Who we are?

We are 7 organisations located across the UK and Ireland who believe people accessing care and support should have quality care, control, protection and increased quality of life.

We work together to effect positive change through improvement of practice, workforce development and regulation in social care, social work and early years.

Strong Partnership

We work together across the UK and Ireland to support dynamic workforce development and effective regulation in social care, social work and early years.

Some of our partners are also Skills Councils.

Please see below for further information on specific work on skills and benchmarking.



National Benchmark standards
Partners work together with employers, policy makers, learning providers and all sizes of employer – from large firms to micro-businesses and individual employers, to support the development of a skilled workforce through National Occupational Standards, apprenticeships and signposting a whole range of learning opportunities
Sharing Good Practice
Alliance Partners
Oonagh-Smyth-Main-Colour- SfCD
Oonagh Smyth
CEO, Skills for Care
Sue Evans
CEO, Social Care Wales
Lorraine Gray
CEO, Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)
Patricia Higgins
CEO, Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC)
Neil Leitch
CEO, Early Years Alliance
ColumConway_White Background_Square_02
Colum Conway
CEO, Social Work England
Sheila Black Brown gif 2
Sheila McClelland
What we do

We work together to increase opportunities to share good practice, support our peers as critical friends, develop shared resources and increase our knowledge.

We work together for:

Increased capacity in the workforce, to meet population needs

Increased skills and capabilities in the workforce

Increased use of regulation insights to inform workforce development

Improved social care, social work and early years status

New free resourceChildren’s Anti-trafficking and anti-slavery Training Framework

SfCD supported the development of this framework with Dr Ruth Van Dyke at St Mary’s University.

Please take a look and distribute to your contacts.

National Occupational Standards (NOS) are developed collaboratively by our partner organisations- NI Social Care Council, Scottish Social Services Council, Skills for Care and Social Care Wales together with social care employers. These are standards of practice that people must achieve when working in certain social service roles and include knowledge and understanding linked to that role.

Principles for Learning and Assessment

SfCD partners adhere to shared principles for learning and qualifications in the care sector across the UK.  The principles demonstrate how working as a partnership enhances the work of SfCD partners.

For agreed principles and approaches to assessment within qualifications

Careers in Care

Care is one of the fastest growing areas of employment in the UK, with more and more people needing our services. Never before have there been so many great career opportunities. If you want to discover whether a job in social care is for you visit our A Question of Care: A career for you site. This is an interactive video challenge to help you to see what a career in care is really like.

Or visit our Partners Careers sites:

Northern Ireland Social Care Council

Scottish Social Services Council 

Social Care Wales

Skills for Care

Please see out latest podcast on the use of situational judgement tests for values-based assessments and candidate self-selection in the care sector.

Regulation and Transferability of qualifications across the four national partners
If you want to work in a different country to the one where you gained your qualification we strongly recommend you contact the regulatory body in the country where you want to work to confirm requirements. Links to the national partners are below.

The economic value of the social care sector Commissioned by Skills for Care & Development and produced by ICF Consulting Limited, this report shows that the adult social care sector in the UK contributes £46.2 billion to the economy so it is a sector that matters enormously to the UK economy.

It represents 6% of total employment and the average earnings are £17,300. The average full time equivalent worker generated £19,700 of value towards the economy.

The report shares the economic impact of a growing sector offering services in 45,000 sites across the UK in 1.8 million job roles.

Separate reports for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have also been published.

You can also find each Country Workforce Data sites below:

Scottish Social Services Council 

Social Care Wales

Skills for Care