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Frequently Asked Questions

How to complete the Care Certificate?

The only way to complete the Care Certificate is to build a portfolio of evidence that shows that you have met the outcomes (including the observations).  

How can I get a Care Certificate?

The only way to achieve the Care Certificate is to build an evidence portfolio that demonstrates that you meet the requirements and will need an employer to sign off the outcomes that require an observation.  However, you can complete the knowledge elements separately.

Is the Care Certificate easy?

Not really, there are some elements of safeguarding and health and safety that are vitally important and you would not just be able to guess.  On the other hand, there are other elements for example in communication skills that people “should” really know.

However, completing the Care Certificate should be straightforward because you will be supported with learning and observations from a competent mentor.

So, not easy, but definitely straightforward.

Can you fail the Care Certificate?

The Care Certificate is not set up for people to fail; it is designed in such a way that you keep adding to your evidence portfolio until you have enough evidence to meet the criteria.

When did the Care Certificate become mandatory?

The Care Certificate is not mandatory, but it started in 2015 and the principle of competence has been embedded in the CQC Regulations since 2015.

Should existing staff that were employed before the Care Certificate was introduced on 1st April 2015 do the Care Certificate?

YES.  The Care Certificate has been around for over five years now and, if you have an existing member of staff without the Care Certificate. you would need a really good reason for CQC as to why they don’t have the Care Certificate and everyone else does.

Do you have to re-do the Care Certificate if you change jobs?

Ha ha, the six million dollar question.  Ideally no, but in reality you are likely to have to do exactly that.  The new employer needs evidence that you meet the outcomes contained within the Care Certificate; just because you did the Care Certificate four years ago whilst working in a dentist does not mean you have the skills to work in a high needs residential dementia unit.

However, if you use a system to collect your evidence together on an on-going basis, like nurses do (for their re-validation process every three years), then you would be able to share that portfolio with your new employer.

Do nurses have to complete the Care Certificate?

Yes.  The Care Certificate is linked to the 6c’s, one of which is “Competence”.

Does the Care Certificate replace NVQ?

No, it doesn’t.  The NVQ and the Care Certificate are two entirely different things.  You can have an NVQ and still be expected to complete a Care Certificate course by your employer.  This is entirely up to your employer – to satisfy themselves that you have the competencies required by the Care Certificate.

Does the Care Certificate replace inductions?

The Care Certificate IS induction!  However, what the Care Certificate will not cover is where the fire exits are in your building and where the tea bags are kept, which are also vital parts of induction. So your workplace-specific induction (uniforms, policies, holiday, etc) are not covered in the Care Certificate and will also be part of induction.

Does the Care Certificate carry UCAS points?

No.  The Care Certificate is an employer-led “qualification” i.e. the employer has to evidence to CQC that its staff are safe to practise.

What is the Care Certificate equivalent to?

It is like the entry level qualification.  Most diplomas and RQFs, as well as the apprenticeship include the Care Certificate. 

Is the Care Certificate transferable?

The Care Certificate is designed to be “portable” between employers, but the catch is that each employer needs their own evidence in order that you meet the Care Certificate.  What tends to happen in practice is that employers get new staff to repeat the Care Certificate “just to make sure” i.e. just to make sure you have completed the Care Certificate to “our standard”.  This is why your evidence portfolio is so important.

Is the Care Certificate a qualification?

Not exactly, but it is as useful as a qualification, because employers must show CQC that their induction is robust and meets Regulation 18.

Is the Care Certificate a legal requirement?

NO.  Your employer does not have to use the Care Certificate, but CQC will inspect against the principle of competence contained within Regulation 18.

Is the award of the Care Certificate based only on knowledge?

Definitely not.  You must evidence understanding and practice as well, otherwise it is just training – anyone can go on course and get the certificate, but can you put it into practice with a real person when you are tired and they have dementia?

Can you achieve the Care Certificate from eLearning alone?

No.  In the Skills for Care guidance, it clearly states that you cannot achieve the Care Certificate through eLearning or completing a workbook alone.  You can use those methods as supporting tools, but you must add the observation evidence, which is why our methodology is what it is.  If you have to evidence competence for the Care Certificate (the essentials right at the beginning), why would you not do the exact same for every other subject.  This is why the Skills for Care mandatory training guidance states: knowledge and competence should be assessed at least annually and why we blogged about training vs learning. 

Can I complete the Care Certificate online?

Yes, you can.  Grey Matter Learning is an award-winning eLearning provider who can assist you with completing your Care Certificate requirements through an online course. It includes the agreed set of 15 Standards that establishes the skills, behaviour and knowledge expected in the Health and Social Care sector.

Does completing one of your courses mean that I have passed my Care Certificate?

Any training provider that suggests that completing their training means you have completed the Care Certificate should be treated with extreme caution.  ONLY an employer can issue the Care Certificate following the observations of real work duties and why Click has observation recording, evidence adding and conversation-facilitating features for supervision built-in.

Is the Care Certificate free?

Many of our Local Authority customers fund access to Click so that providers in their area can access it free of charge.

How much does the Care Certificate cost?

Our pricing starts from just £1 per learner per month, which includes not just the Care Certificate but all of our 50+ courses.  It is important to note here that, once you have “achieved” the Care Certificate, you can take it with you, if you keep the evidence up to date or “current”.

How is the Care Certificate awarded?

The only organisation which can issue the Care Certificate is the employer.  You cannot get the Care Certificate from college or elsewhere because the observations have to be completed “during real work activities” i.e. you cannot simulate them in a classroom.

Can a training provider award the Care Certificate?

NOPE.  A training provider can only provide the training.  The employer must evidence that the training has worked, i.e. the person has learnt, understood and, most importantly, can put their knowledge into practice every single day.

Who can sign off my Care Certificate?

Only a competent assessor can sign you off and they have to be competent in the standard they are assessing as well.  However, it is usually the registered manager that will sign off the Care Certificate because they are responsible for it…

Can I become a Care Certificate assessor?

Absolutely!  All you need is to first be competent in the Care Certificate yourself.  You cannot assess someone against a set of standards that you are not competent in.  You will also need to be a competent assessor too.  Now, whilst you don’t need the A1 award, your manager needs evidence that you are competent to be an assessor, which is why we developed the assessing competence module on Click.

Can I get a copy of my Care Certificate?

Yes, you can.  You can actually download one here, edit, and print it, though only once you have assembled a solid evidence portfolio that you are safe to practise.