Care Certificate

carer steadying hands on a walking stick

The Care Certificate was officially launched in March 2015. It aims to equip health and social care support workers with the knowledge and skills which they need to provide safe, compassionate care. 

Employers are expected to implement the Care Certificate for all applicable new starters from April 2015. They will be required to meet its standards before they can work with patients. It replaces the Common Induction Standards (CIS) and the National Minimum Training Standards (NMTS).

Development of the Care Certificate

Health Education England (HEE), Skills for Care and Skills for Health have worked together to develop the Care Certificate, designed to meet the requirements set out in the Cavendish Review.

The Care Certificate has been field tested with a range of employers across health and social care to establish whether its content and proposed delivery activities are fit for purpose.  

Guidance for implementing the Care Certificate

HEE, Skills for Care and Skills for Health have made a number of recommendations about the implementation of the certificate:

  • individuals will need to complete all 15 standards to be awarded the Care Certificate
  • the Care Certificate should be prioritised by employers for 'new staff, new to care'
  • 12 weeks will remain as the guidance time frame for a full time individual to complete the Care Certificate
  • the minimum level for quality assurance of the Care Certificate, and the certification itself, will be the responsibility of employers
  • in addition to events and workshops, a suite of materials will be made freely available for employers to download and use to support them in implementing the Care Certificate.

Guidance has recently been issued to help employers take the necessary steps in readiness for the launch. Find out what action you and your staff need to take by downloading the following documents from the HEE website: 

Care Certificate framework - a document for assessors

Care Certificate standards self assessment tool - information for employers and staff 

Care Certificate standards - details about the 15 standards to be completed in order to be awarded the certificate

Care Certificate mapping document - information about how the certificate maps to other health and social care resources

Care Certificate Questions and Answers - for health and social care professionals. 

In November 2015 Health Education England, Skills for Health and Skills for Care issued a joint statement regarding the Care Certificate and training providers including e-learning.  It was published in response to a number of training providers, including e-learning providers, making claims about their products in relation to the Care Certificate.

More information and resources

Further information about the Care Certificate, including questions and answers for the general public is available on the HEE website.  
Several other organisations, such as the National Skills Academy for Health and National Numeracy have developed resources to support employers to introduce the Care Certificate. Access our Care Certificate resources web page to find out more about these things.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) will expect employers to demonstrate how they are meeting their responsibilities in terms of implementing the Care Certificate. Find out more about CQC's monitoring of the Care Certificate

NHS Employers has established a new network for managers in the NHS with a responsibility for training and upskilling the workforce. The network provides a forum for them to understand and influence policy changes in this area. As a current issue which will have implications for employers and the workforce, the Care Certificate is one item on the network's agenda. Find out more, including how to join on our Skills and Education in Employment Network web page. 

If you would like to keep up to date, or join in the conversation about the Care Certificate on Twitter, use the hashtag #CareCert.

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