabling them to benefit from the funding that is available, but it is also recommended that employers comprehensively read the information on the Skills for Care website about the WDF and contact their WDF partnership directly for the most current information.
- Workforce Development Funding is a retrospective funding stream. Training Providers should charge the employer/organisation/s upfront for the training they provide, the Training Provider then needs to provide employers/organisations with the evidence they need to reclaim the funding directly from their WDF Partnership as learners progress. Hence the need to have a written agreement in place with your Training Provider.
- We are also aware that some learning providers over-promise or mislead employers as to what is available from the WDF. Please contact your WDF partnership for clarification should you have any queries. Any issues between employers and learning providers should be resolved directly between the parties involved.
- All organisations who become Partners with ARC will be communicated with directly and funding will be paid directly by ARC. We should be informed at the point of submitting your Declaration and Partnership details if you have been requested to join our Partnership by your Training Provider.
OUTLINE PROCESS – FIND A TRAINING PROVIDER – UPDATE YOUR NMDS DETAILS (on or after 1st April each year) – JOIN A WDF PARTNERSHIP – LEARNERS ACHIEVE UNITS/QUALIFICATIONS – TRAINING PROVIDERS SUBMIT EVIDENCE TO EMPLOYERS – EMPLOYERS FORWARD WDF CLAIMS TO THEIR WDF PARTNERSHIP
What do I need to do if I wish to change Partnerships?
- Please contact your existing Lead Partner, informing them that you wish to leave and you will not be claiming any further funding through them.
- Your Lead Partner should then contact Skills for Care and inform them of this decision.
- You will need to complete and forward all documentation to your new Lead Partner.
- The new Lead Partner will then send your details to Skills for Care.
We have produced an Amendments to WDF Partnership Details form to enable you to notify us of any changes, including new contact details etc.