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Common Core of Skills and Knowledge

The Common Core of Skills and Knowledge for the children's workforce - often referred to as the Common Core - sets out the basic skills and knowledge needed by people whose work (paid or voluntary) brings them into regular contact with children, young people and families. It supports integrated working by contributing to the use of a common language.

The skills and knowledge included in the Common Core have been divided into six key areas:

Common Core of Skills and Knowledge
This PDF document contains the complete set of skills and knowledge required for those working with children, young people and families.

Integrated working factsheets - including a factsheet on the Common Core

How is it used?

The Common Core is used locally in the development of job descriptions, induction; and in the development of training and development provisions. It is also used in workforce development strategies. Examples of its use are given in paragraph 3.9 of Building brighter futures: Next steps for the children's workforce.

It also informs the review and development of National Occupational Standards (NOS) and is embedded in all qualifications that go into the Integrated Qualifications Framework (IQF).


The IQF will be a set of approved qualifications which aims to enable progression, continuing professional development (CPD) and mobility across the children's workforce. Qualifications are now going through IQF processes, which include embedding the Common Core. It is intended that the framework will be populated with qualifications relevant across the workforce by the end of 2010.

For more information, go to the IQF page or to the IQF website.

The Common Core: Children and young people

In 2008, the Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) worked with six groups of children and young people, to explore how the Common Core impacted on their workers. Each group produced a range of resources which are available on the CWDC website.

Further information on the Common Core can also be found on the CWDC website.

Refresh of the Common Core

The 2020 Strategy set out a plan to review the Common Core, looking at the six areas to make sure they are the right ones.  It will also review how to ensure everyone who works with children and young people is aware of, and knows how to use, the areas.

CWDC are leading on this work and expect to complete it by March 2010. As part of this, they will be consulting with as many people as possible (including children, practitioners, parents and carers) for their views.

You can take part in the consultation via the Have your say and make a difference page of the CWDC website.  


Associated documents

Download the contents of this page: docas a Word Document

Last updated on 11/08/2009