Care Certificate Answers

Care Certificate Answers


Care certificate for health and social care professionals frequently asked questions  (FAQ) 


The following document answer some of the most popular frequently asked questions (FAQs) surrounding the Care Certificate for health and social care professionals.



·         What is the Care Certificate?


Following the failures identified within the healthcare system revealed in the Francis Inquiry in 2013, the Secretary of State requested that Camilla Cavendish assess and advise the ways in which the recruitment, learning and development, management and support of healthcare assistants and social care support workers could be improved. Ensuring those employed within these roles can provide compassionate care. This resulted in the creation of the Care Certificate.


The Care Certificate comprises of fifteen standards that lay the foundations for health care support and social care worker roles. Developed for use in England, it is the minimum level of training and assessment that employees new to adult health and social care should undertake. The Care Certificate should be completed as part of an initial induction whilst under supervision from more experienced staff members before providing care alone.


Health care workers must complete all fifteen standards to acquire the certificate which is a combination of textbook learning, practical skills and in work assessments.


·         Who should complete the Care Certificate?


The Care Certificate is primarily aimed at those who are new to health or adult social care roles and have not received any past training or have prior experience, this includes the roles listed below. However, it is down to each organisations discretion as to whether they require other staff members outside of health and social care roles to complete the Care Certificate.


·         Healthcare Roles

Healthcare Support Workers, Health Care Assistants, Assistant Practitioners and any member of staff that supports NHS clinical roles and has direct contact with patients.


·         Adult Social Care Roles

These are workers that provide health and supportive care to patients directly within a variety of social settings, such as; residential and nursing homes, hospices, domiciliary care, supported living services, share lives services and extra care housing. Examples of roles are Care Assistant, Care Worker, Homecare Worker, Care Support Workers.



·         What are the 15 Standards covered by the Care Certificate?


·         Understanding The Role

·         Your Personal Development

·         Duty of Care

·         Equality and Diversity

·         Work in Person-Centred Way

·         Communication

·         Privacy and Dignity

·         Fluids and Nutrition

·         Awareness of Mental Health, Dementia and Learning Disabilities

·         Safeguarding Adults

·         Safeguarding Children

·         Basic Life Support

·         Health and Safety

·         Handling Information

·         Infection Prevention and Control


4. Are Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated providers expected to cover the Care Certificate Standards?


All health and adult social care providers – even those who are CQC regulated – are required to have an induction plan that prepares new employees for their role. It is expected that the Care Certificate and the standards in which it covers should be part of the induction to ensure new workers are well equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their roles with competence.


Please see: Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014: Regulation 18


5. Is The Care Certificate an alternative to a staff induction?


No. The Care Certificate does not replace a full induction. The Care Certificate should be a part of a larger structured staff induction which not only covers the 15 standards laid out in the certificate but provides new workers with knowledge and training specific to their role and environment.


An example of something that should be part of an organisation specific induction is incident reporting. How an incident is reported and who it is reported to is specific to each organisation, as is most general health and safety procedures, therefore it is important the Care Certificate is included within the induction and does not replace it entirely.


6. Is an employee undertaking “mandatory training” excluded from completing the Care Certificate?


No. Any individual new to a Health and Adult Social Care role with no previous experience or training is required to complete the Care Certificate. An organisation employing new staff will likely run a series of training sessions which will be mandatory, in which some of the content might overlap with that included in the Care Certificate. However, since the development of the Care Certificate, the majority of employees have adapted their in-house training to complement the material covered within the Care Certificate.


7. What is needed to achieve the Care Certificate?


In order to achieve the Care Certificate, the worker must demonstrate their knowledge and competence in all 15 standards. Knowledge can be demonstrated both written or verbally through an individuals workbook, written questions, case studies and audio files. Where workers are required to show evidence of their understanding prefixes such as “describe”, “explain”, “list”, “outline” and “identify” will be used.


Those completing the certificate will also have to complete physical assessments to demonstrate their skill in certain tasks. Again these tasks will be prefixed with words such as “demonstrate”, “use” and “show”. All physical assessments must be observed by an official assessor during real work time unless stated otherwise. Those learning may practice tasks and skills in a classroom setting but the actual assessment must be conducted during real working activity.


8. Who is responsible for assessing a learner’s ability during physical assessments?


There are no rules that state someone undertaking the role of an assessor has to possess any specific qualifications. The only stipulation is that the employer must be satisfied that the assessor is competent in their ability to assess learners work and judge whether it meets the standards of the Care Certificate. Ideally, the assessor would be a more experienced worker with higher-level understanding.


9. Are organisations able to outsource the training, supervision and workplace assessment required to complete the Care Certificate?


Yes, employers can outsource to third party learning providers, however, the decision and responsibility to award the Care Certificate remain with the employer.


10. How much time is required to complete the Care Certificate?


The time needed to complete the Care Certificate is dependent on a number of factors such as the learners contracted working hours, chosen teaching methods, previous qualifications and training, assessment resources and equipment, and availability of an accessor. On average someone working full-time will take 12 weeks to gain the knowledge and undertake all the assessments need to achieve the Care Certificate.


11. Does a new staff member who has previous health or adult social care experience need to complete the Care Certificate?


It is the employers responsibility to ensure that the skills and knowledge of new staff meet current standards. They can use the Mapping Document and Self-Assesment Tool to assist them in identifying any skill or knowledge gaps, based on the results the employer can then organise the appropriate training or workplace assessments required to bring the new starter up-to-date. If it is necessary, the individual must complete the Care Certificate.


12. Does an individual who has achieved qualifications or an apprenticeship in health or social care need to complete the Care Certificate?


It is the employers responsibility to ensure that the skills and knowledge of new staff meet current standards. They can use the Mapping Document and Self-Assesment Tool to assist them in identifying any skill or knowledge gaps, based on the results the employer can then organise the appropriate training or workplace assessments required to bring the new starter up-to-date. If it is necessary, the individual must complete the Care Certificate.


13. Do temporary staff or bank staff need to achieve the Care Certificate?


Healthcare providers regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have a responsibility to evaluate the training needs of all new staff, including; agency, bank or directly recruited healthcare support and care workers.


The regulated health provider – not the recruitment agency –  is accountable for the training and quality of service provided by all temporary staff, regardless of whether they work one shift or one year.


14. Can an individual complete the Care Certifciate as part of a pre-employement training programme?


Although it was not originally developed to be part of pre-ermployment training, it is acknowledged that some content may consist of transferable knowledge only such as through achievement of pre-employment training. The employer is responsible for ensuring an individual workers knowledge meets current standards and should arrange further training if skill gaps are identified.


15. When and how should the Care Certificate be signed off?


The healthcare support or care worker should be awarded the Care Certificate by the organisation that employs them. Only when the individual worker has completed all 15 standards and shown evidence of understanding should the Care Certificate be signed, it should not be signed before this.


The employer hiring the new healthcare support or care worker is responsible for the final sign off. Third party training providers who assisted in the delivery of training and assessments do not have the authority to issue the certificate and therefore should not complete the final sign off.


There is a national Care Certificate template available – in both PDF and word format – that employers are able to use and add their own logo. It is strongly advised that you use the template provided. The employer must give the Care Certificate to the worker but is entitled to keep a copy should they wish.


16. How is the quality of the Care Certificate assured?


The organisation employing the heath worker is in charge of assuring the quality of training, supervision and assessments in line with the Care Certificate.


Orgnisations providing heath care have a duty of care to their patients, therefore must ensure their staff are adequately trained, supervised and appraised, enabling them to keep their patients safe and fufill their health and wellbeing needs.

Employers of healthcare support and care workers must assure the teaching provided and assessments conducted are of the required standard of quality needed to achieve the Care Certificate. It is expected that organisations providing healthcare will use the 15 standards to ensure workers undergo the appropriate level of training and develop the required knowledge and skills that will enable them to provide safe and compassionate care of the best quality.


Ownership of the Care Certificate is one way employers can assure the quality of the care provided by their organisation, however it is likely that they would want to know more about new staff members’ professional backgrounds and whether they have had any prior training or require support.


17. Should assessments be carried out in a real working environment?


The way in which a worker demonstrates their knowledge of the standards will vary throughout the certification. The Care Certificate guidance document states which standards need to be assessed and how.


Assessments that require physical evidence of tasks should be completed face-to-face in a real work setting where care is being administered to a patient or service user. Learners are able to practice their newly learned skills in a classroom or workshop, but any work that is being used as part of evidence for an assesment needs to be conducted during a real work environment. Further information for assessors can be found within the “Care Certificate Framework Assessor Document”.



18. What is the minimum requirement needed to achieve Standard 12 – Basic Life Support?


To meet the requirements for Standard 12, a healthcare worker must learn practical simulation of Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). For Additional information follow the links below:


·         Adult Basic Life Support

·         Peadiatric Basic Life Support

·         UK Resuscitation Council FAQ


Some healthcare providers may opt to provide further training that goes beyond what is outlined in the Care Certificate, for example how to use an Automated External Defibtilator (AED) or an Emergency First Aid Kit.


19. Should workers undertake further learning around Infection Prevention and Control Training, or is the content covered withing Standard 15 sufficient?


The content covered within Standard 15 provides workers with a well-rounded induction to Infection Prevention and Control Training, covering the key aspects common within all roles governed by the Care Certificate.


All training provided should be contextualised within a real-work setting and expanded when required, for example in the instance of a pandemic, when workers are required to conduct tasks in an environment with high risk of infection, or when local and national guidlines are amended. Training around this subject should be refreshed regularly to meet changing industry standards.


20. Can training be delivered using a variety of mediums such as eLearning, workbooks and films?


Yes, these are all useful approaches that can aid someones learning but the Care Certificate itself can not be achieved through these approaches alone. To complete the certificate workers must demonstrate their skills in physical assesments, more information on this can be found in the The Care Certificate Framework.


21. What if the care service we provide prevents us from fulfilling all the requirements needed to achieve the Care Certificate?


A worker must complete all the Standards to be awarded the Care Certificate. If they have only partially completed it, employers may choose to award them the elements completed but the Care Certificate cannot be signed off and they must not sure the official Care Certificate logo.


22. Can Individual Employers and Personal Assistants use the Care Certificate?


Yes, although individual employers are not required to use the Care Certificate as they are not regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), they can choose to use the Care Certificate as part of an induction for Personal Assistants.


The level of Care Certificate training and supervision provided by an individual employer will depend on their own personal knowledge and experience. If they wish they can employ a third party provider to assist them throughout the process.


23. Are the Care Certificate Standards and supporting resources available in other languages and formats?


The standards and supporting resources are currently only available in English, however an employer can choose to have them translated at their own cost but must request permission from the copyright holders.


24. Are disabled health support or adult care workers able to complete the Care Certificate as part of an employee induction?


In keeping with the Equality Act 2010, all employers have a duty to provide the necessary support and make adjustments to aid a workers learning and enable them to carry out the required assesments to complete the Care Certificate. The Standards and supporting materials are readily available to any employer to use should they wish, as well as alternative assessment methods that meet the requirements of the Care Certificate and allow for reasonable adjustments. 

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