This website places cookies on your device to help us improve our service to you. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies statement.

Skip to page content


Creating elearning resources in partnership for health and social care


Explaining what Self-directed Support (SDS) is

Dumfries and Galloway Council approached NES in 2015 with a requirement for an elearning resource about Self-directed support.  Preliminary investigations by NES revealed the existence of two resources, of which the primary one, Foundations for self directed support in Scotland by the excellent Open University, was very detailed, requiring around 50 to 60 hours to complete. 

In consultation with Dumfries and Galloway Council's SDS Team, headed by Rosie Black, Lead Officer, Personalisation Approaches and Lindsay Sim from the Carers Organisation, we agreed that a very basic, jargon-free resource was required to explain the basics of Self-directed support to both health and social care workers and individuals who may require support. 

Self-directed Support legislation was introduced in April 2014 to ensure that local authorities offer individuals in need of social care support four options on how their care and support is delivered.  The overall aim of Self-directed Support is that the individual is empowered to choose support options which meet their own individual outcomes and they have choice, control and flexibility of their social care. 

The resource took around six months to develop from start to finish. We made good use of a storyboard tool to structure ideas and to create a logical sequence.  It was also invaluable as a document to record amendments for our Information Manager, Zena Mulligan who created the resource using Articulate Storyline.  We also had the benefit of members of the SDS Social Care team and external testers to test the resource, some of whom had no knowledge of Self-directed Support.  

The result was a concise, interactive and user-friendly elearning resource that only takes around 15 minutes to complete.  It is based around a supermarket theme with two characters- Jim and Alice.  The user is encouraged to select items in the form of products which suit the identified outcomes for Jim and Alice.  These are then dropped into a shopping basket to reflect the options that are important to each character. 

The resource can be accessed via Learn Pro or via the Social Services Knowledge Scotland portal:

The resource has received very positive feedback around the concept and ease of use. Organisations such as Scottish Care, Inclusion Scotland and Sense Scotland have asked for links to it.  This joint project has been an enjoyable challenge creating a resource for health and social care workers and individuals to help build a deeper awareness of the principles of Self-directed Support.

For more information contact:

Janet McDonald, Self-directed Support (SDS) Knowledge Manager, Digital Group, NHS Education for Scotland (NES), email: or

Annette Thain, Manager of Knowledge-Based Practice, NHS Education for Scotland (NES), email:


shopping basket with products