Back to information hub

Improving Autism awareness and support

The Autism Act 2009 committed the government to publishing an adult autism strategy to transform services for adults with autism.

What this means for the workforce

Every health or social care service should be ready to provide services to people with autism, or to their families or others who care for them. The Autism skills and knowledge list has been developed to help improve awareness of autism and skills among workers in generic health and social care services.

Autism is a developmental condition that affects communication and interaction, influencing the way a person understands the world around them. The condition affects people in different ways and therefore it is essential that the wider workforce understands the implications of autism and is able to adapt the way they work to maximise the benefits for individuals with autism.

Guides for assessing those with autism and employing and being a personal assistant

Skills for Care and Skills for Health worked with people in need of care and support and carers to co-produce resources to help the social care and health workforce better meet the needs of people who have autism.

How to be a great autistic individual employer

This guide is for autistic individual employers who are employing a personal assistant(s) for themselves or on behalf of an individual with autism. Download how to be a great autistic individual employer.

How to be a great personal assistant for someone with autism

This guide is for personal assistants who are providing care and support for an individual with autism. Download how to be a great personal assistant for someone with autism.

How to do a great assessment for someone who has autism

This guide will be useful to social workers, community care assessors, speech and language therapists, occupational therapist’s and other health professionals, including those who are working to assess people for benefit claims. This guide will provide these workers with the knowledge to undertake assessments in light of specific issues relevant to people who have autism, and has links to other useful resources. The short guide is supported by a video featuring people with lived experience sharing their hints and tips. Download how to do a great assessment for someone with autism.



The Core Capabilities Framework for Supporting Autistic People was commissioned by Health Education England. Project delivery was led by Skills for Health, working in collaboration with Skills for Care, The National Autistic Society and Opening Minds Training & Consultancy Ltd. The framework describes what is required for supporting autistic people in a range of settings, from those who need a basic understanding of autism, to the skills, knowledge and behaviours required of those who are experts and lead services for autistic people. The framework is relevant to those in working in any sector and all staff working across health and social care.

In addition, there is an Advanced Clinical Practice Capabilities Framework which is for Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) and Nursing staff in learning disability and autism services. The AHPs who may have specialist roles when working with people who have a learning disability and/or autism include: Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Dietitians, Arts Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists etc

Both frameworks are available here. Use of the frameworks can support all aspects of workforce development including enabling individuals and organisations to:

  • Identify key capabilities required for a job role, team or service
  • Plan the content of education and training
  • Commission services and/or education and training
  • Support training needs analysis and the assessment of capabilities.

Click here for related sources – To find out about the government autism legislation – how you can support people affected by autism and what action local authorities are taking to implement the act please click here.

Looking to develop your skills and knowledge about autism and related support? Find out more about Skills for Health’s Autism Awareness eLearning course for healthcare professionals and social care workers.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Skills for Health has developed a range of proven products and services to help you develop a more skilled and flexible workforce. If you can’t find the solutions you are looking for here, try browsing the website, using the search function, or get in touch today.

Some policies, strategies and guidance were developed under the previous government .