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Interest Group on Workforce Development and Human Resources


The EASPD Interest Group on Workforce Development and Human Resources (IG on WD&HR) aims to promote high standards of knowledge, skill and understanding (i.e. competence) within the social care workforce of Europe in general and amongst EASPD members in particular as a means of delivering good quality services. It seeks the development within Europe of a social care workforce which is widely respected, qualified delivering services based on a common foundation of shared principles of care.

Guiding principles
  • Support the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the Disability Action Plan of the Council of Europe, the European Disability Strategy (EDS) and the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom.
  • Recognise that all social care services provided within Europe should be based on a common set of core social care values, for example: rights, social inclusion, choice and independence.
  • Promote the personalisation of services as a means of delivering good quality services based on individual needs, with the person needing support as well as their circle of support at the centre of activity, in line with the principles included in the Voluntary European Quality Framework and the approach of the Social Protection Committee. 
  • Explicitly reject the medical model of disability and embraces the social model of disability, based on a human rights approach.
  • Recognise that a key pre-condition to the development of care and support services based on such principles is the creation of a competent, well trained workforce which is valued by the wider society, which provides career progression possibilities and is based on a reasonable living wage and a recognition of their human rights.
Target Groups
  • Service providers offering all kinds of support services (e.g. day care, employment, residential, community based services) through the use of paid and volunteer staff;
  • Those with responsibility for developing workforce standards in social care; 
  • People and institutions who create and deliver training in social care in the workplace or via formal training programmes;
  • Staff (paid and unpaid) and anyone who provides care (e.g. family members).
Areas of Interest
  • Partnership & Networking – Develop existing and new partnerships with a focus on Human Resource and training policy issues (e.g. the European Care Certificate (ECC) network) and to share experiences on what works well and ways of dealing with common workforce problems.
  • Information and Support – Devise ways of sharing and providing information and support to EASPD members, in particular, for service providers of residential or residential support (through ESF or EU project funding) to help them with workforce matters.
  • The promotion of training  – Providing training opportunities to management, front line staff and others to support the idea of a common set of values in social care across the whole of Europe.
  • Project Development and Research – Develop projects to help improve the quality of the social care workforce, either through direct training programmes or through the creation of shared training outcomes (the Basic European Social Care Learning Outcomes) and transnational training programmes (eg the European Care Certificate) and shared best practice in HR matters (e.g. the recruitment and treatment of ‘foreign’ workers) – all based on CRPD principles.
  • Lobby – Work in partnership with EASPD Board and members and with European, EU and national or local official and policy makers to raise awareness of the workforce issues affecting the development of good quality services, in order to deliver wider European objectives on de-institutionalisation and the personalisation of care services.



"EASPD Report  on the Implications of the EU Working Time Directive on Social Care & Support Services" based on research by Elena Kopcová et al. (2017)
"Care in the 21st century – expanding the social care workforce for people with disabilities" research by Jane Lethbridge (2015)
"Initial research on in-work poverty in the social service provision sector: for EASPD" research by Janis Blackburn (2015)
"Strengthening the workforce for people with disabilities: Initial mapping across Europe" research by Jane Lethbridge (2015)


European Observatory on Human Resources (EOHR)

The Observatory aims to:

  • measure the shortage of staff and workforce development issues in the disability sector, as well as mobility of social sector workers
  • identify and discuss trends in the disability sector workforce with regard to a shift in paradigm towards person-centred services and support
  • serve as an instrument to increase the understanding by the workforce and employers of the 2020 employment strategy
  • develop advice and specific recommendations to service providers and authorities at relevant levels on recruitment strategies, job profiles, training opportunities, job creation and HR trends 


European Care Certificate (ECC)

The ECC has been developed to attest that the holder of the certificate understands the basic knowledge required to work safely in the care sector. It covers the knowledge for workers starting out in the care sector as agreed in the Basic Social Care Learning Outcomes (BESCLO). These learning outcomes can be delivered through work-based training, or through a single short course or as part of a larger and/or longer course. To obtain the Certificate an ECC exam needs to be passed. 

Past Events
  • Roundtable Discussion “Implications of the EU Working Time Directive (WTD) on the European Pillar of Social Rights", European Parliament, 23 November, 2017
  • “Unlocking job creation in the social services sector, the role of the EU?” Seminar at the European Parliament on 28 June, 2016.


Group Structure

Chair: James Churchill, Social Care Training (UK)
Co-Chair: Andreia Moraru, Alpha Transilvana Foundation (Romania)
Co-Chair: Patricia Scherer, NEXEM (France)
Facilitator: Asel Kadyrbaeva, EASPD

Wish to join the IG on WD&HR? Wish to attend our meetings or receive updates about our activities?

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