Care Certificate Explained

Skills for Care describes the Care Certificate as:

An identified set of standards that health and social care workers adhere to in their daily working life.

Designed with the non-regulated workforce in mind, the Care Certificate gives everyone the confidence that workers have the same introductory skills, knowledge and behaviours to provide compassionate, safe and high quality care and support.

The Care Certificate was developed, as part of the Cavendish Review work, jointly by Skills for Care, Health Education England and Skills for Health. It:

  • Applies across health and social care
  • Links to National Occupational Standards and units in qualifications
  • Covers what is required to be caring, giving workers a good basis from which they can further develop their knowledge and skills.

The Care Certificate is the start of the career journey for these staff groups and is only one element of the training and education that will make them ready to practice within their specific sector.  Although the Care Certificate is designed for new staff, new to care and offers this group of staff their first step on their career ladder, it is also offers opportunities for existing staff to refresh or improve their knowledge.

The Care Certificate sets out explicitly the learning outcomes, competences and standards of care that will be expected in both sectors, ensuring that the HCSW/ASCW is caring, compassionate and provides quality care.

  The Care Certificate standards:
1 Understand Your Role
2 Your Personal Development
3 Duty of Care
4 Equality and Diversity
5 Work in a Person Centred Way
6 Communication
7 Privacy and Dignity
8 Fluids and Nutrition
9 Awareness of Mental Health, Dementia and Learning Disability
10 Safeguarding Adults
11 Safeguarding Children
12 Basic Life Support
13 Health and Safety
14 Handling Information
15 Infection Prevention and Control

Should all our employees complete the certificate?

The only employees that need to complete the certificate are new employees to the health and social care sector.  However you might want to consider putting all your employees through the certificate to help you comply with Regulation 18 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014:

Regulation 18: Staffing

The intention of this regulation is to make sure that providers deploy enough suitably qualified, competent and experienced staff to enable them to meet all other regulatory requirements described in this part of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. To meet the regulation, providers must provide sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced staff to meet the needs of the people using the service at all times and the other regulatory requirements set out in this part of the above regulations. Staff must receive the support, training, professional development, supervision and appraisals that are necessary for them to carry out their role and responsibilities. They should be supported to obtain further qualifications and provide evidence, where required, to the appropriate regulator to show that they meet the professional standards needed to continue to practise.

There have also been significant additions to the old induction standards with the new and updated 15 care certificate standards such as standard 9 & 15 in the table above. 

Expectations for the assessment process are high. Competency statements have to be assessed in the work place by an occupationally competent person.  You won’t get away with a few tick boxes!

Hardly any competencies can be simulated, most have to be assessed through direct observation. Care staff will have to complete a workbook or build portfolio of evidence.  This belongs to them and is transferable. 

Could you prove that current care staff meet the standard?

Registered Managers have a responsibility to ensure that staff are appropriately trained and qualified. They have to justify why they believe that all people involved in delivering care are competent in meeting the Standards.  

If your team was inducted using the old standards can you be 100% confident that they will be able to meet all of the new ones? And more importantly can you prove that they can without them completing the Care Certificate?

It is one thing to have confidence in the competence of your team and possibly another to prove it to a CQC inspection team, who can take regulatory actions if they believe you don’t comply.

If you have well-structured processes for planning, implementing and evaluating care staff training you are probably going to be fine. We recommend that you carry out a review of the training your team has completed to identify training and assessment gaps for each employee and your team(s) as a whole and then organise some targeted development or observation (don’t forget to document in-house training).

Moving Forward

Many providers appear to be deciding that the best (and simplest) way forward is to put all their employees through the Care Certificate as it has been developed Skills for Care, Health Education England and Skills for Health to ensure that new employees have the basic knowledge and skills to effectively complete their role in health and social care. 

For existing employees you don’t have the 12 week time limit, which is required for new employees, so the process doesn’t have to be too disruptive.

The best course of action depends on individual circumstances. The only thing that would definitely be wrong is to assume that existing employees meet the Care Certificate standards because they’ve been doing the job for years. Are you willing to presume that the CQC would accept that as evidence?

How Vision Training could help

We have competent, qualified assessor/trainers who can:

  • Provide necessary Training
  • Assess Workbooks
  • Complete Observations

These skills can be used as separate modules or as a whole Care Certificate package.

E.g. for separate modules we can:

  • Providing training on
    • Dementia
    • Person Centred Support
    • Learning Disabilities
    • Infection Control
  • Assess your employee’s workbooks – You work with you employees to train and observe and we carry out the assessment of the workbooks.
  • Carry out observations of your employees work practices and type up a report.

 Call us for a chat about your potential needs 01642 673255


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