Adult Social Care Digital Skills Passports
Digital resource for adult social care staff to capture their learning and development
In September 2021 the UK Government committed to investing £500 million over multiple years to support the social care workforce, including towards development and upskilling programmes.
The ‘Digital Skills Passport’ forms a key part of DHSC’s (Department of Health and Social Care) training offer to the care workforce; a free digital resource for social care staff to capture their learning and development.
Presently, the adult social care workforce needs to either carry, scan or request copies of completed certificates when changing employers. When certificates are not available, they are often asked to undergo training that they have already completed.
A digital skills passport will help to address issues of portability of staff training and development by providing a permanent and verifiable record of skills, behaviours and achievements that would be accessible to employees, and could be shared with new or potential employers.
DHSC engaged Olive Jar to deliver a Discovery phase that explored widespread appeal, likely acceptance, requirements and barriers for the adoption of such a skills passport, including options for a digital tool that would capture learning and development and make it portable.
For the initial mobilisation, Olive Jar collaborated with DHSC project leads in:
Clarifying project scope, roles and responsibilities, ways of working, problem statements, research plan and strategy.
Promoting and agreeing Agile methods (Scrum and Kanban) and tools (Azure DevOps, Miro, Teams, reetro.app) for ongoing communication and transparency.
Engaging stakeholders (including DHSC, NHS England, Skills for Care, National Care Forum, Care Workers Charity, Care Quality Commission, independent training providers, Local Authorities) in Agile ceremonies; sharing knowledge of activities and outcomes, and gathering feedback and suggestions.
Planning delivery together; breaking down boundaries through open communication.
We recruited relevant samples of users, conducting user research using various techniques (1:1 interviews, workshops, focus groups, and monadic testing on Axure prototypes). A summary of key user needs identified across the three primary user groups was:
Care workers (across varied vocational areas): Viewing, downloading and sharing own training record. Verifying previous training.
Care home and domiciliary care employers: Viewing care workers’ training records. Managing own employees’ records. Verifying training.
Training providers: Managing and verifying past training.
We built personas and related user journeys for these groups, developing and testing concepts for each persona, helping define the minimum viable product (MVP).
The successful Discovery enabled quick identification of user needs and defined MVP, leading to Alpha recommendations and planning, where factors considered included:
User research and concept testing: Going beyond the personas identified during Discovery. Engaging wider stakeholders, identifying sub-personas, ensuring fully-rounded needs and pain points for evolving the MVP.
Technical feasibility: Investigating integration possibilities with existing systems and services, or developing new.
Business analysis: Engaging adult social care digital, operational and transformational leaders; exploring potential dependencies and barriers; refining product backlog, ensuring that prototypes stem from user needs.
Accessibility: Building to WCAG2.1 standard.
Assisted Digital: Providing offline pathways for low digital aptitude or confidence.
Resourcing: Re-engaging the Discovery team and introducing additional disciplines for working proof of concepts.
Looking beyond Alpha: Preparing Private Beta recommendations and plan.