EASY READ none scary – coronavirus information
Mandatory training for all health and social care workers
Core Capabilities Framework
for Supporting Autistic People
Summary Briefing Paper
Introduction and background
It is estimated that there are over 700,000 autistic people in the UK, equivalent to around
1.1% of the population. Many of these people and their families at one time or another, face
a battle to get the right information, support and care. When skills, knowledge and
understanding are lacking in the public service workforce this can create fundamental
barriers for many autistic people in accessing the services we all need.
In 2009, the Autism Act put a duty on the Government to produce a strategy for autistic
adults. A key duty in the Autism Act statutory guidance is provision of training for all frontline
public service staff, in line with their job role, and developing specialist training for staff in
health and social care.
What is the purpose of the framework?
This 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 all autistic people, including children, young people and adults
and comprises 19 capabilities grouped into 5 Domains. Within the capabilities, there are 3
tiers, each for a particular ‘target audience’:
A. Understanding autism Tier 1 People who require a general understanding of
autism and the support autistic people may need.
Tier 2 People with responsibility for providing care and
support for an autistic person or people, but who
could seek support from others for complex
management or complex decision-making.
Tier 3 Health, social care and other professionals with a
high degree of autonomy, able to provide care
and support in complex situations and/or may
also lead services for autistic people.
B. Personalised support
C. Physical and mental
D. Risk, legislation and
E. Leadership and
Use of the framework 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.
Autism Fwk Briefing Paper 23 Oct 19 2
Who is the framework for?
The framework should be of particular value to:
• Managers in organisations / individual employers
• Service commissioners
• Education and training providers
The framework also enables workers and teams to be clear about the requirements of their
roles (and/or training needs) and can be used by autistic people, friends and carers to better
understand the capabilities they can expect from those providing services.
How was the framework developed?
The framework 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 development was guided by a steering group which included autistic people
and people with autistic family members. The steering group comprised representatives of a
range of stakeholder organisations including voluntary sector organisations, service
commissioners, higher education institutions, regulators, professional bodies and royal
Development of the framework involved coproduction with autistic people of all ages and
their families in a spirit of collaboration and used ideas from engagement events to ensure
co-authorship during every stage of drafting the framework.
What is the impact of the framework?
Autistic people have a right to access good quality healthcare and public services. Autistic
people generally have more health problems than other people and a higher risk of
Health, social care and other public service staff need the capabilities to support and
encourage autistic people to optimise their opportunities and their physical and mental
health. They need to promote and implement reasonable adjustments, remove barriers to
access and enable the needs of autistic people to be met.
Employers, Universities, and care providers in health, social care and other sectors will find
this framework important and helpful in planning their education and training. The aim is for
this framework to become the standard against which service and workforce quality will be
The full framework and an easy read version are available at:
Tips to help during the lockdown
Planning. Break the day up into chunks and plan what you are going to do in each of these chunks of time
Create a routine. Introduce a routine strip to visualise what the day is going to look like. Dependent upon the individual’s level of autism/learning, activities can range from photographs/pictures to text
Simplify things. In times of stress, illness, tiredness, etc understanding often is reduced. You must reduce your communication and demands accordingly, at least for the time being
Help with coronavirus fallout
New Skype service to help with the fallout of the coronavirus situation!
Those affected by Autism often rely on routine and familiarity to help reduce anxieties and fears. To make sense of the world around them. Due to the current coronavirus situation, their world can feel like it’s been turned upside down and given a good shake! Everything has changed; from daily routines to being unable to buy their preferred food. Unfortunately, this can quickly escalate into a crisis.
My son is struggling with his very real fears over the virus. These are intensified due to his learning disability and anxiety difficulties. He loves his Lego but was initially fearful of ordering pieces over the internet in case the goods had the virus on them. He is also fearful for the life of his nearest and dearest. I am working hard on helping him over this difficult time.
To help others, I have introduced a new Skype service. Further details are available via the drop-down menu on my homepage.
This pandemic WILL end. Take this opportunity to deepen your love for one another and to look out for our most vulnerable. Take care and be safe x
Whale Hill Primary School – Middlesbrough
Wow, what an inclusive school!
I have spent the last week at Whale Hill Primary School and have been so impressed by the way that ALL children are valued and respected, regardless of their academic needs or abilities.
The Head Teacher, SENDCo and all teaching staff work with such tenacity to ensure each child receives the right support at the right time.
Whale Hill certainly gets my thumbs up. 🙂
North East Autism Society’s Thornhill Park
I have just spent the week at the North East Autism Society’s Thornhill Park School in Sunderland. It is an independent school for pupils aged four to 19 years. They moved to new premises in Portland Road a few weeks ago and pupils seem to be settling in remarkably well.
I was very impressed with how well staff all knew each individual pupil, not just those in their class. Great school with knowledgeable, caring staff. Thank you, everyone, for making me feel so welcome.