Introduction of the Care Certificate

dementia care

This month sees the introduction of the Care Certificate, one of the key recommendations of the Cavendish Report, to replace the Common Induction Standards previously used as the standard induction tool for staff new to social care. The Care Certificate has been developed jointly by Skills for Care, Skills for Health and Health Education England to produce the first induction tool providing a common approach across both health and social care, ensuring that no matter where a carer starts their career, they will have received the same level of induction training.

It is now a requirement that all staff new to social care, joining your organisation, complete this qualification and you should expect the Care Quality Commission to request evidence that your staff are registered and working towards it. Read on to find out more about the new Care Certificate and the steps you need to take to meet this requirement.

The Care Certificate comprises of 15 standards which all new staff must complete. These are:

  1. Understand Your Role
  2. Your Personal 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 Disabilities
  10. Safeguarding Adults
  11. Safeguarding Children
  12. Basic Life Support
  13. Health and Safety
  14. Handling Information
  15. Infection Prevention and Control

Your staff will be required to demonstrate both knowledge and practical application in all of these areas and must be assessed as competent before being awarded the Care Certificate.

5 Tips for the Effective Introduction of the Care Certificate in Your Service

  1. Evidence. Your staff will need to record evidence of their learning against each of the 15 standards. Many training companies will provide workbooks and templates to assist with this but a set of workbooks, along with supporting information, is available for free from the Skills for Care website.
  2. Competence. New staff will be required both to demonstrate evidence of learning and also evidence that this learning is being applied in practice, by showing competence in the delivery of care. As a manager, you are ultimately responsible for ensuring that your staff are trained in the standards but you can delegate this training to another competent staff member or to an external training provider. Once you are satisfied that the staff member meets the requirements of the Care Certificate, the official certificate can be downloaded from the Skills for Care website.
  3. Employer-specific induction. Although the Care Certificate provides a general induction to working in health or social care, it will not cover all areas relevant to your specific service type. You should aim to use the Care Certificate as a single element of a broader induction, covering the skills and knowledge relevant to your service and you will need to supplement it with workplace-specific support and guidance.
  4. Timescale. The target for completion of the Care Certificate is 12 weeks. However, staff working in part-time roles may not have adequate opportunities to learn and develop practical skills within this timescale, so additional time may be provided in such circumstances.
  5. Existing staff. Staff who are already working towards the old Common Induction Standards can continue to do so and will not be required to complete the Care Certificate as well. However, any staff starting after April 1st must commence the Care Certificate. The Care Certificate can also be used as a tool to refresh, or update, the skills of existing staff.

Are you responsible for managing care workers? Make sure you read Care Quality Matters – essential advice, resources, tools and checklists for Registered Managers.

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