The Care Certificate for paid carers
The Care Certificate is the current minimum standard for new care workers as part of their induction and training. It is a set of standards for health and social care workers to adhere to in their roles.
The aim of the certificate is to ensure that all workers in the sector have the same basic induction, the same skills, the same knowledge and the same understanding of what it takes to deliver high-quality health and social care support.
Many agencies and care providers will ask new workers to undertake the Care Certificate as part of their initial training. It is aimed primarily at new workers to the industry, however, it is also good for those who may want to refresh or update their knowledge and skills. It is also expected of care workers joining the industry since April 2015. The Care Certificate is made up of 15 standards, from ‘Understanding your role’ through to ‘Infection prevention and control’.
One question that often crops up is how the Care Certificate can be applied to individual paid carers, who are employed directly by the service user or work in a self-employed capacity. There is no legal requirement for a paid carer working for an individual service user directly to have completed the Care Certificate. However, for paid carers performing delegated healthcare tasks, the Care Certificate is considered ‘best practice’ according to Skills for Care.
A service user who is employing a paid carer may opt to provide an induction that includes the Care Certificate, if the care worker hasn’t already done it. It is the service user's responsibility, if they are the employer, to ensure that the training and assessment reaches the required level. The assessment must be carried out by someone who is considered ‘occupationally competent’ – someone who has enough experience in the industry to determine whether the paid carer being assessed has met the competency standards required. Who this person can be varies. In some cases, the employer themselves may be able to carry out the assessment if they are confident in doing so, or even another paid carer who has been working in the sector longer and has enough care experience to be able to assess another worker.
Another option is to ask for help from a local support organisation or training provider. For those employers who are given a personal budget, they can ask the supplier of the funding for help and relevant contact information. Service users who pay for their own care and support, or receive funding from their local authority may be able to apply to Skills for Care to help pay for the costs of care-related training.
For those working in a self-employed capacity, where a paid carer may be working with a number of different service users, it is up to them to ensure that they take on appropriate training and qualifications, to ensure that they are competent in their roles and understand what is expected of them to deliver high-quality care and support to each and every client.
Find out more about the Care Certificate here: http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Learning-development/Care-Certificate/Care-Certificate.aspx