Care Certificate Answers
Below are some frequently asked questions about the Care Certificate,
Grey Matter provides an Unlimited Learning package for social care which includes the courses and all care certificates. If you are looking for the answers for your Care Certificate assessments within our learning management system, ‘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 the Care Certificate
The Care Certificate turned five in April 2020 and is still going strong. However, its foundation has not changed. Both evidencing competence “in practice” and staff learning “during real work duties” are seen as higher value outcomes than simply delivering staff training.
The Care Certificate should ensure that the health and social care workers have the required values, behaviours, competencies and skills to provide high quality, compassionate care.
The Care Certificate and Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulation and inspection have clearly set out the outcomes that must be achieved, whether this is through training or alternative learning and development activities. There is a clear requirement to provide evidence that staff have been assessed in the workplace to demonstrate their competence and safety to practice.
Is the Care Certificate mandatory?
No! 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.
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.
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.
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.
How do you record knowledge, skills and behaviours?
The first paragraph of the Assessor Document under the overall goal of the Care Certificate states that you need to have “a record of the assessment that is auditable”.
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.
Do assessors need the A1 award?
No. Assessors do not need formal qualifications, but they do need to be competent to carry out the role of assessor. 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.
If you recruit someone who has never worked in the Care sector before, 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.
It is imperative that you provide evidence of what the person is putting into practice based on their 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 the 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.