Care Certificate Information

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Why was the Care Certificate introduced?
Following the Francis Inquiry in 2013 which identified serious failures in providing healthcare, Camilla Cavendish reviewed recruitment, learning & development, management and support of healthcare assistants and social care support workers.
The resulting report found that preparation of workers providing care was inconsistent.
The report recommended the development of a Certificate of Fundamental Care – the “Care Certificate”.

What is The Care Certificate?
Developed jointly by Skills for Care, Health Education England and Skills for Health. The Care Certificate:
is the minimum standard that should be covered as part of the induction training of new care workers.
it applies across social care and health
it links to National Occupational Standards and units in various qualifications
it gives workers a good basis from which they can develop their knowledge and caring skills.

The 15 Standards
To be awarded the Care Certificate the person must acquire knowledge and demonstrate competence in all 15 standards.
1.Understand Your Role 10. Health and Safety
2. Your Personal Development 11. Basic Life Support
3. Duty of Care 12. Infection Control
4. Communication 13. Fluids and Nutrition
5. Handling Information 14. Safeguarding Adults
6. Work in a Person Centred Way 15. Safeguarding Children
7. Equality and Diversity
8. Privacy and Dignity
9. Awareness of Mental Health, Dementia and Learning Disability

Who is it for?
For CQC regulated providers, the Care Certificate is expected of care workers joining health and social care since April 2015.
Designed with non-regulated workers in mind, the Care Certificate gives everyone the confidence that workers have the same induction – learning the same skills, knowledge and behaviours to provide compassionate, safe and high quality care and support.
Although the Care Certificate is designed for new staff, it also offers opportunities for existing staff to refresh or improve their knowledge.

It is the new employer’s responsibility to ensure that they are confident in the competences of their workforce.
Supervision of new employees
New employees must be supervised until assessed as competent.
The worker must be in the line of sight of the supervisor who is present to observe tasks and activities and can intervene immediately if required.
Direct supervision should be maintained until the worker is assessed as being safe to leave alone with responsibility for people they support.
This can be done in a phased approach. As each staff meets an individual standard their supervisor may allow them to practice without direct supervision against that standard or particular task.

Assessing Competencies
Before being assessed the new worker should have had time to learn the underpinning knowledge behind the standards and had time to practice under supervision.
An assessor must have thorough understanding, direct experience and be competent in what you are assessing. Different standards may require different assessors.
The assessor is the person responsible for making the decision on whether the standard set out in the Care Certificate has been met.
Full time staff should aim to complete within 3 months. Part time and bank within 6 months or less
Assessment methods
Assessment can be achieved through, but is not limited to;
Naturally-occurring evidence
Planned observations
Discussions
Workbook activities
Producing products (i.e. care plans or a reflective account)
Simulations
Holistic Assessment (covering a number of standards simultaneously)
Assessment Evidence
Assessment evidence can include but is not restricted to:
Observation records
Oral or written answers to questions
Small projects such as poster presentations
Workbook activities
Records of simulated activities
Evidence must be:
Valid – relevant to the standards
Authentic – produced by the learner
Current – sufficiently recent
Reliable – genuinely representative of the learner’s knowledge/skills
Sufficient – meets in full all the requirements of the standards
Competency Records must be completed.
Our 2 Day Care Certificate Programme
Course Content

Day 1 Day 2
1. Understand Your Role 1. Health and Safety
2. Your Personal Development 2. Basic Life Support
3. Duty of Care 3. People Moving & Handling
4. Communication 4. Fluids and Nutrition
5. Handling Information 5. Infection Control
6. Work in a Person Centred Way 6. Safeguarding
7. Equality and Diversity
8. Privacy and Dignity
9. Awareness of Mental Health, Dementia and Learning Disability

The Following information is taken from the Skills for Care site and are Care Certificate FAQ for Health and Social Care Professionals
Question and Answers https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Learning-development/Care-Certificate/FAQs.aspx

These Questions and Answers were produced jointly in partnership with Health Education England, Skills for Care and Skills for Health. They were updated in February 2016 to reflect questions received to all organisations supporting the Care Certificate implementation since these new induction standards were introduced.

Section 1: About the Care Certificate
What is the Care Certificate?
The Care Certificate is the minimum training, supervision and assessment that those staff new to care (health and adult social care) should receive as part of induction.
The Care Certificate is intended to be used at the start of a career in health and social care. It ensure that people joining the sector can receive appropriate training, support and workplace assessment before they start to deliver care out of the line of sight of more experienced workers.
It provides a foundation for those working in healthcare support and social care worker roles in England, ensuring that the new worker is able to provide a compassionate and caring service.
There are fifteen standards that must be completed, involving knowledge learning, practical skills development and workplace assessments. Completion of all standards is required to attain the Care Certificate.
Related Resource: Care Certificate Standards
What does the Care Certificate Cover?
The Care Certificate consists of the following 15 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 Disabilities
10. Safeguarding Adults
11. Safeguarding Children
12. Basic Life Support
13. Health and Safety
14. Handling Information
15. Infection Prevention and Control

Related Resources: Care Certificate Standards, Care Certificate Framework, Self-assessment tool, Mapping document

Why was the Care Certificate introduced?
Following the report of the Francis Inquiry in 2013 which identified serious failures in healthcare provision, Camilla Cavendish was asked by the Secretary of State to review and make recommendations on the recruitment, learning and development, management and support of healthcare assistants and social care support workers, to help ensure that this workforce provided compassionate care.
The resulting report, The Cavendish Review: An Independent Review into Healthcare Assistants and Support Workers in the NHS and Social Care Settings (July 2013) found that preparation of healthcare assistants and social care support workers for their roles providing care was inconsistent. The report recommended development of a Certificate of Fundamental Care – the “Care Certificate”.
Related resources: The Cavendish review: an independent review into healthcare assistants and support workers in the NHS and social care settings, The Francis Enquiry
Does the Care Certificate replace staff induction?
No.

The Care Certificate is part of a structured induction but does not replace all of the learning required for staff induction. As well as the Care Certificate standards new staff will be expected to have information, knowledge and competences specific to the environment in which care will be provided.
For example, new staff may receive induction on how to report accidents, and what to do in case of fire which will be specific to the location in which they work. The Care Certificate programme will not focus on the skills and knowledge needed to work safely and effectively in a particular location. The content of this remains the employer’s responsibility.

Related Resources: Care Certificate Standards, Care Certificate Framework
Is the award of the Care Certificate based only on knowledge?
No, to be awarded the Care Certificate the person must acquire knowledge and demonstrate competence in all 15 standards.
Assessment of knowledge and understanding is prefixed with verbs such as “describe”, “explain”, “define”, “list” or “identify” and can be based upon written or verbal evidence such as a workbook, written questions, case studies or sound files.
Evidence of performance prefixed with words such as “demonstrate”, “take steps to”, “use” or “show” must be undertaken in the workplace during learners’ real work activity and observed by the assessor (unless the use of simulation is specifically allowed). Learners can practice and develop their skills in a classroom or similar setting but most of the assessment evidence must be collected during real work activity.
Related Resources: Care Certificate Standards, Care Certificate Framework
Does the delivery of “mandatory training” exclude the need for the Care Certificate?
No. For those individuals joining with no past training and experience, each employer is likely to run a series of training sessions for their new workers. It is possible that these courses – sometimes referred to as “mandatory training” may cover some content of the Care Certificate.
Since the introduction of the Care Certificate, many employers continue to deliver their mandatory sessions and complement them with additional training, supervision and workplace assessment.
Related Resources: Care Certificate Standards, Care Certificate Framework
Are Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated providers expected to cover the Care Certificate Standards?

Providers regulated by the CQC are expected to ensure that the standards of the Care Certificate are covered in their induction of new staff. Below is an extract from the CQC statement on the Care Certificate:
“CQC expects providers to induct, support and train their staff appropriately. In our guidance for providers on how to meet the regulations, we are explicit about our expectation that those who employ health care support workers and adult social care workers should be able to demonstrate that staff have, or are working towards, the skills set out in the Care Certificate, as the benchmark for staff induction.”
Related resource: CQC statement on the Care Certificate

What resources are available to support the Care Certificate? • The Standards – overview of what is covered by the 15 Standards

• Care Certificate Framework (Assessor) – highlighting what needs to be assessed and how
• Guidance Document – complementing the framework, this guidance explains more about training, support and workplace assessment
• Care Certificate Overview videos – brief introductory videos explaining what the Care Certificate is for 1) new workers and 2) employers
• The Care Certificate Workbook –covering the knowledge learning parts of the 15 induction standards
• Care Certificate Presentations – downloads covering knowledge learning part of the induction standard, excluding Standards 10, 11, 12 and 13
• Self-Assessment Tool – practical resource to support recruitment processes to help identify what past learning may exist
• Mapping Document – practical resource to support recruitment processes showing the overlap between earlier induction programmes and Level 2 and Level 3 Diplomas in Health and Social Care
• Certificate Template – for use by employers to complete once the new worker has completed their Care Certificate induction
• Questions and Answers – this regularly updated questions reflects key points for employers, workers and learning providers
• The Care Certificate and Learning Providers – this statement was issued to protect employers around miscommunications about what the Care Certificate was and how it can be delivered
• Observation Record Template – practical resource to enable assessors to record observations as the new worker progresses through the induction

How long does it take to complete the Care Certificate?

During the piloting of the Care Certificate in 2014, the indication was that for a full-time member of staff, the average amount of time taken to complete the Care Certificate was 12 weeks.
It is likely that employers will find that the time taken to complete the certificate will vary depending upon a range of factors, including; the hours worked by the learner, teaching methods chosen, previous educational achievement, resources and opportunities for assessment, and the availability of assessors.

Section 2: Who should do the Care Certificate?

New Workers, New to Care
The Care Certificate is aimed at the following types of workers joining a health or adult social care organisation without any past training or sector experience.
• Healthcare
o Healthcare Support Workers / Health Care Assistants / Assistant Practitioners / any individual giving support to clinical roles in the NHS where there is any direct contact with patients.
• Adult social care
o Care Assistant / Care Worker / Homecare Worker / Care Support Workers. These workers will be giving direct care in in residential, nursing homes and hospices, home care workers, domiciliary care staff.
Related Resources: Care Certificate Standards, Care Certificate Framework

Should existing staff employed before the Care Certificate was introduced do the Care Certificate?

The Care Certificate is aimed at those new to health and adult social care, with no previous experience. For staff employed before 1 April 2015, they will already have completed the previous training required for induction.

Employers are responsible for judging whether the jobs of individual staff require them to complete extra work to achieve the standards within the Care Certificate. If individuals have the competences and knowledge required for the Care Certificate the employer can choose to credit them with having obtained the Care Certificate.
Related Resources: Care Certificate Mapping Document, Care Certificate Self-Assessment, Care Certificate “Certificate”

Should staff new to an employer but with previous health or adult social care experience do the Care Certificate?
For those joining a health and adult social care organisation with previous experience, it is the new employer’s responsibility to check that the new worker can evidence past learning and identify any outstanding training and assessment needs. In some cases this may mean that the employer will require the individual to complete the Care Certificate.
Related Resources: Care Certificate Mapping Document, Care Certificate Self-Assessment

If someone has Level 2 or Level 3 Diplomas in Health and Social Care should they do the Care Certificate?
The qualification will have covered some but not all of the Care Certificate. Employers should use the Mapping Document and Self-Assessment Tool to identify gaps and arrange any additional training and / or workplace assessment needed.
Related resources: Care Certificate Mapping Document, Care Certificate Self-Assessment
Do temporary workers / bank staff need the Care Certificate?
For Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated providers, they have a duty to assess the training needs of all staff new to their organisation; this applies to agency, bank or directly recruited healthcare support and care workers.
The responsibility of the training and quality of service provided by a temporary worker – whether covering for a number of months or covering one shift – rests entirely with the regulated provider, and not the recruitment agency.
Related Resources: Care Certificate Standards, Care Certificate Framework, Care Certificate Mapping Document, Care Certificate Self-Assessment Document
Can the Care Certificate be completed as part of pre-employment training?
The Care Certificate was not developed to be part of pre-employment training. It is the employer’s responsibility to arrange the training, supervision and workplace assessment needed for the Care Certificate.
Related resources: Care Certificate Framework, Care Certificate Guidance Document, Care Certificate and Learning Providers statement, Care Certificate “Certificate”
Is the Care Certificate required to work in health or adult social care in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland?
The Care Certificate was developed for use in health and adult social care in England.
Section 3: Sign Off and Portability
When should the Care Certificate be signed off?
The Care Certificate can be awarded by the employer of any healthcare support or care worker who completes all standards. The Care Certificate should not be signed until the new healthcare support or care worker has completed all 15 of the standards.
It is strongly recommended that the health or adult social care organisation uses the national Care Certificate template. A PDF and Word version is available and the employer can choose to add their own logo onto the latter if they wish. The certificate should be given the health or adult social care worker. The employer may choose to keep a copy of the certificate.
Related resource: Care Certificate “Certificate”
Can learning providers sign the Care Certificate?
No. The health or adult social care employer must take responsibility for final sign off. External learning providers who may have supported the training delivery should not sign and issue the Certificate.
Related resource: Care Certificate “Certificate”
If the Care Certificate was completed at a previous employer, are they not responsible for any training failings of our new worker?
No. If the new workers past training does not appear appropriate to their role, additional training, supervision and workplace assessment should be arranged. If concerns are raised about the quality of past learning, the new employer may wish to repeat some or all of the Care Certificate.
Related resources: Care Certificate Standards, Care Certificate Framework, Care Certificate “Certificate”
Will there be a central register of staff who have been awarded the Care Certificate?
No. There are currently no plans for a national register of healthcare support, care workers or similar.
Each employer is responsible for maintaining their own records. For Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated providers, this is something that may be looked at as part of the inspection process.
For NHS organisations, the successful completion of the certificate should be documented on an employee’s NHS Electronic Staff Record. For adult social care employers, successful completion of the certificate should be documented in the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC). Whilst for the users of this service, this creates a central record, employers are strongly recommended to keep their own evidence.
Related resources: Care Certificate Standards, Care Certificate Framework
Care Certificate “Certificate”, NHS Electronic Staff Records (NHS organisations only), and National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC – adult social care organisations only)
Section 4: Quality Assurance
How is the quality of the Care Certificate assured?
The employer is responsible for assuring the quality of training, supervision and assessment of ability of their healthcare support and care workers.
Providers of care have a duty to ensure that people are safe, and their health and welfare needs are met. They must ensure that their staff are competent to carry out their work and are properly trained, supervised and appraised.
Employers are responsible for assuring the quality of the teaching and assessment of the Care Certificate. It is expected that employers will use the standards to ensure that staff receive the training necessary so that they can develop the knowledge and competences necessary to provide safe and compassionate care of the highest quality.
Possession of the Care Certificate will be one part of the evidence that they may need to make that decision. However, employers will naturally want to understand more about their new workers and what additional training and support may be required.
Related resources: Care Certificate Standards, Care Certificate Framework, Care Certificate Mapping Document, Care Certificate Self-Assessment Tool
Should assessment of the competences specified in the standards be carried out in the workplace?
Assessment strategies differ depending upon which part of the Care Certificate is being undertaken. The guidance document sets out what must be assessed and how it should be assessed.
Most assessment should be within a setting where care is being provided to service users/ patients, and should be completed face to face. More information is contained in the “Care Certificate Framework Assessor Document”. Learners can practice and develop their new skills in a classroom, skills lab or similar setting but the assessment evidence must be collected during real work activity.
Related resources: Care Certificate Framework, Care Certificate Guidance Document
Who can assess whether a worker has achieved the required competences?
The assessment (including observing someone and assessing their competence) must be undertaken by someone who is ‘occupationally competent’, which means someone who has the necessary experience to judge whether the learner has demonstrated the required competences.
The guidance does not specify that someone delivering the training and carrying out assessment needs a specified qualification. The employer must be satisfied that the assessor is competent to assess whether the worker meets the standards of the Care Certificate.
Related resources: Care Certificate Framework, Care Certificate Assessor Guidance
Section 5: Delivery
What is the minimum that should be covered to meet Standard 12 – Basic Life Support?
The minimum that should be covered is practical simulation of Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Further information is available from the following resources:
• Adult basic life support (including CPR learning outcomes)
• Paediatric basic life support
The UK Resuscitation Council also provides an assessment checklist https://www.resus.org.uk/cpr/cpr-skills-assessment/ and an FAQ – https://www.resus.org.uk/faqs/faqs-training-in-cpr-and-aeds/ that addresses questions such as:
• Who can train people in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
• The use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs)
• What qualifications should they hold?
• How should training be delivered?
Where an employer wishes to provide training that goes beyond the minimum requirements for the Care Certificate such as the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) or an Emergency First Aid at Work course, but these components are not necessary in order to meet the requirements of the Care Certificate.
Related resources: Care Certificate Framework, Care Certificate Workbook
Can employers outsource the Care Certificate training, supervision and workplace assessment to learning providers?
The employer is responsible for those new to health and adult social care receiving the training, supervision and workplace assessment to meet the Care Certificate. Learning providers can be assist in this process but the induction process must remain the responsibility of the health or adult social care employer.
The Care Certificate can only be awarded by the employer and they remain responsible for the decision to award it, irrespective of who undertakes the training, supervision or assessment of the certificate.
Related resources: Care Certificate Guidance Document, Care Certificate Framework, Care Certificate and Learning Providers Statement
Can e-learning / workbooks / films be used as part of the Care Certificate training delivery?
Yes, but the Care Certificate cannot be fully achieved through the use of these training approaches.
E-learning, workbooks and films can all be useful approaches to cover some parts of the Care Certificate learning and a mixture of all approaches can be helpful. However, the Care Certificate includes skills that must be assessed in the workplace. The Care Certificate Framework providers further clarity.
Related resources: Care Certificate Framework, Care Certificate Guidance Document, Care Certificate Workbook and Presentations, Care Certificate and Learning Providers statement
What happens if the care we provide means some parts of the Care Certificate cannot be completed?
Some health and adult social care providers may offer services that do not cover the full scope of the Care Certificate. If the worker is unable to complete all the standards and their related assessments successfully, the Care Certificate cannot be awarded.
Related resources: Care Certificate Framework, Care Certificate Guidance Document, Care Certificate “Certificate”
Section 6: Other
How was the Care Certificate tested prior to its launch?
The Care Certificate was field tested with a range of employers across health and social care over the spring and summer of 2014.
The piloting involved 29 organisations and a total of 530 participants, including 16 adult social care providers and a total of 230 participants. A formal evaluation was published in autumn 2014.
Related resource: Care Certificate Pilot Evaluation Report
Can the Care Certificate be used by Individual Employers and Personal Assistants?
Yes. Individual employers wishing to induct their personal assistants using the Care Certificate can do so. As individual employers are not regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the use of the Care Certificate to support the induction of new personal assistants is completely optional.
How much of the Care Certificate training, supervision and workplace assessment can be undertaken by the individual employer may depend on their own training and experience. However, individual employers can use external learning providers to support this process.
Related resources: FAQs about Personal Assistants doing the Care Certificate

The Following information is taken from the Skills for Care site and are Care Certificate FAQ for Adult Social Care Organisations
Additional Questions and Answers https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Learning-development/Care-Certificate/FAQs.aspx
Further to the Questions and Answers produced jointly in partnership with Health Education England, Skills for Health about the Care Certificate for all health and adult social care employers, Skills for Care has produced some additional clarity. This Adult Social Care – Additional FAQ reflects these and acts as an addendum to the joint list.
Is the Care Certificate intended for those working in children’s social care?
No. The Department for Education (DfE) is chiefly responsible for children’s social care. The DfE was not involved in the development of the Care Certificate and are not promoting its use in children social care settings.
Do ancillary support and other non-care workers within adult social care organisations have to do the Care Certificate?
The Care Certificate was not developed to be undertaken in its entirety by all workers within an adult social care organisation.
Roles such as receptionists, porters, cooks, kitchen staff, drivers, cleaners, finance clerks, etc. working within a health or adult social care organisation do not need to complete the Care Certificate.
The employer may deem that some parts of the Care Certificate are relevant to their role (for example, the employer may choose that all their staff undertake Safeguarding Adult and Children awareness training). Likewise, the employer’s own induction is likely to cover important training such as health and safety, assisting and moving, etc. if appropriate to the support staff member’s role.
Related resources: Care Certificate Standards, Care Certificate Framework
Do voluntary workers need the Care Certificate?
This will depend on their experience, role and responsibilities. The role of volunteers within adult social care organisations will vary. Where their duties are very limited, the employer can simply deliver the appropriate points of the Care Certificate alongside other induction training.
If the volunteer undertakes the same scope of duties as any other care worker then the full Care Certificate should be met (if the volunteer is inexperienced and not worked in the health or adult social care sector previously). If the volunteer has previous experience, the organisation should check evidence and assess their competences.
Related resources: Care Certificate Standards, Care Certificate Framework, Care Certificate Mapping Document, Care Certificate Self-Assessment
When recruiting a new care worker, should we always look for a copy of the Care Certificate?
The Care Certificate was only introduced on 01 April 2015. Those working in the sector before this date will most likely not be able to provide a certificate but they should be able to evidence what training and qualifications they have undertaken with previous employers. It is the new employer’s responsibility to ensure that they are confident in the competences of their workforce.
Related resources: Care Certificate Mapping Document, Care Certificate Self-Assessment Tool, Care Certificate “Certificate”
How do domiciliary care agencies assess the competence of those new to the sector?
The workplace assessment parts of the Care Certificate are equally important to those working in the community and homecare as any other health and adult social care service.
Regulated providers are expected to assess the competence of the new care worker before they start delivering care out of line of sight of a more experienced colleague. Sufficient time should be planned to enable the assessor to undertake this important part of the induction process.
Related resources: Care Certificate Framework, Resources for Assessors, Help for Home Care Providers
How do Shared Lives and live in care services assess the competence of those new to the sector?
If the service is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), there will be the expectation that those new to the sector are provided with the appropriate training, supervision and workplace assessment to meet the Care Certificate. Sufficient time must be planned to enable the assessor to undertake this important part of the induction process.
For some services, the care duties required by people needing care and support may be limited. Therefore, in such circumstances, the employer should arrange for the worker to be trained and assessed in all relevant parts of the Care Certificate and document this.
Related resources: Care Certificate Framework, Resources for Assessors, Practical Guidance for Shared Lives Services Delivering the Care Certificate
For Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated adult social care providers, who signs the Care Certificate in the absence of the Registered Manager?
In the absence of the Registered Manager, it is recommended that the employer uses the most senior person (this may vary dependant on size of the care organisation but could include the Responsible Individual, a Director, Registered Nurse, Assistant Manager, Senior Care Worker or Registered Manager of another service within the same company, if relevant).
It would be useful to document alongside the staff record why this person was selected to sign off, with the aim to ask the appointed Registered Manager to counter-sign when they return or a new Registered Manager to sign if the original is replaced.
Related resources: Care Certificate “Certificate”
What can a worker do if they do not believe their induction training meets the Care Certificate standards?
If the care worker is concerned that the training, supervision and assessment is not providing them with the skills and competences needed for the role, they should discuss as a priority with their line manager. The majority of employers will want to support their new worker to have the appropriate skills for the role.
If the care worker has concerns about the appropriate training, supervision and assessment not being provided and unsafe practice exists, they may wish to notify the Care Quality Commission (CQC) or – if the employer is not a regulated provider – the local authority regarding safeguarding concerns.
Related resources: Care Certificate Framework, Care Certificate Guidance Document
Should the focus of staff inductions be limited to just the Care Certificate?
No. Every new member of staff will benefit from an induction that familiarises them with the service and provides the training, support and supervision that is needed for the role they undertake.
Whilst the Care Certificate is the minimum expected of those who are new to the sector, if their duties cover more than the scope of the Care Certificate then this training, support and supervision should be planned too.
If recruiting new workers with previous experience, the employer would be expected to induct them into the service but may customise what is covered in this process. An effective induction can help build trust and confidence leading to higher productivity and the retention of workers.
Related resources: On-going Learning and Development Guide, ACAS Advisory Booklet on Recruitment and Induction
What should adult social care services consider when commissioning out some parts of the Care Certificate delivery?
Responsibly for the quality of the induction of new workers rests entirely with the adult social care service. For regulated services, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will expect the service to internally deliver or commission high quality learning provision. Failure to do so can impact on the quality of care and meeting the CQC Fundamental Standards of Quality and Safety.
Adult social care services commissioning out some parts of the Care Certificate to a learning provider must carefully select these based on their ability to effectively train the care workers. Before commissioning any training, services should review the training materials, understand the experience and qualifications of those delivering the training, follow up references etc.
Related resources: Endorsed Learning Providers, Choosing Workforce Learning, On-going Learning and Development Guide

The Following information is taken from the Skills for Care site and are Care Certificate FAQ about personal assistants (PAs) doing the Care Certificate
https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Learning-development/Care-Certificate/FAQs.aspx
Introduction
The Care Certificate was introduced in April 2015 and is intended to be one part of the induction for healthcare support workers and adult social care workers, including care workers who provide direct care in residential settings, nursing homes and hospices, homecare workers and domiciliary care. The Care Certificate comprises of 15 standards and sets out the learning outcomes, competences and standards of care that healthcare support and adult social care workers are expected to deliver. General information We’ve developed some answers and questions for adult social care organisations and the wider public; these will be regularly revised.
You can download a full set of questions and answers for health and social care professionals here.
And download a full set of questions and answers for the public here.
PA and individual employer specific FAQs
Do PAs have to complete the Care Certificate? A PA does not have to have complete the Care Certificate.
However as an employer you’re responsible for ensuring that your PA(s) have the right skills and knowledge to do their role, and a thorough induction is a key part of this. If you recruit a PA who is new to care you might choose to use the Care Certificate as a basis for your induction, and tailor it to your workplace arrangements and care and support needs.
If you employ a PA with experience they may have already achieved the competencies or completed the standards outlined in the Care Certificate. But it’s good idea, as part of their induction with you, to ask them about their previous experience and training to ensure that they meet your requirements. There’s a selfassessment template to help you do this – download it here. This will help you to decide what further training, if any, might be necessary for the PA.
If you use a service where your PA is employed by a provider who’s regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), rather than yourself, then the CQC expect that those who are new to care will achieve the competencies required by the Care Certificate as part of their induction.
Does a PA performing delegated healthcare tasks have to complete the Care Certificate? The Care Certificate is intended to be part of an induction for staff employed as health care assistants, assistant practitioners, care support workers and those giving support to clinical roles in the NHS where there is any direct contact with patients.
For PAs performing delegated healthcare tasks the Care Certificate is not mandatory but is considered best practice.
Why should a PA complete the Care Certificate? The Care Certificate sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are expected of health and social care workers to ensure they deliver high quality care and support. It’s been developed by the sector and ensures that all new workers are supported when they first start working in care and lots of this knowledge, skills and behaviours will also be relevant to PAs.
Therefore, the Care Certificate (or parts of it) can be used as part of a PA induction which will form the introduction to their career in social care and/or health.
Can a PA complete only part of the Care Certificate? You can use separate standards to form the basis of an induction, but the Care Certificate will only be awarded if all 15 standards are completed and the PA’s skills are deemed proficient in a work place assessment.
Within the workplace assessment the employer must be satisfied their employee meets all standards of the Care Certificate.
What role does an individual employer have in supporting their PA in completing the Care Certificate? An individual employer may wish to judge whether their PA could benefit from completing some or all of the Care Certificate, based on their [the PA’s] skills and training needs.
Employers are responsible for assuring the quality of the teaching and assessment of the Care Certificate. The assessment must be carried out by someone who is ‘occupationally competent’; this is someone who has the necessary experience to judge whether the learner has demonstrated the required competences.
The guidance doesn’t specify that someone delivering the training and carrying out assessment needs a specific qualification. The person who does this could be the individual employer if they’re experienced and have the confidence to assess someone; or another PA could be used if they have sufficient care experience in assessing others. Employers may find the list of National Occupational Standards for assessing learning and development useful when considering the competencies required for assessment.
Where an employer or their existing staff don’t feel confident or competent to assess, they may wish to consider support from: the organisation issuing their budget [if they receive one], a local support organisation or a training provider.
What training and support is available for individual employers who want their staff to undertake the Care Certificate? Individual employers can apply for funding from Skills for Care to cover the cost of care related training for both themselves and their PAs, including the Care Certificate. For more information about the funding go to http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/iefunding.

 

At Compliance Training Solutions we deliver Care Certificate training. This training is just one element of what is required to award the Care Certificate. It is important that employers also follow all the guidance set such as supervision, assessment of competencies, on the job observations….

We have come across several organisations which we feel would benefit from some additional information on assessing competencies, in particular in regards to holistic assessment. 

The following information is taken from the Skills for Care website from the following link https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Learning-development/inducting-staff/care-certificate/Assessing-and-the-Care-Certificate.aspx

Assessing the Care Certificate

Helping you to assess the Care Certificate
To be an assessor you must have a thorough understanding and direct experience in what you’re assessing. This could be a qualification related to the role of assessor but there is no requirement for assessors of the Care Certificate to hold any assessor qualification.
To help you assess and to support you with this role we have created a new online tool Helping you to assess the Care Certificate which will support you through every step of putting a new worker through the Care Certificate. This includes:
the Care Certificate standards
the Care Certificate assessor
assessment of the Care Certificate
quality assurance
resources to support delivery of the Care Certificate
Helping you to assess the Care Certificate
Materials
We’ve also issued guidance to support assessors responsible for making the decision if a care worker has met the 15 standards of the Care Certificate.
We’ve produced a guidance document to help assessors understand the Care Certificate framework.
You can use the self-assessment tool and reflective log with new workers before they start their induction so you can tailor it to their training needs.
Download our assessment plan, observation record and feedback sheet.
Examples of a completed assessment plan, observation record and feedback sheet are also available.
We have also put together six assessment opportunities to help you further with assessing workers on the Care Certificate:

Care Certificate assessment opportunity 1 Accompanying a client to a GP appointment
This will involve the new care worker:
■ Meeting the client at their home ■ Walking with the client to the GP’s ■ Waiting with the client for appointment ■ Accompanying the client to appointment ■ Talking to the GP ■ Making another appointment ■ Walking home with the client ■ Completing case notes
Description of assessment activity
The new care worker is accompanying X to their medication review with the GP. The new care worker has met X several times during induction and will be supporting them regularly in the future. X lives in a flat independently and carers visit him twice a day. X has learning disabilities and suffers with back problems.
The senior care worker is experienced in providing support to people with learning disabilities living in their own accommodation. The senior care worker is regarded as someone who always provides high quality care and who engages with the people being supported in personalised way.
The senior care worker will be going along to X’s GP appointment with X and the new care worker to observe practice and assess for the Care Certificate. X knows the senior care worker well as the senior care worker often supports X with his morning routine. X has given permission for the assessment to take place.
Standard 1: Understand your role – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 1.1c Demonstrate that they are working in accordance with the agreed ways of working with their employer
1.4c Demonstrate behaviours, attitudes and ways of working that can help improve partnership working
Standard 5: Work in a person centred way – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated 5.5b Recognise the signs that an individual is in pain or discomfort. This could include: ■ Verbal reporting from the individual ■ Non-verbal communication ■ Changes in behaviour
5.5c Take appropriate action where there is pain or discomfort. This could include: ■ Re-positioning ■ Reporting to a more senior member of staff ■ Giving prescribed pain relief medication ■ Ensure equipment or medical devices are working properly or in the correct position e.g. wheelchairs, prosthetics, catheter tubes
5.7a Demonstrate that their actions promote person centred values including: ■ Individuality ■ Independence ■ Privacy ■ Partnership ■ Choice ■ Dignity ■ Respect
Standard 6: Communication – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 6.5a Demonstrate the use appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication: Verbal: ■ Tone ■ Volume
Non-verbal: ■ Position/ proximity ■ Eye contact ■ Body language ■ Touch ■ Signs ■ Symbols and pictures ■ Writing ■ Objects of reference ■ Human and technical aids
Communication may take place: ■ Face to face ■ By telephone or text ■ By email, internet or social networks ■ By written reports or letters
Standard 4: Equality and Diversity – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 4.2b Demonstrate interaction with individuals that respects their beliefs, culture, values and preferences
Standard 7: Privacy and Dignity – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 7.2a Demonstrate that their actions maintain the privacy of the individual. This could include: Using appropriate volume to discuss the care and support of an individual Discussing the individual’s care and support in a place where others cannot overhear
7.2b Demonstrate that the privacy and dignity of the individual is maintained at all times being in line with the person’s individual needs and preferences when providing personal care. This could include: ■ Making sure doors, screens or curtains are in the correct position ■ Getting permission before entering someone’s personal space ■ Knocking before entering the room ■ Ensuring any clothing, hospital gowns are positioned correctly ■ The individual is positioned appropriately and the individual is not exposing any part of their body they would not want others to be able to see
7.4a Demonstrate how to support individuals to make informed choices 7.4c Ensure their own personal views do not influence an individual’s own choices or decisions
Standard 14: Handling Information – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 14.1c Demonstrate how to keep records that are up to date, complete, accurate and legible.

 

Care Certificate assessment opportunity 2 Going for a coffee
This will involve the new care worker:
■ Going to the client’s house ■ Helping the client into a wheelchair ■ Walking with the client into town ■ Going to a coffee shop with the client ■ Taking the client home
Description of assessment activity
X has limited mobility and uses a walking frame in the house. X also has a lack of co-ordination. Carers visit X twice a day.
The new care worker will be visiting X for the second time today to accompany them into town and go for a coffee. As the new care worker is in this induction period, the new care worker is accompanied by a more experienced team member who is also able to assess the Care Certificate. X is aware and approves the assessment process.
Standard 1: Understand your role – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 1.1c Demonstrate that they are working in accordance with the agreed ways of working with their employer
Standard 3: Duty of Care – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 3.5d Demonstrate how and when to access support and advice about resolving conflicts
Standard 4: Equality and Diversity – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 4.2b Demonstrate interaction with individuals that respects their beliefs, culture, values and preferences
Standard 5: Work in a person centred way – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated 5.3a Take appropriate steps to remove or minimise the environmental factors causing the discomfort or distress. This could include: ■ Lighting ■ Noise ■ Temperature ■ Unpleasant odours
5.5a Ensure that where individuals have restricted movement or mobility that they are comfortable
5.5c Take appropriate action where there is pain or discomfort. This could include: ■ Re-positioning ■ Reporting to a more senior member of staff ■ Giving prescribed pain relief medication ■ Ensure equipment or medical devices are working properly or in the correct position e.g. wheelchairs, prosthetics, catheter tubes
5.7a Demonstrate that their actions promote person centred values including: ■ Individuality ■ Independence ■ Privacy ■ Partnership ■ Choice ■ Dignity ■ Respect
Standard 6: Communication – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 6.5a Demonstrate the use appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication: Verbal: ■ Tone ■ Volume
Non-verbal: ■ Position/ proximity ■ Eye contact ■ Body language ■ Touch ■ Signs ■ Symbols and pictures ■ Writing ■ Objects of reference ■ Human and technical aids
Communication may take place: ■ Face to face ■ By telephone or text ■ By email, internet or social networks ■ By written reports or letters
Standard 8: Fluids and Nutrition – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 8.2a Ensure drinks are within reach of those that have restrictions on their movement/ mobility
8.3c Ensure that appropriate utensils are available to enable the individual to meet their nutritional needs as independently as possible
Standard 13: Health and Safety – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 13.3c Demonstrate how to move and assist people and objects safely, maintaining the individual’s dignity, and in line with legislation and agreed ways of working
Standard 15: Infection prevention and control – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 15.1b Demonstrate effective hand hygiene

 

Care Certificate assessment opportunity 3 Assisting with dressing
This will involve the new care worker:
■ Going to client’s room ■ Helping client choose her outfit ■ Assisting client with dressing ■ Completing case notes
Description of assessment activity
X lives in a care home. X has arthritis in hands and arms so finds holding items or using fingers very painful and often not possible. The new care worker, is going to support X to get dressed in the morning. The new care worker and X have spent a lot of time together over the last few weeks and X has been supported to get dressed numerous times.
An experienced Care Worker and will be assessing the new care worker’s competence against Care Certificate Standards.
X has granted permission beforehand for the assessment to be observed.
Standard 1: Understand your role – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 1.1c Demonstrate that they are working in accordance with the agreed ways of working with their employer
Standard 3: Duty of Care – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 3.3a Demonstrate how to respond to comments and complaints in line with legislation and agreed ways of working
Standard 5: Work in a person centred way – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated 5.5a Ensure that where individuals have restricted movement or mobility that they are comfortable
5.5c Take appropriate action where there is pain or discomfort. This could include: ■ Re-positioning ■ Reporting to a more senior member of staff ■ Giving prescribed pain relief medication ■ Ensure equipment or medical devices are working properly or in the correct position e.g. wheelchairs, prosthetics, catheter tubes
5.6c Support and encourage individuals own sense of identity and self-esteem
5.7a Demonstrate that their actions promote person centred values including: ■ Individuality ■ Independence ■ Privacy ■ Partnership ■ Choice ■ Dignity ■ Respect
Standard 6: Communication – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 6.5a Demonstrate the use appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication: Verbal: ■ Tone ■ Volume
Non-verbal: ■ Position/ proximity ■ Eye contact ■ Body language ■ Touch ■ Signs ■ Symbols and pictures ■ Writing ■ Objects of reference ■ Human and technical aids
Communication may take place: ■ Face to face ■ By telephone or text ■ By email, internet or social networks ■ By written reports or letters
Standard 7: Privacy and Dignity – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated 7.2b Demonstrate that the privacy and dignity of the individual is maintained at all times being in line with the person’s individual needs and preferences when providing personal care. This could include: ■ Making sure doors, screens or curtains are in the correct position ■ Getting permission before entering someone’s personal space ■ Knocking before entering the room ■ Ensuring any clothing, hospital gowns are positioned correctly ■ The individual is positioned appropriately and the individual is not exposing any part of their body they would not want others to be able to see
7.4a Demonstrate how to support individuals to make informed choices
7.6b Reflect on how their own personal views could restrict the individual’s ability to actively participate in their care
Standard 15: Infection prevention and control – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 15.1b Demonstrate effective hand hygiene

 

Care Certificate assessment opportunity 4 Assisting with meal preparation
This will involve the new care worker:
■ Going to client’ house ■ Preparing client’s meal
Description of assessment activity
A new care worker will be assisting a client, to prepare a meal.
This process has been explained to the client who has agreed to an extra person observing the assessment. The process has also been explained to client’s next of kin, who are also in support of it and see the benefit of new workers’ practice being observed and signed off.
The new care worker will check with X what they would like to eat and support in the preparation of the meal in accordance with the care plan. X will be encouraged to do as much as they can independently. The new care worker will wash their own hands prior to any food preparation and ensure any special utensils are clean and ready for use.
The food and drink will be placed in a position easy for X to access. The new care worker will check any communication devices are in good working order.
Standard 1: Understand your role – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 1.1c Demonstrate that they are working in accordance with the agreed ways of working with their employer
1.4c Demonstrate behaviours, attitudes and ways of working that can help improve partnership working
Standard 4: Equality and Diversity – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 4.2b Demonstrate interaction with individuals that respects their beliefs, culture, values and preferences
Standard 5: Work in a person centred way – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 5.7a Demonstrate that their actions promote person centred values including: ■ Individuality ■ Independence ■ Privacy ■ Partnership ■ Choice ■ Dignity ■ Respect
Standard 6: Communication – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 6.5a Demonstrate the use appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication: Verbal: ■ Tone ■ Volume
Non-verbal: ■ Position/ proximity ■ Eye contact ■ Body language ■ Touch ■ Signs ■ Symbols and pictures ■ Writing ■ Objects of reference ■ Human and technical aids
Communication may take place: ■ Face to face ■ By telephone or text ■ By email, internet or social networks ■ By written reports or letters
6.6a Ensure that any communication aids/ technologies are in order
Standard 7: Privacy and Dignity – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 7.2b Demonstrate that the privacy and dignity of the individual is maintained at all times being in line with the person’s individual needs and preferences when providing personal care. This could include: ■ Making sure doors, screens or curtains are in the correct position ■ Getting permission before entering someone’s personal space ■ Knocking before entering the room ■ Ensuring any clothing, hospital gowns are positioned correctly ■ The individual is positioned appropriately and the individual is not exposing any part of their body they would not want others to be able to see
7.4a Demonstrate how to support individuals to make informed choices
Standard 15: Infection prevention and control – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 15.1b Demonstrate effective hand hygiene

 

 

Care Certificate assessment opportunity 5 Review of Progress
This will involve the new care worker:
■ Reviewing induction with supervisor/assessor ■ Discussing work to date ■ Planning on-going development
Description of assessment activity
The new care worker will review progress to date with the supervisor/assessor. They will reflect on something that has happened during their induction which has enabled them to use some of the learning they have achieved since they have started within their role. They will discuss the way they are to work and where they can refer to for guidance if unsure, and why it is important to work in ways that are agreed with their employer. The new care worker will describe what is meant by ‘duty of care’ and describe how it affects their role.
The new care worker and supervisor/assessor will look at the Care Certificate Standards and identify;
■ What they have completed and ensure it is recorded ■ What is still to achieve
From this they will develop and complete a plan for further assessment.
A discussion should also take place with the new care worker describing how they have had feedback from the people they are supporting and work colleagues, on their work and how it has assisted their development. They will also explain why this feedback is important.
Standard 2: Your personal development – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated 2.1c Explain why feedback from others is important in helping to develop and improve the way they work
2.1d Contribute to drawing up own personal development plan
2.1e Agree a personal development plan
2.2c Describe how a learning activity has improved their own knowledge, skills and understanding
2.2d Describe how reflecting on a situation has improved their own knowledge, skills and understanding
2.2e Describe how feedback from others has developed their own knowledge, skills and understanding
2.2f Demonstrate how to measure their own knowledge, performance and understanding against relevant standards
2.2h Demonstrate how to record progress in relation to their personal development
Standard 3: Duty of Care – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 3.1a Define ‘duty of care’
3.1b Describe how the duty of care affects their own work role
Standard 14: Handling Information – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 14.1c Demonstrate how to keep records that are up to date, complete, accurate and legible

 

Care Certificate assessment opportunity 6 Assisting client with personal hygiene
This will involve the new care worker:
■ Checking the care plan ■ Supporting the client with using the toilet ■ Supporting the client with personal hygiene
Description of assessment activity
The new care worker will check the client’s care plan before supporting the client with personal hygiene and support to use the toilet. The client must agree to the assessment taking place. The new care worker will check with the client they are happy and comfortable and go through what they will be doing. The new care worker will encourage the client to select any clothes, toiletries equipment necessary to perform the tasks. Dignity will be maintained and the client encouraged to do as much for themselves as possible.
The new care worker will ensure they have washed their own hands prior to assisting the client. If the client has time alone in the bathroom the new care worker will knock on the door and wait for a response before entering.
The new care worker will assist the client to wash themselves being mindful of any changes in the client that may require discussion and noting as part of their ‘duty of care’.
When assisting with using the toilet the new care worker will assist the client to dispose of any waste safely and in line with health and safety requirements.
Communication throughout will be respectful.
After assisting the client the new care worker will ensure they are comfortable and leave the environment tidy and as the client wishes. Recording will be made as necessary in the client’s notes.
Standard 1: Understand your role – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 1.2d Demonstrate how to access full and up-to-date details of agreed ways of working that are relevant to their role
1.3a Describe their responsibilities to the individuals they support
1.4c Demonstrate behaviours, attitudes and ways of working that can help improve partnership working.
Standard 4: Equality and Diversity – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 4.2b Demonstrate interaction with individuals that respects their beliefs, culture, values and preferences
Standard 5: Work in a person centred way – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 5.5a Ensure that where individuals have restricted movement or mobility that they are comfortable.
5.5b Recognise the signs that an individual is in pain or discomfort. This could include: ■ Verbal reporting from the individual ■ Non-verbal communication ■ Changes in behaviour
5.5c Take appropriate action where there is pain or discomfort. This could include: ■ Re-positioning ■ Reporting to a more senior member of staff ■ Giving prescribed pain relief medication ■ Ensure equipment or medical devices are working properly or in the correct position e.g. wheelchairs, prosthetics, catheter tubes
5.5d Remove or minimise any environmental factors causing pain or discomfort. These could include: ■ Wet or soiled clothing or bed linen ■ Poorly positioned lighting ■ Noise
5.6b Demonstrate that their own attitudes and behaviours promote emotional and spiritual wellbeing
5.6c Support and encourage individuals own sense of identity and self-esteem
5.7a Demonstrate that their actions promote person centred values including: ■ individuality ■ independence ■ privacy ■ partnership ■ choice ■ dignity ■ respect ■ rights
Standard 6: Communication – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated 6.5a Demonstrate the use appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication: Verbal: ■ Tone ■ Volume
Non-verbal: ■ Position/ proximity ■ Eye contact ■ Body language ■ Touch ■ Signs ■ Symbols and pictures ■ Writing ■ Objects of reference ■ Human and technical aids
Communication may take place: ■ Face to face ■ By telephone or text ■ By email, internet or social networks ■ By written reports or letters
Standard 7: Privacy and Dignity – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 7.2a Demonstrate that their actions maintain the privacy of the individual
7.2b Demonstrate that the privacy and dignity of the individual is maintained at all times being in line with the person’s individual needs and preferences when providing personal care. This could include: ■ Making sure doors, screens or curtains are in the correct position ■ Getting permission before entering someone’s personal space ■ Knocking before entering the room ■ Ensuring any clothing, hospital gowns are positioned correctly ■ The individual is positioned appropriately and the individual is not exposing any part of their body they would not want others to be able to see
7.2d Report any concerns they have to the relevant person. This could include: ■ Senior member of staff ■ Carer ■ Family member
7.4a Demonstrate how to support individuals to make informed choices
7.4b Ensure any risk assessment processes are used to support the right of individuals to make their own decisions
7.4c Ensure their own personal views do not influence an individual’s own choices or decisions
Standard 10: Safeguarding Adults – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 10.1j Demonstrate the importance of ensuring individuals are treated with dignity and respect when providing health and care services
Standard 13: Health and safety – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 13.3c Demonstrate how to move and assist people and objects safely, maintaining the individual’s dignity, and in line with legislation and agreed ways of working
Standard 14: Handling Information – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 14.1c Demonstrate how to keep records that are up to date, complete, accurate and legible
Standard 15: Infection prevention and control – Care Certificate Standards that could be demonstrated: 15.1b Demonstrate effective hand hygiene

Image result for care certificate flow chart

 

The following information has been taken from the skills for health website. This information has useful advice on how to set the standards for frontline staff in regards to the Care Certificate. http://www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/news/blog/item/173-the-care-certificate

The Care Certificate – Setting the standards for frontline care
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16th January 2015
Written by Skills for Health
With the much-anticipated Care Certificate due to commence roll out nationwide in April this year, the healthcare sector is keen to hear more about the progress of this ground-breaking initiative. The background to the project is well-known – in the wake of the Francis Inquiry into the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, Camilla Cavendish was appointed to undertake an independent review of healthcare assistants and support workers across health and social care. Whilst recognising the value of these workers within the sectors, the review also found that the quality of training and support that they received in both health and social care varied greatly between organisations. Cavendish proposed that a ‘Certificate of Fundamental Care’, now known as the Care Certificate, be developed in order to deliver “common training standards across health and social care…written in language that is meaningful to patients and the public”.1
That was July 2013, and since then a partnership was formed led by Health Education England, working closely with Skills for Care and Skills for Health. The partnership’s remit has been to develop the standards and framework for the delivery of the Care Certificate, with guidance from the Department of Health and its Cavendish Governance Assurance Board. The outcome of this unique collaboration – the Care Certificate – looks set to be a first step in integrated health and social care education for these staff, with successful cross sector support and development at its heart.
Building on the Cavendish Review proposals
The Partnership was tasked with delivering a new certificate that would meet a number of different criteria set out in the Cavendish Review proposals, including that the initiative should be:
applicable across health and social care
portable across roles and transferable between employers
And should:
Build upon existing and tested Common Induction Standards (CIS) and National Minimum Training Standards (NMTS)
Work with, and as part of, existing qualifications
Equip people with the skills and knowledge to be able to provide quality care and tests them to be caring
The Care Certificate: the journey
Part of the process of developing the Certificate has been to review existing standards and best practice across both the health and social care sectors to make sure that the very best of current guidance and practice is transferred over to the Care Certificate. Following this, draft materials for the Care Certificate were developed and agreed in April last year and both formal and informal field testing took place since then until September 2014.
Field testing was an essential phase of the Care Certificate development, and the Partnership engaged with a wide range of employers and staff across health and social care in a number of ways. The formal pilot consisted of 29 organisations across health and social care, with a further 85 employers testing the Certificate involving over 1,000 support workers. In addition, 80 organisations and individuals have responded directly to members of the working partnership, and Skills for Care received 155 responses to an online survey specific to the social care sector.
The feedback given during this pilot phase and the comments submitted by employers was broadly positive and indicated that the draft proposals were appropriate in the terms of content and process.
Care Certificate: Partnership key recommendations
After a thorough analysis of the feedback, HEE, Skills for Care and Skills for Health made a number of recommendations which were agreed by the Department of Health Governance Assurance Board and publicly announced in December 2014.
The recommendations from the Partnership will help to shape the content, delivery and implementation of the Care Certificate when it is rolled out across England from March 2015 – from which point it will replace the Common Induction Standards and National Minimum Training Standards for all new starters in health or social care.
A number of key recommendations from the Partnership have been accepted by the Governance Assurance Board and include:
The Care Certificate should be prioritised by employers for “new staff, new to care”.
The Partnership has recommended that the suggested timeframe (12 weeks) for a full time employee to complete the Care Certificate remains as guidance for employers, but part-time support workers and those on low hours contracts may need longer to complete the process
That all employers will need to undertake assessment as prescribed in order for someone to be awarded the Care Certificate. Detailed guidance on assessment will be available from January 2015.
Employers will be responsible for awarding the Care Certificate to individuals that have satisfactorily completed it. A nationally designed template for the Care Certificate will be made available
Quality assurance for the Care Certificate will be the responsibility of employers, and guidance will be produced on how employers can self-quality assure
A national workbook to accompany the Care Certificate will be developed and will be freely available to download and used or be used by employers as reference for developing their own materials
Care Certificate – the 15 Standards
The Care Certificate is based on 15 key standards which individuals will need to complete in order to be awarded:
Understand Your Role
Your personal development
Duty of Care
Equality and diversity
Work in a person centred way
Communication
Privacy and dignity
Fluids and nutrition
Awareness of mental health, dementia and learning disability
Safeguarding adults
Safeguarding children
Basic life support
Health and safety
Handling information
Infection prevention and control
Portability and transferability
Employees and employers will be reassured to that learn that the Care Certificate has been designed with transferability in mind. So, regardless of the setting in which care is delivered by support workers, the fundamental principles of the Care Certificate remain the same. In other words, whether working in an acute hospital setting, a GP surgery or within domiciliary care, the Care Certificate provides employees with an essential understanding of the basic building blocks of care and the skills required to deliver this on the frontline. Once acquired, these “fundamentals of care” will be transferred by individuals between roles.
The Care Certificate does not replace an employer’s induction process, but is a key component of the total induction process, which will naturally vary between organisations to reflect their individual visions, settings and language.
The role of the assessor and the assessment process
Many health and social care organisations will already have robust assessment processes in place to ensure employees are delivering the fundamentals of care to the best standards possible. In this sense, the Care Certificate can be viewed as a way of standardising and formalising this process – and making it easier for all institutions and individuals to reach the high standards needed to ensure patient and service user safety and care.
The vast majority of supervisors in both health and social care settings will be assessing the “fundamentals of care” in their staff on a regular basis and so the role of the manager as an assessor of the Care Certificate for new staff, new to care should be a natural progression from this. The Partnership also envisages that many employers will utilise the standards set out by the new Certificate as a guide for all staff – to ensure that the current and future workforce as a whole is meeting the essential criteria to deliver frontline care. Whilst at the present time there is no requirement for existing staff to complete the Care Certificate it is likely that there will be staff who will be keen to do so and so employers can consider how best to retrospectively award it using review of each workers current experience and practice.
So, how will assessment work? The Partnership has set out that assessment must be within a care setting, in practice and with people who use services and patients. Assessment will be completed face-to-face by an occupationally competent assessor. Ultimately, the employer is responsible and accountable for assuring the quality of the delivery and assessment of the Care Certificate. Certification should be recorded by the employer and where possible, made accessible (for example, recorded on ESR – electronic staff records – in the NHS).
Certification: what does it mean for support workers?
The Care Certificate is a step to meeting the essential standards set out by the Care Quality Commission and there is an “expectation” that it is completed by all new starters in care and that this process is in place by the middle of 2015.
It is important to note that the Care Certificate should be seen as just the start of the journey for those applicable support workers entering the sector within Bands 1-4 – the knowledge and skills required to achieve the Care Certificate’s 15 standards cover the fundamentals of care. This is the first “stepping stone” from which support workers can enter a career pathway, taking advantage of opportunities such as apprenticeships and diplomas.
On completion of the Care Certificate, support workers will be awarded a Certificate. The Care Certificate will be valid and have ongoing relevance throughout an individual’s personal career pathway.
Supporting the roll-out
The launch of a new initiative with such significance to the delivery of frontline care, spanning both the health and social care sector, naturally raises a number of questions for those tasked with its implementation. The need for clarity in terms of delivery was an issue raised by a small number of organisations during the pilot testing and the Partnership has aimed to address this via the creation of a comprehensive series of support materials. These will include a national Workbook, and a range of guidance and supporting materials.
The partner organisations will also be hosting a national event ‘The Learning Exchange’ where pilot sites will be sharing their experience of testing the Care Certificate with colleagues who have responsibility for learning and development. Furthermore, a series of regional events will take place from February to April 2015 for employer education and training leads to help prepare them for the delivery and implementation of the Care Certificate. These sessions will also give employers the opportunity to discuss their plans including delivery, assessment, learning materials etc.
Guidance, documentation and learning materials on the Care Certificate to support employers in preparing for the Care Certificate will be available to download free from the end of January 2015. Visit http://www.skillsforhealth.org.uk, http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk and http://www.hee.nhs.uk. For updates on Twitter, follow or tweet #CareCert.
References:
http://www.gov.uk/government/news
If you have any general enquiries about The Care Certificate please contact us at qualifications@skillsforhealth.org.uk

Further Information

“Person-centred care moves away from professionals deciding what is best for a patient or service user, and places the person at the centre; as an expert of their own experience. The person, and their family where appropriate, becomes an equal partner in the planning of their care and support, ensuring it meets their needs, goals, and outcomes.”
Social Care Institute for Excellence