Skip to main content

How to commission the adult social care workforce

Guide, tool, case studies | May 2010

This guide was developed by the Institute of Public Care (IPC) at Oxford Brookes University for the North West Joint Improvement Partnership. It provides advice, information and examples of good practice for those involved in commissioning adult social care. It can be used as a handbook on the key elements of the commissioning cycle in relation to workforce planning and development, as a travel guide showing you what to look out for, where to go, and who and what to ask, and as a checklist for action and resources.

It takes you around the activities in four quadrants of the commissioning cycle – Analyse, Plan, Do and Review - with the main focus on analysis as the bedrock of the process. At the end of the discussion of each quadrant, key considerations for commissioners are set out and links to other useful resources are provided.

The guide can help with understanding long-term workforce demand and understanding the best approaches and methods for meeting that demand in order to improve services. It can assist in achieving best value by enabling better configuration of services and improved productivity, as well as acting as a lever for pushing up workforce quality. It can also help with shaping the provider market to support the development of a diverse workforce and influencing the market by coordinating and working with stakeholders.