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4 min read/Published On: March 18, 2021/795 words/

Care Certificate Assessing

Thanks to everyone who shared their feedback following last week’s post.  As promised, this week I am going to cover:

Care Certificate Self Assessment

Care Certificate Assessors

Care Certificate Assessment

Don’t forget – we are Care Certificate champions and a Skills for Care Centre of Excellence, but there are some challenges that do need addressing, one of them being the Care Certificate self assessment:

Care Certificate self assessment

The self assessment is a download available from Skills for Care.  Essentially, it is a list of the Care Certificate outcomes with four tick boxes next to each outcome: “Good”, “Adequate”, “Needs refresh”, “New to me” and it looks like this:

Care Certificate assessment

So, the idea is that an experienced person can use it to identify potential areas for development or those that need refreshing.  However, human beings are notoriously bad at estimating their own skills and competencies; in fact, we tend to over-estimate what we are good at and under-estimate what needs work!  This therefore makes the self assessment tool subjective because one person’s Adequate could well be another person’s Good!

We believe in both removing that subjectivity and in continuous professional competence, hence why Care Certificate portability is so close to our hearts.  In fact, it is a common theme throughout all of the guidance, Care Certificate, Skills for Care Mandatory Training and the Assessors Guide (2020 refresh): namely…

Assess competence at least annually, using questioning, supported by observations.

This is essentially the foundation of our methodology of Know, Understand and Do:

Specialist Care for Social Care Providers | eLearning Courses and Trainings with Certificate of Completions

Using the methodology can remove the subjectivity of the self assessment tool by building evidence of real day-to-day practice.  In the past, we used to call this the “competence circle” and it is very deliberately a circle because competence is a daily and continuous requirement.  If you can capture evidence of your competence, not necessarily daily but at least regularly, then you can evidence your safety to practice continuously, not just once a year when you attend the refresher course.  Actually, it is important to point out here that attendance does not evidence competence, though that is a whole other blog post…

Care Certificate Assessors

In the Assessor Guidance, it is clear that assessors of the Care Certificate “must themselves be competent in the standard they are assessing” – so the principle of competence applies not just to new starters and existing staff but to those leading their shift or team as well.

Also note the use of the word “must” – there is no ambiguity about must be competent, it is not should be, or ideally, it is must, because they are responsible for the safety of practice for that new member of staff.  Now, whilst the registered manager remains accountable for the safe practice of all staff, they usually delegate some of that responsibility to their front line managers.

If this includes you, then why not take our free course on Supervision Skills for Managers or keep an eye for our newest free course Assessing Competence for the Care Certificate, due for release early next month.

If assessing competence in the Care Certificate is a challenge for you in your organisation, also have a read of this case study.

Care Certificate Assessment

To conclude then, in my experience, both supporting the assessors of the Care Certificate and the actual Care Certificate assessment itself are two of the main challenges.  This is a particular nightmare if you are still using paper-based workbooks and completing them during the Care Certificate Training courses.

In the Care Certificate guidance, it is clear that assessment of the Care Certificate should be as rigorous as any formal qualification.  Assessors – this means you!  This is your responsibility, but we can help.

If you remember our Know, Understand and Do methodology earlier, that is the essence of collecting the evidence.  So, if the assessment is as rigorous as a formal qualification, then completing the workbooks during the training course will never prove robust enough.

However, almost all of the thousands of providers we support year in year out always respond in the affirmative when we ask, “do you do spot checks?”  or “do you use shadow shifts?”.  If so, then potentially they will already be on the way to speeding up the Care Certificate assessment process.

Have a watch of my colleague Eddie’s video that outlines how to fast track induction using the Care Certificate.

Grey Matter Learning’s mission is to “Improve Lives Through Learning” and the Care Certificate is often the starting point of a social care learning journey.  We have been championing competence plus the recording of such competence, rather than attendance, for the last 15 years.  Join us on the journey – we can support you with the Care Certificate and much, much more!

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