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The Care Certificate Background

The Care Certificate was launched in April 2015 for support workers across health and social care in England.

Following the Francis Inquiry, 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.

The resulting report, published in July 2013, found that the preparation of healthcare assistants and social care support workers for their roles within care settings was inconsistent, and one of the recommendations was the development of a fundamental certificate of care.

The Review recommended that the certificate should:

  • be applicable across health and social care,
  • be portable between roles, and transferable between employers,
  • build upon the existing and tested Common Induction Standards (CIS) and National Minimum Training Standards (NMTS),
  • encourage quality and consistency of delivery by being prescriptive about observation and assessment in the work place,
  • works with, and as part of, existing qualifications,
  • equip people with the skills and knowledge to be able to provide quality care, and test their capacity to be caring.

Health Education EnglandSkills 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 was field tested with a range of employers across health and social care to ascertain whether the content and delivery of the Care Certificate is effective and fit for purpose. The content of the documents above were tested and an evaluation report completed.

A wide range of employers and staff were engaged with the testing of the Care Certificate, the majority concluding that no radical revisions were necessary. We engaged in a number of ways:

  • The formal pilot included 29 organisations across health and social care.
  • Over 85 further employers have tested the Certificate with over 1,000 appropriate staff.
  • 80 individuals/organisations responded via email.
  • 100 responses were made to the Skills for Care online survey

Analysis of the feedback that we received indicated that the draft proposals for the Care Certificate were about right in terms of content and process. Health Education England, Skills for Care and Skills for Health made a number of recommendations which were agreed by the Department of Health’s Governance Assurance Board. These included:

  • The 15 standards should remain, subject to some amendments.
  • Individuals will need to complete all 15 standards to be awarded the Care Certificate.
  • The Care Certificate should be prioritised by employers for “new staff, new to care”.
  • Twelve weeks would remain as the guidance timeframe for a full-time individual to complete the Care Certificate.
  • The minimum level for quality assurance of the Care Certificate, and the certification itself, will be the responsibility of employers
  • In addition to events and workshops, a suite of materials would be made freely available for employers to download and use to support them in implementing the Care Certificate.

The Care Certificate was rolled out to new starters in health and social care in April 2015. It replaces the Common Induction Standards and the National Minimum Training standards and materials to support employers to prepare for the Certificate, including the revised standards and guidance, are now available.

If you would like to follow or join in conversations about the Care Certificate on Twitter, please follow and use the hashtag #CareCert.




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