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Care Certificate

Health Education England, Skills for Care and Skills for Health have worked together to develop the Care Certificate. The Certificate has been designed to meet the requirements set out in the Cavendish Review.

The Care Certificate is an identified set of standards that health and care professionals adhere to in their daily working life. Designed with the non-regulated workforce in mind, the Care Certificate gives everyone the confidence that health and care professionals have the same introductory skills, knowledge and behaviours to provide compassionate, safe and high-quality care and support in their own particular workplace setting.

The Care Certificate is based on 15 standards, which individuals need to complete in full before they can be awarded their certificate. 

Allied Health Professions (AHP) Communications Resource Pack

Support Workers can now access scenarios set within inpatient rehabilitation and critical care workplaces, supporting them to apply the Care Certificate principles. To help organisations to communicate this to Support Workers a useful communications resource pack has been produced. To view the pack visit: Communications Resource Pack

Support Worker learning and development Roadmap

The support worker learning and development roadmap (referred to as "the roadmap" from now on) has been designed to be a useful resource for support workers, educators, clinical leads, managers and HR colleagues.

The roadmap has been developed with input from a broad range of colleagues including Allied Health Professional (AHP) Support Workers, Maternity Support Workers (MSWs) and Healthcare Support Workers (HCSWs), Educators, Line Managers, HR colleagues and Workforce Leads. Contributions were also sought from the HCSW Voice network, Care Certificate Leads network and Educator Community of Practice.

The roadmap has been designed to be used alongside trust specific training and tools, for more information, visit: Support Worker learning and development Roadmap.

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

The CQC updated its position statement regarding the Care Certificate on 5th December 2022, which states that it continues to support and expect to see the Care Certificate being used by providers across Health and Social Care.

When the CQC started to use its new assessment framework, this will continue to be a key area of interest and focus. This is particularly under the safe key question when exploring the new quality statement on safe and effective staffing.

Read the full statement here Our position on the Care Certificate - Care Quality Commission (cqc.org.uk)

Care Certificate Leads national network

The Care Certificate Leads bi-monthly is a chance to be part of a collective group made up of everything associated with the Care Certificate, from recruitment to completion and everything in between. It has a powerful presence in terms of bringing like-minded people together to consult, share and network.

If you would like to join the network, you can find additional information here.

To access the expansive range of resources and discussions around the Care Certificate please request to join the NHS Futures Care Certificate platform Care Certificate Network - FutureNHS Collaboration Platform

Higher Development Award

Health Education England continues to engage with employers and colleges across the country, providing support to structure the Higher Development Award in different areas. The HDA is a personal development programme for Support Workers which enables clinical and non-clinical Support Workers from all sectors to, “Be the best and acknowledge potential”. View the HDA, here.

To find out more about the programme and join the national network please e mail Higher Development Award higherdevelopmentaward@hee.nhs.uk

The Higher Development Award has an expansive range of resources so you can find out more about the programme, its place within your Support Worker pathway and look at how other areas have developed the staff for their areas. By joining the NHS Futures platform Higher Development Award - FutureNHS Collaboration Platform you will have access to the full range of guidance.

Learner Film

The following film was recorded during the initial three cohorts of the Higher Development Award and reflects some of what the programme will represent in terms of building confidence, addressing functional skills, helping people to understand how important they are and finally the understanding the service improvement project which takes the learning back to the workplace. To view the film visit our youtube channel, here.

Care Certificate Review

The Care Certificate is regularly reviewed to ensure it reflects changes in the health and social care landscape and it remains relevant and effective. With the COVID-19 pandemic offering valuable learning, and a recent renewed focus on the recruitment, induction, and retention of healthcare support workers (HCSWs) across the NHS in England, Health Education England (HEE) in partnership with Skills for Health and Skills for Care has undertaken an in-depth review of the Care Certificate.

This review has been carried out to ensure the Care Certificate continues to offer a structured practical induction programme for new support workers to make sure they are effectively prepared for their role across all health and care settings.

As part of the review, we engaged providers, education teams and frontline staff from both health and social care across England, who use the Care Certificate as part of the induction process for their workforce. This feedback, alongside engagement with subject matter experts from both sectors, has led us to recommend updates and improvements to some of the standards.  

We are currently making the relevant updates to the resources and will let employers know once the new version of resources are available.

Overall, the review established that the Care Certificate continues to be fit for purpose as a robust induction programme for support workers across health and social care settings and employers should continue to use the existing standards and resources until the updated resources are available.  If your staff have completed the Care Certificate, there is no need for them to re-take it.   

If you would like more information about the review or changes, contact carecertificate@hee.nhs.uk

The Care Certificate Standards

Each standard is underpinned by full learning outcomes and assessment criteria. The 15 standards in the Care Certificate are:

Materials to support employers implementing the Care Certificate, including revised standards and guidance, are now available to download from the Skills for Health and Skills for Care websites.

Please be cautious of learning providers who may look to charge for this free information. Please read this important statement regarding commercial training providers offering Care Certificate products.


The e-learning is free to access for health and care professionals. 

For more information about the e-learning programme, including how to access, visit:  https://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/care-certificate/

This toolkit has been designed to act as a guide as you start to implement the Care Certificate in your area.

The materials are optional to use and are only suggestions to help you prepare. All information and documentation will need checking and customising for your own specific needs.

This guide was possible following a combined contribution from Trusts within north west London.

FAQs: These questions and answers have been produced in partnership with Health Education England, Skills for Care and Skills for Health.  They were updated in March 2018 to reflect questions received through organisations supporting the Care Certificate implementation since these new induction standards were introduced.

Quality Assurance: This paper introduces quality assurance – the benefits of following toolkit guidance.

Mapping tool: Subject matter experts who currently deliver training for this staff group on induction, maps whether the current Induction training will cover the requirements of the Care Certificate and links to national mapping guidance.Workbook: A generic workbook with assessment criteria and action plan to be customised for your area.

Assessment guidelines: An example of what to consider, when and how assessment should take place.

Hints and Tips for assessing the Care Certificate in General Practice: During the piloting phase of the Care Certificate, colleagues in general practice put feedback to good use to make a hints and tips guide to assessing some of the standards of the Care Certificate in general practice. This may be used as a guide and in addition to the assessment criteria to help you think of scenarios or ways to demonstrate the HCAs understanding in the primary care setting. Acknowledging North West London CCG leads for sharing this resource.

Communication plan template: will help you to structure the publicity and information needed.

Timeline flow chart: another way to be able to plan with other multidisciplinary teams.

Local Ward/Dept staff Noticeboard poster: specific poster for advertising the named leads for the Care Certificate in areas or within the learning and development teams.

HEE North west London Care Certificate Leaflet: to help inform senior briefing and the context of the Care Certificate.

HEE North west London Information poster

HEE North west London Care Certificate pocket guide

Electronic Staff Record (ESR) Minimum Data Set: Initial guidance from NW England. This is work in progress but the following information may be used as a guide to what information needs to be collected by employers to evidence completion of the Care Certificate.

Recommendation of QCF levels: Guidance on understanding educational levels.


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