Improving Social Care data with user needs

Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set data visual

The brief

The Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) is an online data collection service that covers the adult social care workforce in England.

The data the service collects is vital to the government, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), local authorities and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – helping them plan, fund and monitor the sector.

The service also helps care providers run their business and understand their staff training needs, as well as being able to access valuable funding for staff training.


The previous service (NMDS-SC) was retired in June 2019 and ASC-WDS was developed. Skills for Care needed to ensure that the new service successfully met the needs of their users.

We led the user-centred design of the service from Public Beta into Live in a collaborative, multi-vendor team.


We conducted continuous user research and mini Discoveries into key features and milestones within the service roadmap, such as “helping care providers meet CQC requirements” and “making it easier for care providers to check eligibility for the workforce development fund”.

We conducted 100s of research sessions spanning semi-structured interviews, end-to-end service A/B tests, focus groups and more.

We designed and usability tested multiple clickable prototypes for various features, e.g. “Benchmarks” – a feature enabling care providers to compare themselves against real-time industry benchmarks of pay, staff attrition rate, sickness levels, qualification levels and more.


  • Continuously improving user experience following an agile, user-centred design and delivery approach.
  • Enabled DHSC and regulatory agencies to get a richer picture of Social Care performance.
  • Enabled Care Providers to identify where they need to make improvements against national benchmarks.
  • Ensured successful uptake and adoption of the data set by effectively meeting users’ needs.

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Danielle Hendy
Engagement Executive

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