The Care Certificate
The new Care Certificate sets a standard for all healthcare assistants
The Care Certificate has started to replace the Common Induction Standards and the National Minimum Training standards for healthcare assistants (HCA) and social care support workers
It has been developed in response to the Cavendish Review, which looked at the recruitment, training and support of HCAs across the NHS after the Francis Report into the failure of care at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust highlighted inconsistencies in the training and management of HCAs.
The Cavendish Review recommended that all HCAs receive the same training, based on best practice, to achieve a 'certificate of fundamental care' before being allowed to care for patients unsupervised.
The government commissioned the health and care sector training bodies, Skills for Health (SfH) and Skills for Care (SfC), plus Health Education England (HEE) which is the NHS education commissioning body, to write the Care Certificate. It was agreed in April 2014, piloted throughout England in NHS and social care organisations, finalised in January 2015 and has been rolling out since April this year.
HEE has written an additional strategy called Talent for Care which describes a vision for the development of NHS healthcare support workers over the next 15 years, and makes the Care Certificate mandatory throughout the NHS.
The Care Certificate consists of 15 units, most of which are adapted from the Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care. These are:
- The HCA role
- Personal development
- Duty of care
- Equality and diversity needs
- Person centred care
- Communication needs
- Need for privacy and dignity
- Fluid and nutrition management
- Awareness of mental health, dementia and learning disability
- Safeguarding adults
- Safeguarding children
- Basic life support
- Health and safety
- Information management
- Infection prevention and control
The Care Certificate relies on employers to implement it in-house, and will not be accredited by any examining body. Assessment will be a combination of written work, workplace observation and basic life support taught by simulation.
How the theoretical work is taught will be down to each organisation: in the NHS it is likely to be taught in the classroom; in social care, workbooks may be used. A lead assessor will assess both elements for each unit with input from peers and teachers.
Each HCA will keep the standards, their written work and all observations in a portfolio. On completion of training, the certificate will be completed by the training provider or care home manager.
A registered social care manager or NHS trust employee will be responsible for signing off all the Care Certificates. Currently, there is no requirement for the assessor to hold a qualification.
- Health Education England - the new Care Certificate
- Skills for Health - Care Certificate
- Skills for Care - Care Certificate
- Download the Talent for Care strategic framework
- Resuscitation Council (UK) training for professionals
- RCN - First steps for health care assistants. The RCN has released a new version of First Steps, its free online learning resource for healthcare assistants.
- Download the Cavendish Review
- Download the Francis Report