The adult social care workforce plays a vital role in supporting individuals in their communities. These common core principles have been designed to help ensure that dignity is at the very heart of all they do.

Care workers offer high quality personalised support to a range of individuals, young and old, so they can achieve their aspirations to live independent and fulfilled lives wherever they live. Providing high quality care and support requires care workers to have specific knowledge and skills, which must include a clear commitment to uphold the dignity of all the individuals they work with.

There are many inspirational examples of services where care and support workers place dignity at the very centre of the care and support they provide. But there is always more that everyone who works in the sector - employers, commissioners, volunteers, training providers or care workers and personal assistants can do to continue to champion the need for services to uphold dignity and achieve positive outcomes.

Skills for Care, the sector skills council for the adult social care workforce in England, supports the sector to build the skills, knowledge, attitudes and values of the workforce to deliver personalised care and support. These common core principles for dignity have been created in close collaboration with the sector to make sure they are fit for purpose and reflect the needs, wishes and aspirations of the many individuals who use care and support services.

The seven principles give the workforce - and those who employ and train them - clear guidance and practical tools for understanding how to place dignity at the very heart of quality care and support services.

Skills for Care

Glen Mason
Director for People, Communities and Local Government, Department of Health


These common core principles to support dignity in adult social care were commissioned by the Department of Health in December 2012. Their purpose is to support people involved in the delivery of adult social care services to uphold the dignity of individuals who use services. The principles have been designed to complement and be used alongside existing resources including other Skills for Care common core principles, the Dignity Council’s ‘Dignity Challenge’ and units from the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).

These principles have been developed by Skills for Care, working with the guidance of a number of generous advisors whose expertise, advice and support has been invaluable in shaping their content and design. They have also made a valued contribution to the development of the ‘Stop! Think dignity. Principles to practice’ good practice guides through contributing case studies and quotations. They represent a wide range of organisations and services and we are very grateful for their contributions.

We would like to thank the following:

Bill Mumford, CEO, MacIntyre; Martin Green, CEO, English Community Care Association; Graham Earnshaw, Programme Manager, Department of Health; Jan Burns, Chair, National Dignity Council; Melanie Smith, Service Development Officer, Red Cross; Linda Griffiths, Marc Lyall, Regional Director, Skills for Health; Christine Moyes, Dignity Champion, Prama Care; Jacqui Ramus, Practice Development Manager, St Monica Trust; Gary Kent, Director, New Key; Bernard Wildsmith, Director, Care Learning; Kevin Poulton, Economic Generation Manager, Partners in Care; Richard Pitman, CEO, Compass Disability; Trees Coucke and Alet Veldhuis sTimul; Gillian Moncaster, Dignity Lead Officer, Manchester City Council and Chair North West Dignity Network.