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The Mandatory Training Group is one of the UK's leading UK Care Certificate providers. The Care Certificate training course is part of our wide range of accredited online health and social care training courses. In addition, we also provide online training courses, including statutory and mandatory training, adult health and social care courses and care certificate courses with certificates.

Register by filling the form below for our free care certificate online training courses for health and social care support workers. Once you successfully complete your online assessments, please follow the instructions to download your certificates. 

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Care Certificate Answers

Free Care Certificate Training Courses - Online Care Certificate Training Courses with Certificates.

Here at The Mandatory Training Group, we receive many enquiries from health and social care providers about the Care Certificate. We have listed some of these frequently asked questions.

Click on the text below to see the answers to the FAQs about the Care Certificate.

The Care Certificate covers an agreed set of standards that sets out the required knowledge, skills and behaviour for specific job roles in the health and social care sectors. It constitutes 15 minimum standards that incorporate a robust induction programme for those who are new to care.

The Care Certificate was jointly developed by Skills for Care, Health Education England and Skills for Health.

The Care Certificate represents the most significant change to workforce development in the health and social care sectors. The introduction of the Care Certificate signifies the first time of applying the same standards across health and social care sectors.

Evidencing learning competence "in practice" and staff learning "during real work duties" promote higher-value outcomes than the delivery of staff training using traditional methods.

The new standards encapsulated in the Care Certificate help ensure that health and social care workers have the fundamental values, behaviours and competencies to provide high-quality, compassionate and personalised care.

Together with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulation and inspection, the Care Certificate has helped set out the outcomes to achieve, whether through training or alternative learning and development activities. There is a distinct requirement to provide evidence of workplace assessment relating to every health and social care worker's competence and safety to practice.

No, the Care Certificate is not mandatory because it does not form part of the legislation. However, the CQC does refer to the Care Certificate as an expected standard within their regulations. Therefore, while it is not technically statutory/mandatory, the CQC will consider the implementation of the Care Certificate as part of their inspection.

If, as an organisation, you prefer to do something other than the Care Certificate or you choose not to complete all of its outcomes, you must demonstrate to the CQC that the induction training programme meets the needs of your healthcare staff and the people you support.

Some people may wonder what the point of the Care Certificate is, if it is not mandatory. One of the critical differences between the Care Certificate, the Common Induction Standards and one that is included in the legislation is the principle of competence.

It is no longer about what training courses people have attended. Instead, it is more about making sure their day-to-day practice is safe.

The Care Certificate started on 1 April 2015. Health and social care providers had until September 2015 to implement it and to migrate across from the Common Induction Standards gradually.

If your staff already did the Common Induction Standards, they can use the Mandatory Training Group's interactive Care Certificate courses to top up their evidence.

By completing the Care Certificate standards, they will be able to demonstrate that they meet the new standards.

The Care Certificate is meant to be portable. The idea behind the Care Certificate is that once completed, health and social care workers do not have to do it again. However, the Care Certificate guidance states that employers must check that the person has retained the competencies required for the Care Certificate. Therefore, if an employer recruits a member of staff who already holds the Care Certificate, they must not send them off to work without checking their knowledge and practice.

Health and social care employers must use comprehensive interview techniques, shadowing sessions and adequate supervision to ensure they still have the expected knowledge and behaviours necessary within the care setting.

The Care Certificate has about 230 outcomes, 50% more than the Common Induction Standards. Since the outcomes are distributed across 15 Care Certificate standards, each standard is a bit smaller than the Common Induction Standards.

The Care Certificate should ideally be completed within the first 12 weeks of starting employment. Most employers cover the Care Certificate as part of employees' induction training, using robust methods for checking knowledge, skills and behaviours.

Yes, Care Certificate assessors must check knowledge, skills and behaviours. The Care Certificate Assessor document state that employers must have “a record of the assessment that is auditable”.

Yes, the Care Certificate can be used for QCF (Qualifications and Credit Framework), formerly known as NVQ (National Vocational Qualification).

The Care Certificate is more about knowledge and practice instead of just attending courses. Therefore, health and social care support workers can reuse some of the materials as evidence towards their QCF portfolio. Additionally, using the Care Certificate this way helps to make the process quicker as learners can add observations of practice from the very beginning.

The Care Certificate guidance states that observations must be based on “real work activity”. Team leaders and supervisors must do these observations because they know the service users, their preferences and local policies.

No, Care Certificate assessors do not need to have an A1 award. Care Certificate Assessors do not need formal qualifications. However, they do need to be competent to carry out the role of the assessor within the work setting.

Care Certificate assessors can cascade their knowledge to team leaders, supervisors and line managers. Health and social care train the trainer courses can also help to upskill team leaders and supervisors.

Not all health and social care workers need to do the Care Certificate. Unlike new starters, existing health and social care staff do not need to complete the Care Certificate within 12 weeks. However, in the long run, all new health and social care workers must meet the Care Certificate standards.

Yes, health and social care organisations can use an external training provider, eLearning courses or workbooks to learn about the standards and outcomes in the Care Certificate.

When organisations recruit staff who have never worked in the health and social care sector, they must have a clear pathway for their learning and development. However, it is not this training that provides evidence of their competence. In the same way, completing a workbook or some eLearning does not provide evidence of what the person has learnt from the learning activity.

You must provide evidence of what the person is putting into practice based on their knowledge and understanding.

The Care Certificate guidance states that:

“Certificates of attendance, attendance on study days or eLearning without assessment of what has been learnt is NOT evidence toward the achievement of the Care.”

Yes, we have provided an overview of the Care Certificate, noting all the essential facts. Click here to see the Care Certificate overview.

The Care Certificate was introduced in March 2015, replacing both the National Minimum Training Standards and the Common Induction Standards. Initially, draft Care Certificate documents were piloted with employers between April and September 2014.

Health and social care staff will not have to complete a set of mandatory training courses to be signed off against their Care Certificate. Instead, they must provide evidence that they have relevant knowledge and understanding of the standards set out in the Care Certificate. Most importantly, they must prove that they can put this into practice for their job role.

Under the Care Certificate requirements, each staff member must have an individual portfolio, including evidence of workplace assessment during the health or social care worker’s real work activity as observed by a Care Certificate assessor.

The Care Certificate assessor is usually their line manager or supervisor, and they do not need to be a qualified NVQ/QCF assessor. However, the registered manager has the responsibility of verifying the quality of teaching and assessment that has been provided before signing off the Care Certificate themselves.

For health and social care staff who have completed the Common Induction Standards, the Mandatory Training Group provides top-up assessments to prove each learner's knowledge, understanding and practice against the new Care Certificate standards and learning outcomes.

Here at the Mandatory Training Group, we continue to provide free Care Certificate online courses across the health and social care sectors to support staff as they generate their evidence portfolios. Click here to see how we can help your organisation to implement the Care Certificate.

In the wake of the Francis Inquiry, and following the identification of severe challenges in some other health and social care settings in 2013, Camilla Cavendish was asked by the Secretary of State to review and make recommendations on:

  • The recruitment,
  • Learning and development,
  • Management and support of healthcare assistants and social care support workers, and
  • Proper administration of compassionate care within the workforce.
  • The resulting report, ‘The Cavendish Review: An Independent Review into Healthcare Assistants and Support Workers in the NHS and Social Care Settings (July 2013)’ found that preparation of healthcare assistants and social care support workers for their roles within care settings was inconsistent. Thus, she recommended the development of a Certificate of Fundamental Care – the ‘Care Certificate’.

    The Care Certificate is the start of the career journey for many health and social care workers. It is only one element of the training and education that will make them ready to practice within their specific sector.

    The Care Certificate builds on the Common Induction Standards (CIS) and National Minimum Training Standards (NMTS). It explicitly sets out the learning outcomes, competencies and standards of behaviour that must be expected of an HCSW/ASCW in both sectors, ensuring that all HCSW/ASCWs can provide high-quality, compassionate and personalised care.

    The Care Certificate also reflects how these behaviours support the NHS England’s Chief Nursing Officer's 6Cs (care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment).

    No, the Care Certificate does not base on knowledge alone. The Care Certificate contains both knowledge and competency outcomes.

    Assessment of knowledge and understanding is prefixed with verbs such as ‘describe,’ ‘explain,’ ‘define,’ ‘list,’ or ‘identify’ and can be undertaken using written or oral evidence such as the workbook, written questions, case studies or sound files.

    Evidence of performance prefixed with words such as ‘demonstrate,’ ‘take steps to,’ ‘use’ or ‘show’ must be undertaken in the workplace during the learner's real work activity and observed by the assessor unless the use of simulation is expressly allowed. Although learners can practice and develop their new skills in a classroom or similar setting, it is vital to collect the assessment evidence during real work activity.

    The Care Certificate does not replace employer induction training specific to the environment in which practice will take place. Also, it does not focus on the particular skills and knowledge needed for a specific setting.

    The Care Certificate will replace the National Minimum Training Standards (NMTS) and the Common Induction Standards (CIS) and provides the framework for these within Health and Social Care.

    Each HCSW/ASCW starting within a new role within the scope of the Care Certificate is expected to have training, education and assessment as part of this certificate, within the first 12 weeks of employment.

    Training sessions delivered for the Care Certificate can include using several methods to impart knowledge and skills. However, they must meet the standards of the learning outcomes.

    Assessment will differ depending on the element of the Care Certificate. Most assessment should be within a care setting, in practice, with service users/patients. Also, it should be completed face-to-face by an occupationally competent Care Certificate assessor.

    Simulated (simulation is where the achievement of valid and reliable assessment calls for evidence of performance under workplace conditions, but where it will be difficult to assess through regular working practice) evidence can only be used where the evidence could not reasonably be evaluated in a real work situation or is unlikely to occur during the induction period, such as basic life support. Seemingly, it is not permissible to use Skype or other forms of video evidence when assessing performance for basic life support training.

    The Care Certificate certification should be recorded by the employer and where possible, made accessible via a national system. For example, NHS Trusts that use it can do this via the Electronic Staff Record.

    Where the employer does not use a national system, the record must be maintained locally and made available for inspection purposes. There is no central certification process for the Care Certificate. Award of the Care Certificate will likely be via the employer using a standard national template.

    The employer is responsible for assuring the quality of the teaching and assessment of the Care Certificate. The Registered Manager in Adult Social Care or named person in a health employer will sign off the HCSW/ASCW as having successfully met all the standards to achieve the Care Certificate.

    The Registered Manager/named person must assure themselves that the standard of teaching and assessment is of sufficient quality that they can be confident that the HCSW/ASCW has fully met the standard. The outcomes of the Care Certificate will be quality assured via the CQC's existing methodology in reviewing its essential standards.

    It is not the intention or expectation that the Care Certificate will be accredited as a national qualification. The Care Certificate does not require local accreditation by any awarding body or Higher Education Institution, and there is no requirement for it to have external quality assurance.

    However, health and social care employers may wish to seek accreditation of the learning or external quality assurance. It is, however, an expectation that the Care Certificate would provide evidence towards QCF qualifications and Apprenticeships across both Health and Social Care.

    Experienced health and social care professionals develop the Mandatory Training Group's online Care Certificate training courses. All our Care Certificate eLearning materials are externally peer-reviewed by the CPD Certification Service (CPDUK) as complying with the universally accepted CPD standards.

    The delivery of Care Certificate is up to the employer. If the organisation has people who have the appropriate skills, knowledge and competency to deliver that particular element of the Care Certificate, then they may wish to provide the training themselves.

    The Care Certificate allows the use of eLearning to provide further knowledge relating to the Care Certificate. It recognises how technology offers individuals and employers the opportunity to learn anywhere. Design and delivery must meet the standards of the outcomes. However, with regards to competency assessment, it must be face-to-face.

    No, the Care Certificate is for HCSW/ASCW who are starting within a new role. Those who have completed their CIS have already completed preparation for their roles and will continue to be recognised.

    Ongoing compliance with required competencies will be picked up as part of supervision and the yearly appraisal cycle.

    The content of the Care Certificate builds on the content of the CIS/NMTS. It requires an assessment of competence and knowledge. However, the achievement of the CIS/NMTS does not automatically mean awarding of the Care Certificate.

    The initial focus is for new staff to achieve the Care Certificate. However, during the pilot work, we will be looking at how existing staff can prove that they are working in compliance with the standards set out in the Care Certificate.

    For those workers who have completed CIS/NMTS to meet the requirements of induction, it is the responsibility of the employer to identify whether the job role requires meeting the additional standards of the Care Certificate. It is envisaged that the framework of the Care Certificate will form part of the supervision and appraisal process.

    No, completion of the Care Certificate means it is portable. Therefore, it does not have to be retaken. However, as the Care Certificate does not replace employer induction specific to the environment in which practice will take place. It also does not focus on the particular skills and knowledge needed for a specific setting where the employer may request additional induction.

    Employers should continue to induct their staff as they have been doing. In social care, this would be by completion of the Common Induction Standards.

    As the Care Certificate is portable, it does not have to be retaken. However, as you remain in or develop in your job role, your employer may request you to undertake other forms of formal or informal learning.

    No, there is no national record of who has/has not completed the Care Certificate. The employer is responsible for maintaining the record.

    Individual employers are not bound by the same requirements as other employers to complete the Care Certificate. It is good practice for the individual employer to encourage Personal Assistants to complete the Care Certificate.

    Yes, health and social care managers can download, edit and print a certificate of completion once you have jointly assembled a solid evidence portfolio and the supervisor in your setting is satisfied that you are safe to practice.

    Please note that certificates can only really demonstrate the completion of an assessment or some learning. The real test of your safety to practice is in what you do in your everyday working life. This is why we believe that the evidence portfolio is far more useful in demonstrating safety to practice.

    The 2013 Cavendish Review found that preparation of healthcare assistants and social care support workers for their roles providing care was inconsistent.

    The report recommended the development of a Certificate of Fundamental Care – the “Care Certificate”.

    The employer awards the Care Certificate on completion of both the skills and knowledge aspects of the 15 standards. Health and social care employers can award their own certificate with templates available here.

    The Care Certificate is for new staff as part of an induction. This primary audience is Healthcare Support Workers or Adult Social Care Workers. These fields consist of Health Care Assistants, Assistant Practitioners, Care Support Workers and those giving support to clinical roles in the NHS where there is any direct contact with patients.

    “Care Support Workers” includes the following:
  • Health Care Assistance
  • Assistant Practitioners
  • Those giving support to clinical roles with direct patient contact
  • Adult Social Care workers in residential, nursing homes and hospices
  • Home care workers
  • Domiciliary care staff.
  • Other social care roles include:
  • Caring volunteers
  • Porters
  • Cooks
  • Drivers with direct contact with patients/ service users.
  • However, the person must achieve success in all of the outcomes and assessment requirements to be awarded the Care Certificate.

    Ideally, someone would aim to achieve the Care Certificate when they first start work as a Healthcare Support Workers or Adult Social Care Worker.

    There is no fixed time for when someone should achieve the certificate. However, on average, it takes 12 weeks to complete the certificate. Thus, starting sooner rather than later is recommended.

    No, the certificate is designed to be portable. If you change jobs or take on a new employee, if they have completed the Care Certificate elsewhere, you do not need to achieve the Certificate again.

    Health and social care employers are expected to help staff retain their knowledge and competencies.

    No, the Care Certificate might cover some parts of an existing induction. However, all organisations will have particular needs that the Care Certificate will not cover.

    The average time for a new employee to demonstrate the expected competencies and knowledge related to the Care Certificate is 12 weeks.

    This may vary according to the Care Certificate training needs of each individual and the resources available to employers.

    It depends on their experience levels. Health and social care providers have a legal duty to assess the training needs of all new staff. This applies to the agency, bank or directly recruited health and social care assistants. Also, this assessment may indicate that a new staff member needs to receive training in all, some or none of the care certificate standards before providing unsupervised care.

    The Care Certificate means that every support worker, irrespective of where they are working should have a common standard of initial training. If you are working in an orthopaedic ward as your first job, you will have the same minimum training as somebody working in a learning disability care home. The learning that the worker does as part of the rest of their induction sits atop the Care Certificate.

    The Care Certificate ensures that a support worker’s career starts off with the right foundation for learning and development. The Care Certificate aims to standardise that beginning part of the journey. More than this, the Certificate aims to make people feel valued.

    There is an ongoing longitudinal study that will look at the longer-term impacts. This includes how people feel about their job and field, as well as the increased retention of support workers and/or support workers progressing into more advanced learning like the apprenticeships at level two or level three. It will also evaluate whether they are better prepared for the jobs that they are being employed to do.

    All health and social care providers must provide people with information about how to make comments and complaints about any aspect of care. More information about how to complain is available on the Care Quality Commission website.

    The assessor can be anybody who is competent in both skills and knowledge of the competencies being assessed. Also, there is an expectation that the person will have had some training in being an assessor. There are no specific qualifications required for this as it varies from employer to employer. Download the Care Certificate assessor framework here.

    Being a Care Certificate assessor is not something that anybody should take lightly. Care Certificate assessors make decisions on whether somebody is competent to work in health and social care. Download the Care Certificate assessor framework here.

    No, health and social care employers may use a training provider to deliver both teaching and learning processes. The provider may also provide some assessments.

    Ultimately though, it is the employer who awards the Care Certificate as they are the one capable of assessing work-based competency.

    No provider has been ‘licenced’ to award the Care Certificate as such licence does not exist.

    However, the Mandatory Training Group’s Care Certificate online training courses are externally peer-reviewed and certified by the CPD Certification Service (CPDUK).

    No, it is not possible to achieve the full Care Certificate from eLearning alone. It is best to see the Care Certificate as a combined demonstration of skills and knowledge. Although eLearning will help with the knowledge aspect, competencies still need to be demonstrated in the workplace.

    If you have been working in the health and social care sector for several years, it is expected that you already have the outlined competencies and knowledge. This should, therefore, fast track learners’ completion of the Care Certificate as the employer may be able to record a demonstration of competencies in the workplace easily.

    Yes, the Mandatory Training Group provides free Care Certificate standards through our online learning portal. Click here to sign up for our free Care Certificate training courses online.

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