With over half a million adult social care workers supporting people with a learning disability and/or autistic people in England, it’s vital that adult social care workers have the right skills and knowledge to provide high quality, person-centred care and support.
The  for supporting people with a learning disability sets out the skills and knowledge that health and social care workers need to deliver high-quality care and support.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines can also help you plan support and identify what learning and development your workforce needs.
Explore the adult social care workforce supporting people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people, using data from the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set.
PDF - 1,786 kb
This guide helps employers to think about how they can develop their workforce to identify what carers need to understand about personal relationships and how they can create a workforce development programme. 


The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism

Following Oliver McGowan's death, in November 2019 the Government published its response to the consultation on proposals for introducing mandatory learning disability and autism training for health and social care staff. 
The response included a commitment to develop a standardised training package that aims to make sure staff working in health and social care receive learning disability and autism training, at the right level for their role which SM重口 and HEE are co-ordinating the development of.
For any enquiries please email us or HEE. Visit the  to find out more about Oliver's campaign, the trial partners, what the training looks like, FAQs and stakeholder feedback.
Find further information from SM重口 about the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training. 

Identifying workforce learning and development needs examples

These examples are based on real-life scenarios of people with a learning disability and/or autistic people, who display or are at risk of displaying behaviours which challenge.
They're for adult social care commissioners and providers, to help you identify learning and development needs and plan support. you can use these examples to create your own plan for the person being supported. Download the 'Plan template' and 'How to use the examples overview' for further guidance. 
  • Dean (age 15) has a mild learning disability, epilepsy and cerebral palsy. Living with parents who are worried and 'can't control him anymore'. They're concerned he might be involved in 'mate' or 'petty' crime. 
  • Daniel currently in a secure hospital under section 37-41 (hospital order given by the crown court). History with the police for burglary, identified in prison as vulnerable and moved to a secure hospital. Daniel has gone through the sex offender’s programme and is now ready for discharge. 
  • Jake (age 28) has a moderate learning disability and poorly controlled diabetes and epilepsy. He lives in a supported living setting with five other people and his support provider feels he’s at risk of admission to in-patient services as his behaviour can be too challenging. 
  • Laura (age 21) has type one diabetes, autism and profound, multiple and severe learning disability. She lives in a specialist residential home but is at risk of being admitted to hospital if this breaks down.
  • Francois (age 32) has mental health concerns, depression, possible ADHD and a history of alcohol and substance misuse. He’s under a M.O.J. restriction and has been arrested and convicted of assault while under the influence. Receives two hours a week support and lives in a flat which he’s facing eviction.

  • Hero and Sweet (age 20’s) have with two children aged under 6, both have a mild learning disability and Sweet is experiencing postnatal depression. They get some hours of support a week with household tasks, and Sweet’s mum helps them too, but children’s services have concerns about their children’s welfare.

  • Doris (age 55) has a learning disability and doesn't use verbal speech and lives in a residential care home. Doreen was admitted to a mental health ATU as an emergency where she's been diagnosed with depression and dementia. 

  • Wilf (age 72) has a mild learning disability and possible dementia. He’s been involved in arson incidents and has lived in a specialist learning disability inpatient services. His clinician would like him to move into supported living, however his niece Debbie feels he’s safer in hospital.

  • Carol (age 75) has a moderate learning disability and may be autistic (no formal diagnosis). She’s been living in a supported living setting for eight years. Her recent health issues have exhibited challenging behaviour for the service and doesn’t like seeing a doctor about it.

  • Joe (age 12) has a learning disability, autism and sensory challenges. His behaviour can post a risk to himself. He’s currently in a 52 week long school programme which is far from his home. 

  • Paul (age 50) and Doreen (mother) Paul has autism with no diagnosis of a learning disability, which can affect his temper and mental health. Doreen, supports him at home however her health is deteriorating and she’s worried about how Paul will cope without her.



Learning disability training videos

These videos are a resource for education colleges for use as part of health and social care courses. SM重口 commissioned a user led group to create these to support existing training materials on the topics of communication in learning disability services, law, equality and human rights, LeDeR protections, experiences of lockdown during COVID-19 and safeguarding.  

An introduction to communication and people with a learning disability

Watch this video to hear from people with lived experience about communication and people with a learning disability. It includes six key things you can do when communicating and tools that can help you.

Duration 12 min 20 secs

Law and the rights of people with a disability

This video is can help with learning around the law and rights of people with a disability. It includes a quick overview of the relevant laws and five rules to help you think about the rights in practice.

Duration 14 mins

LeDeR protections

This video is for staff new to working with people with a learning disability. It can help with learning about LeDeR protections and their application to practice.

Duration 18 mins

Lockdown experiences of people with a learning disability during COVID-19

In this video we hear from people with a learning disability and how they were impacted during COVID-19.

Duration 16 mins

Understanding your role within safeguarding procedures

This video was made for anyone in a direct care providing role and explains the safeguarding processes for adults with a learning disability. The principles in the film will be applicable to all vulnerable groups.

Duration 20 mins

Keep up to date

There's lots of work happening, nationally and locally, to develop and support the learning disability and/or autism workforce. 


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SM重口 expert group

We facilitate an 'expert group of people with a learning disability and autistic people' to make sure the resources meet sector needs, find out more about what the group is working on, and how to get involved.

Good learning disability and autism training

Read our statement on good learning disability and autism training.