Care Certificate Answers
Everyone learns in different ways and at different paces, so assessing workers is more of a flexible journey than a scheduled exam period.
Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Care Certificate, if you are looking for the answers for your Care Certificate assessments within Click, just click on the Learning button.
We provide many free social care learning courses for you to try out, a list on the free courses page.
What is a Care Certificate? Why is it developed?
Health Education England, Skills for Care and Skills for Health have worked together to develop the Care Certificate. The Certificate has been designed to meet the requirements set out in the Cavendish Review.
The Care Certificate is an identified set of standards that health and care professionals adhere to in their daily working life. It ensures that the health and social care professionals have the same required values, behaviours, competences, and skills to provide high quality, compassionate care. It is to help understand what your role will be, to help personal development, and ultimately deliver a competent member of staff.
To be awarded the Care Certificate the person must meet all of the outcomes and assessment requirements for all 15 standards.
What are the Care Certificate standards 1-15?
Each standard is underpinned by full learning outcomes and assessment criteria. The 15 standards in the Care Certificate are:
- Understand your role
- Your personal development
- Duty of care
- Equality and diversity
- Work in a person-centred way
- Privacy and dignity
- Fluids and nutrition
- Awareness of mental health, dementia & learning disabilities
- Safeguarding adults
- Safeguarding children
- Basic life support
- Health & safety
- Handling information
- Infection, prevention & control
How many outcomes are there in the Care Certificate?
There are about 230 outcomes in the Care Certificate, which is about 50% more than the Common Induction Standards. Those outcomes are distributed across 15 standards and so each standard is a bit smaller than the Common Induction ones.
Who needs a Care Certificate? Who is it for?
The Care certificate is for new staff as part of an induction programme. It is for anyone who are in the field of Social Care like:
- Health Care Assistance
- Assistant Practitioners
- Personal Assistants
- Those giving support to clinical roles with direct patient contact
Care Support Workers consisting of the following:
- Adult Social Care workers in residential, nursing homes and hospices.
- Specialist Care
- Home care workers,
- Domiciliary care staff
Other social care roles include:
- Caring volunteers like with a member of your Family
- Drivers with direct contact with patients/ service users
Is the Care Certificate mandatory?
Renewing your Certificates isn’t mandatory, but showing that you are up to date is a requirement. Many employers would ask staff to retake the exams mainly for the evidence to show, every three years or so.
The Care Certificate does not form part of the legislation, however CQC do refer to the Care Certificate very specifically in their regulations, so whilst it is not technically mandatory – you will be inspected against it. For example, if as an organisation you choose to do something other than the Care Certificate, or not complete all of the outcomes in the Care Certificate, you will need to demonstrate to CQC that your induction meets the needs of the staff you employ and the needs of the people you support.
If the Care Certificate is not mandatory, why do we need to do it?
Great question! One of the critical differences between the Care Certificate and the Common Induction Standards, and something that is included in the legislation, is the principle of competence. It is no longer about what training courses people have attended – it is about their day-to-day practice and making sure that their practice is safe.
The spirit of the courses, rather than the piece of paper, is to improve the lives of cares, the cared for, and the success of the employer organisations.
How long do we have to complete it?
You have 12 weeks to complete the Care Certificate from the time you start. So, it is even more important that you have a quick and robust method for checking knowledge, skills and behaviours.
Is the Care Certificate portable?
The Care Certificate is supposed to be portable. The idea behind the Care Certificate is that it is portable, but in the guidance it says that you must check that the person has retained the competencies required for the Care Certificate. So, if you recruit someone with a Care Certificate, you cannot send them off to work without checking their knowledge and practice – you would use some shadowing sessions, and possibly your interview knowledge assessment, to make sure they still have the knowledge and behaviours you would expect of your staff.
Do care certificates expire, how often do we need to take it?
Whilst care certificates don’t technically expire, the laws require organisations to demonstrate that staff are competent. And while it is common to ask staff to retake to provide evidence, there is a better way.
Can I re-use the evidence from the Care Certificate towards my RQF or Diploma?
Absolutely. Critically though, because the Care Certificate is about knowledge and practice rather than attendance, you can reuse all of the evidence towards a RQF portfolio. Furthermore, this should make the process quicker because you will be adding observations of practice from the very beginning!
Who can do the observations?
The best people to do the observations of “real work activity” described in the guidance are your team leaders and supervisors, simply because they know the people you support, their preferences and your policies.
Who can assess achievement of the Care Certificate?
You don’t need to be a qualified assessor to assess the Care Certificate, but you do need to be competent in the standard you’re assessing. So, if you have assessors in your organisation, they can cascade their knowledge or deliver train-the-trainer sessions to up-skill your team leaders and supervisors. You might want to assess their knowledge and skills using our Assessor Assessment.
Can I use an external training provider, eLearning or a workbook to meet the Care Certificate?
Yes, you can use an external training provider, eLearning or workbook to learn about the standards and outcomes in the Care Certificate. However, the candidates need more than just the training course.
For someone who has never worked in the Care sector, they will clearly need some learning and development. However, it is not this training that provides evidence of their competence. In the same way, completing a workbook or some eLearning does not provide evidence of what the person has learnt from the learning activity.
The candidate needs to provide evidence of putting learning into practice based on their new knowledge and understanding.
Which is why the guidance states: “Certificates of attendance, attendance on study days or eLearning without assessment of what has been learnt” is NOT evidence towards the achievement of the Care Certificate.
Is there a Certificate of Completion?
Yes! You can download, edit and print a certificate of completion once you have assembled a solid evidence portfolio and have satisfied yourself and your supervisor in your setting that you are safe to practise. Please note that certificates can only really demonstrate completion of an assessment or some learning. The real test of your safety to practise is in what you do in your everyday working life; this is why we believe that the evidence portfolio is far more useful in demonstrating safety to practise.
What does the Care Certificate mean for staff?
In order to be signed off against their Care Certificate, staff will not have to complete a set of mandatory training courses. Instead, they will have to evidence that they have relevant knowledge and understanding of the standards set out in the Care Certificate and, most importantly, that they are able to put this into practice for their job role.
Under the requirements of the Care Certificate each member of staff must have an individual portfolio, including evidence that their practice has been assessed in the workplace during the health or social care worker’s real work activity as observed by an assessor. This assessor will usually be their manager or supervisor, they do not need to be a qualified RQF/QCF assessor.
However, the registered manager has the responsibility of verifying the quality of teaching and assessment that has been provided before signing off the Care Certificate themselves.
Managing Care Careers With Grey Matter
Working with social care organisations and their staff since 2006, we have seen the industry evolve towards a life long learning approach both for staff, supervisors and managers and their employers.
Managing your advancement, keeping a track of all your experience as you go along.
The old way of managing your social care learning and development was to keep a record of the questions and answers in your physical workbook.
Grey Matter provides not only a platform to learn from, to record all of the learning, but it is also a way to keep a track of your work as you go along, which means at the end of three years, staff have a body of evidence already in place.
The certificate is a way of ensuring you evidence your learning. But doing no observation for three years and then attending training courses and cramming an exam is not the best way to produce evidence, or indeed, a happy work experience.
More than that. Choosing a career in social care is not an easy option, it can be challenging and so by learning, and demonstrating your learning, it can help you be better at your job every day, to be happier and to care for people better.
It is a tool for dealing with the stresses and strains that can come with the demands of this career. We help develop outstanding carers.
Carers who do this will get better, they will be more useful to their employer.