What training do I need to be a paid carer?
You’ve decided that you’d like to embark on a career in the care industry, but you aren’t sure what qualifications you need or what training to undertake.
In short, there are no legal requirements that you have any particular qualifications or training to work as a paid carer. However, it is recommend that you have a basic level of training to be able to deliver the best care. If you are going to work for an agency or a care provider, then there may be minimum qualifications and certificates that you will need to have. If you want to set up your own business, then having training that you can show potential clients helps them to trust in you and your abilities. If you are caring for a family member and want to turn caring into a career, then you can use that experience to your advantage when exploring further training options.
Another advantage of having some training is that it may reduce the premium of insurance that you need for your work.
We recommend that you always complete the Common Induction Standards, which is a required training component for any staff in CQC-registered workplaces. You should also consider this training if you are going to be a sole trader (ie, a self-employed paid carer). You can access these online through places like My Learning Cloud. Throughout the next year, a new Care Certificate will be introduced and once it is launched (expected 2015), it will replace the Common Induction Standards and National Minimum Training Standards, so you will be required to undertake this if you work in a social care organisation. The Common Induction Standards are often part of your training if you decide to go for an apprenticeship, on-the-job learning or other recognised care qualifications.
If you are just leaving school and you are thinking about a career in care, then there are various apprenticeships available that can give you a foot on the ladder. These combine on-the-job experience, relevant qualifications and a salary. This is a good route for those who prefer a more hands-on approach to learning. Take a look at the Apprenticeships website to see current vacancies in your local area.
If you don’t think an apprenticeship is right for you, then you can contact local care homes and agencies and talk to them about your aspirations. You may find that they are willing to take you on and train you up themselves. You will certainly start at the bottom, but if you want to learn about the business, this isn’t a bad place to start.
There are various training programs and formal qualifications that you can undertake at any stage of life, whether you are just starting out in care as a school leaver, or you are switching to a paid carer role from another occupation.
These begin with entry-level certificates in health and social care, starting with Level 1 which are a range of options that help you prepare for a role in health and/or social care. This includes Preparing to Work in Adult Social Care, plus options for working with children and young people. Levels 2 and 3 build on this and cover a range of mandatory units to help you gain the skills you need to deliver good services.
There are then more advanced diplomas, which are there to demonstrate 'occupational competence', and look at health and social care demands and responsibilities in much more detail.