New certification needed for care workers

Following the Francis Enquiry Camilla Cavendish found that the preparation of healthcare assistants and social care support workers was inconsistent and she recommended the development of the Care Certificate.

As a result, from April 2015, new health and social care workers should be inducted according to the Care Certificate framework. This replaces the Common Induction Standards and National Minimum Training Standards.

The Care Certificate will provide clear evidence to employers, patients and people who receive care and support, that the social care worker in front of them has been trained and developed to a specific set of standards. Also that they have been assessed for skills, knowledge and behaviours to ensure that they provide compassionate and high quality care and support.

Those who need to undertake the care certificate are:

  • Health care assistants
  • Assistant practitioners
  • Care support workers (including adult social care workers giving direct care in residential/nursing homes and hospices, home care workers and domiciliary care staff)
  • Those giving support to clinical roles in the NHS where there is any direct contact with patients.

The care certificate standards are:

  1. Understand Your Role
  2. Personality 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

To be awarded the Care Certificate the person must meet all of the outcomes and assessment requirements for all 15 standards.

Care workers are already expected to have training, education and the assessment as part of their induction within their first 12 weeks of employment and the Care Certificate does not replace the employer induction specific to the environment in which practice will take place. However there is more time for the Care Certificate to be worked towards and there are no limits to how many times assessments for each of the standards are attempted but this is left up to the employer to stipulate in the guidance.

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