National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) is the leading source of workforce intelligence across the Adult Social Care sector, it is unique in capturing workforce information from local authorities and private, voluntary and independent providers.  

And it captures information on key workforce data such as organisations, roles, working arrangements, qualifications and the demographics of the adult social care sector

The NMDS has become the main adult social care workforce return for local authorities, ensuring that all workforce information is in one place, allowing for clear analysis. Skills for Care have also encouraged other providers to upload and maintain accurate data by offering qualifications funding to members with up to date information.

What does it tell us?

Recently published data from the NMDS shows nationally the majority (82 per cent) of adult social services jobs in 2012 were carried out by female workers and the average age of workers was 47 years. Further the majority (88 per cent) of adult social services jobs in 2012 were carried out by White workers and 12 per cent were carried out by workers from Black and Minority Ethnic groups. These figures help us to understand our future workforce requirements for succession planning, and also to understand how our workforce represents the demographics of our population.

As at September 2012 there were 150,700 jobs in adult social services departments in England which accounted for approximately 8 per cent of all adult social care jobs nationally. Although in general there has been a decrease in adult social services jobs within councils by five per cent from 159,400 jobs in 2011 social worker jobs in adult social services departments have increased marginally (2%).

These statistics show a move towards fewer, highly qualified staff within social services. And when combined with local authorities accounting for such a small percentage of the adult social care workforce, it is crucial we understand the private voluntary and independent sector providers which make up the majority - this is only possible through the continued use and growth of the NMDS.

Understanding and planning for our future workforce as local authorities is crucial to ensure future provision is sustainable, affordable and fit for purpose. We cannot plan for our future workforce unless we understand our current position, which is where the NMDS provides reports and analysis, available freely.

Once we understand our workforce we can match this against our projected population and customer requirements (service user needs), to understand where we will have any gaps or issues to address

The accuracy and strength of the NMDS depends on every organisation providing the most accurate and full information as possible and ADASS wants to encourage all organisations to complete the data as fully as possible.

For further information and support with uploading your information and accessing workforce data visit

Brian Walsh,
Joint Chair,
ADASS Workforce Network
March 2013