The Care Certificate: Gateway To A Career

In 2013 it was estimated that the number of adult social care jobs in England was 1.52 million. That was an increase of 15% since 2009. Following this trajectory the number of adult social care jobs is projected to grow to around 2.2 million by 2025. Within the elderly care sector, this increase in staff numbers is being driven by the simple fact that people are living longer, but at the same time we are not curing many of the problems associated with old age, such as arthritis, heart disease and dementia. A drive towards person-centred support is also increasing the numbers of staff employed in other sectors, such as mental health and learning disabilities. The Care Certificate is a gateway into social care as a career.

The roles on offer are therefore many and varied but at entry level there are three key roles identified by ‘Skills for care’. These are:

  • Care assistants or Support workers; these are the ‘front line’ staff who work with people who have direct care needs. They have a varied range of duties, depending on who they are working with.
  • Personal assistants; these staff do much the same as a care assistant but they only work directly with one individual. Usually this is within the individuals own home.
  • Community, support and outreach workers; The work these staff do is more support based rather than direct personal care. They can provide support and guidance including teaching people who use care and support services every day skills (such as how to cook a meal safely or make a cup of tea), organising activities with people who need care and support (such as sport or shopping trips) or simply being with individuals in their home, helping them to cope with day to day living.

In order to ensure that the needs of people who use services are met on an individual and responsive basis, staff need to receive robust induction training concerning their responsibilities, values and attitudes. In England, the system which has been developed is known as The Care Certificate. It is comprised of 15 standards or courses that were developed jointly by Skills for Care, Health Education England and Skills for Health. The courses that make up the ‘Care Certificate’ are:

1. Understand your role

2. Your Personal Development

3. Duty of Care

4. Equality and Dignity

5. Work in a Person Centred Way

6. Communication

7. Privacy and Dignity

8. Fluids and Nutrition

9. Dementia and Cognitive Issues

10. Safeguarding Adults

11. Safeguarding Children

12. Basic Life Support

13. Health and Safety

14. Handling Information

15. Infection Prevention and Control

Once in post there is the option to move up into more senior positions including supervisory roles and management grades. In terms of continuing professional development the next step up from the ‘Care Certificate’ are the various diplomas. The main occupational qualifications in health and social care are diplomas, which have replaced NVQs.

The most common qualifications for the job roles in this booklet are the level 2 Diploma in Health and Social care and the Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social care. If this is your first job in adult social care, then you could gain these diplomas whilst you work.

There is cross over between the ‘Care Certificate’ and the ‘Health & Social Care Diplomas’. The common ground is defined in the National Occupational Standards.

The bottom line is that the ‘Care Certificate’ represents the first step towards entering the sector, gaining some initial proficiency, and starting a rewarding career. Why not consider doing The Care Certificate Online?