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The Principles of Workforce Redesign

The Principles of Workforce Redesign were developed from new types of worker learning. The seven principles set out for the key things you need to take account of when changing the way in which your staff work to meet the challenges of personalisation.

The principles recognise that the quality of any service delivered by a social care organisation is directly linked to the skills, knowledge, expertise, values and attitudes of the people who make up the workforce. The principles also recognise that those employees have a significant role to play in any transformation that takes place.

  1. take a whole systems view of organisational changes
  2. recognise how people, organisations and partnerships respond differently to change
  3. nurture champions, innovators and leaders
  4. engage people in the process - acknowledge and value their experience
  5. be aware of the way adults learn
  6. change minds and change systems
  7. develop workforce strategies that support transformation and recognise the shape of resources available in the local community

Using the Principles of Workforce Redesign (November 2011)

In 2008 and 2009 Skills for Care published material on The Principles of Workforce Redesign (above) to support the transformation of services in adult social care and support. This follow up document, with its focus on workforce development and involvement, is a practical guide to help people who are engaged in reshaping services.

It includes a range of tools to help work through change constructively, transforming services to meet the needs and expectations of the people who use them. Its publication is timely, coming during a period when all providers of social care services are facing the dual challenge of reshaping their services and managing significant budget cuts.

"This was a valuable learning experience for the team managers who often do not have the time or opportunity to stop and look objectively at their management role and strategies. The managers found the guidance and tools within the practical guide to Using the Principles of Workforce Redesign particularly useful in helping them to think through how to approach the changes over the past six months. The experience was also enhanced by the use of an external facilitator who was able to challenge any pre-existing assumptions and ways of working within the Local Authority."

Tracie Thomas, Area Operations Manager, West Sussex County Council Adults Services

The practical guide, supporting 'notes and resources' and practical tools can all be downloaded by clicking on the links below:



Light-touch evaluation of the Principles of Workforce Redesign

In January 2012 Skills for Care decided to carry out a light-touch evaluation of its activity around the principles of workforce redesign. The evaluation showed that overall the principles of workforce redesign have been welcomed by employers and that the materials have assisted in boosting confidence (and to a lesser extent, competence) in relation to undertaking workforce remodelling, and have helped inform practice in a range of settings.

To download the full evaluation report please click here.

Case studies

A range of case studies have been developed from the work of employers who have tested Using the Principles of Workforce Redesign which focuses on different aspects of service transformation. These case studies provide useful examples which other employers can learn from when looking at their own workforce remodelling.

  • Overview of key issues arising from the case studies - click here
  • Access Dorset,  a user-led organisation, used the principles to inform some early development work involving all stakeholders. Its focus was on identifying business and funding opportunities that would enable the organisation to secure income to support its work, while at the same time identifying workforce needs.
  • Patricia Rowland Training and Consultancy's work was centred on the delivery of training to managers in small voluntary organisations.
  • West_Sussex Adult Services used the guide to support two specific aspects of their service transformation (a multi disciplinary dementia service and an area helpdesk) The guide was used to ensure the involvement of all of the staff involved in developments, keeping them engaged in the process and feeling positive about the changes.
  • Age UK Milton Keynes also used the guide to work with staff, motivating them and involving them in the changes being made to their services. They remodelled parts of their service to make them more flexible, responding better to the individual needs of their clients.
  • Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council tested the guide on their work to create a service that offered a single point of access for disabled children, young people, and adults with long term needs. This was part of the council's "Aiming Higher" whole service reconfiguration.
  • Although the Two_Counties project was discontinued and as a result there is insufficient material for a case study, there are some learning points from the early stages of the work.


To purchase hard copies of the practical guide for the special offer price of £9.95 (until 31 October 2012) please click on the link below. You will also receive a FREE copy of the 'notes and resources' publication with your purchase.

Click here to purchase hard copies from the Skills for Care bookshop