The National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) gathers information about the social care workforce to help employers with workforce planning in England. It also provides sector wide workforce intelligence to support strategic planning in the wider social care sector. In challenging economic times, shifting government policy and changing expectations of those needing care and support are altering the way the social care sector operates. The aim of the NMDS-SC is to provide workforce intelligence relied upon by government, strategic bodies, employers and individuals to make decisions that will improve outcomes for people who use services. The NMDS-SC was developed from 2003 to 2005 by Dr Francis Ward (Kings College London) who conceived the idea and managed it to fruition as Head of Skills Research & Intelligence at Skills for Care working in partnership with the Department of Health, the Department for Education & Skills (now the Department for Children, Schools and Families), the General Social Care Council (GSCC), the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), National Health Service (NHS) National Workforce Projects, the Local Government Association (LGA), the Learning & Skills Council (LSC) and other key stakeholders.