The Care Certificate – A step in the right direction

At Ideal Carehomes we have now awarded over 80 Care Certificates since introduction of the scheme. It is embedded and fundamental to the induction and training program.

Whilst managers comment that it has added a bit to the weight of paperwork required of them , they all believe it to be a really useful award to give and love the opportunity to show that they value the staff.

Those members of staff who act as mentors; having new carers shadow them through the assessment period , have seen it as an opportunity to refine and practice their own skills whilst developing good quality teaching habits. A double whammy when done right!

About The Care Certificate

In 2013 the Francis Enquiry investigated failings of care at Staffordshire Hospitals. The government responded by ordering The Cavendish Review and created The Care Act, designed to integrate services and give more control to residents over the care they receive. The Cavendish Review recommended the introduction of the Care Certificate, to standardise the introduction of new starters across the care sector. Definitely then a step in the right direction of further recognising the value of care work.

There are some key points to mention about the Care Certificate:

– It should be completed by ALL care workers but is only awarded to those who have never worked in the care sector before.

– it should not replace an operators own good quality staff induction but should become part of it

– It is transferable

– It should be completed in the first 12 weeks of employment

– and like CQC inspections you must EVIDENCE that your new starter is FULLY COMPETENT

On the point of transferability, management and assessors should be aware that what is written by way of evidence and endorsement will be read by many people and other agencies, so quality language is the key. On assessments of performance look for words such as as “demonstrate”, “take steps to” or “show”. Assessment MUST be observed and not taken from historic accounts or previous experience. Interestingly, if it is not reasonably possible to observe a real life performance a simulated activity is permissible. HOWEVER an assessment over Skype or video is not permissible.

When considering knowledge and understanding, look for words such as “describe”,”explain”,”define”,”list” or “identify”. Assessment can be evidenced through written or verbal account on this basis.

The Standards

  1. Understand Your Role
  2. Your Personal Development
  3. Duty of Care
  4. Equality and Diversity
  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 & Safety
  14. Handling Information
  15. Infection Prevention and Control


Commonly asked Questions

  1. Do I really have to conduct observations?
  2. Yes, it is no longer enough that new starters receive a certificate to confirm that they simply attended a course. You must observe and evidence their competence.
  1. Who will need to do this?
  2. Any carer new to care from 1st April 2015.
  1. Does the Certificate need to be re-done at a later date?
  2. No. It need only be done once but good practice should set up refreshers periodically.
  1. What is meant by “Evidence” ?
  2. Evidence can be in various formats but but there is a distinction between what is acceptable under performance and what is acceptable under knowledge and understanding.
  1. Do kitchen and cleaning staff need to it?
  2. All persons who provide care in any role should complete the Care Certificate. Simulations can be created for those who don’t do certain tasks as part of their everyday jobs.
  1. How is the “Safeguarding Children” standard in elderly care complied with?
  2. If your care home is visited by younger family relatives or local schools then this should be done.
  1. What if it takes longer than 12 weeks from starting to complete?
  2. You need to make sure you evidence why. The training and assessment document is auditable and so Managers are accountable.


The Care Certificate effectively replaces the National Minimum Training Standards and the Common Induction Standards. It has been created with the collaboration of CQC, Skills for Care, the Government and The Cavendish Review. Usefully, some of the competencies map over to the Health and Social Care Diploma, which many operators use to stream funding from the Workforce Development Fund.

Alan Long, Group Development Director, LNT Group



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