What Is the Care Certificate?
The Care Certificate is a set of standards that health and social care workers adhere to when they are working. It was designed as a way of ensuring that the UK’s non-regulated workforce of caregivers all has the same skills and knowledge to provide high-quality care. The standards (which we’ll talk about in more depth below) promote compassionate, safe and dignified care.
Who Needs to Complete the Care Certificate?
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) now expect all health and social care employers to provide the Care Certificate. It’s designed for new staff, but it also acts as a useful refresher for existing staff. If you fall into the following three categories, you’ll be expected to complete the Care Certificate:
• You’re new to care.
• You’re currently employed as an adult social care worker.
• You provide direct care in a residential home, nursing home, hospice or are a home care worker.
How Do You Get the Care Certificate?
It should be provided by your employer as part of your induction. How and when the Care Certificate is completed is up to the discretion of your employer, so it might not happen immediately.
How Long does the Care Certificate take to complete?
The average amount of time for an employee to complete the Care Certificate is around 12 weeks. However, this can vary depending on the number of hours you work as well as your previous education and experience.
What Are The 15 Standards?
Here’s a brief overview of the 15 standards of the Care Certificate:
Understand your role
It’s important to understand your role in any job, but it’s especially important in health and social care. This standard focuses on ensuring that you fully understand your duties and responsibilities in the workplace. In addition, it goes into detail about relationships in the workplace and how to work effectively in a team or partnership.
Your personal development
When you work in health and social care, a lot of your focus will be on the people receiving care. However, it’s also important to think about your own development. In this section, you will create a personal development plan and learn about the importance of continuing personal development.
Duty of care
Duty of care is your legal obligation as a health and social care worker to provide a reasonable standard of care. In this section, you will learn about your professional duty of care. You will also learn about how potential dilemmas and how difficult situations can arise.
Equality and diversity
In this section, you will learn about the importance of equality and inclusion and how to work in an inclusive way. This includes reducing the likelihood of discrimination in the workplace. You will also get access to advice and support about equality, diversion and inclusion.
Work in a person-centred way
If you work in health and social care, you are most likely a ‘people person’. However, there are all sorts of ways you can improve your approach to work in a person-centred way. This section focuses on how to work with an individual, promote dignity and reduce causes of distress. It also looks at how to minimise pain and discomfort and maintain self-esteem.
One of the key aspects of high-quality care is clear communication. This standard is designed to teach you about both verbal and non-verbal communication in a health and social care setting. You will learn how to promote positive communication and learn about the appropriate legislation surrounding communication.
Privacy and dignity
Privacy and dignity are absolutely essential in health and social care. As a caregiver, it is your responsibility to promote dignity and respect the privacy of the person receiving care. To complete this standard, you will be required to fully understand privacy and care and talk about it in various situations.
Fluids and nutrition
As a caregiver, preparing food and drink is likely to be an everyday part of your job. During this section, you will learn about the principles of hydration, nutrition and food safety. In addition, you will be expected to support the individual receiving care to have access to fluid, food and nutrition in accordance with their care plan.
Awareness of mental health, dementia and learning disability
It’s important to be aware of mental health, dementia and learning disability in a health and social care setting. In this section, you will be expected to understand and describe the needs and experiences of people with mental health conditions, dementia and learning disabilities. You will also learn about positive attitudes, legislation, and the meaning of mental capacity.
As a caregiver, it’s important to understand the principles of safeguarding adults. In this section, you will learn about harm and abuse of adults at risk. Plus, you will learn how to reduce the likelihood of abuse and respond to suspected or disclosed abuse. There is also a section on the local and national legislation regarding safeguarding adults.
This section isn’t as in-depth as most of the standards. The reason for this is that carers working with children have to meet a separate set of training standards for safeguarding children. However, if you work in social care, you will be expected to explain what you must do if you suspect a child/ young person is being abused or neglected.
Basic Life Support
As a health and social care worker, you are required to be able to carry out basic life support. In this section, you will undertake training in adult, paediatric or newborn life support, depending on the area of care you are working in.
Health and Safety
Health and safety is an important part of delivering quality care. This is one of the most detailed standards because it covers a lot of ground. You will learn about risk assessments, accidents and sudden illness, fire safety, hazardous substances and more.
In a health and social care environment, there are agreed ways of working and legislation surrounding the recording, storing and sharing of information. You will learn how to keep up-to-date, accurate, complete and legible records and store them safely. You will also learn the reasons behind the legislation.
Infection prevention and control
In this section, you will learn how to prevent and control infection. This includes understanding the different ways an infection can get into the body, effective hand hygiene, protective clothing and safe handling. It also covers personal health and hygiene and how it can affect a work environment.