Updated: The CIPFA - ADASS Social Care Budget Assessment Tool


By Paul Carey-Kent, Policy Manager, CIPFA

A year ago CIPFA and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) developed an advisory risk assessment tool for discretionary use by councils with adult social care responsibility. The aim was to check whether unsustainable financial pressures might be faced by the adult social services department. By assessing the extent to which various risk factors apply, the tool gives a broad impression of how challenging it is likely to be to generate future savings. 

The financial pressures faced by social care are, perhaps, better recognised now than they were a year ago – but they haven’t eased, so such a tool remains very relevant as we head into 2017-18.

Moreover, there have been new developments, such as the altered social care precept-raising power and the emergence of STPs, which are very relevant to setting social care budgets. 

The tool has now been enhanced and updated for 2017:

  • Existing questions have been amended, partly in response to feedback on Version 1.
  • New questions have been added to cover new areas.
  • An automated benchmarking version of the tool is available online which not only makes it easier to use provides a quick visual view of the results, but also allows authorities to compare their results with those of other participants. 
It remains the case that the extent of difficulty faced will be a function of the proportion of the (now) 34 questions for which a high risk position is indicated, and the scale and speed of savings required. The aim is to facilitate informed discussion and consideration across finance and social care together of the practical deliverability of budget proposals. 

Online version

Access the online version of the tool here

Please use this version if you can, as the more people use it, the more representative the benchmarking information will become (for the first few authorities the benchmarking will be of limited value, but thanks to them for starting things off). The final average scores of the completed submissions (but not individual council scores) may be publicised on the CIPFA website and in our health newsletter.

PDF version

Download the PDF (106 KB)

Discover more:

You can see Simon Williams (ADASS) and Rob Whiteman (CIPFA) discuss the tool here.

Webchat is available Monday to Friday, 09:00 - 17:00 (excluding UK bank holidays).