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Skills for Care is the charity at the heart of adult social care workforce development in England.
As a delivery partner for the Department of Health and Social Care, it provides practical tools and support that help to create and maintain a skilled, well-led and valued adult social care workforce.
The Skills for Care Care Certificate and Code of Conduct set the standard for adult social care. In this guide we’ll explore everything you need to know about Skills for Care’s essential work.
What is the Care Certificate?
The certificate is based on an agreed set of standards that define the skills, knowledge and behaviours that adult social care workers should demonstrate in their daily working lives.
The Care Certificate is the beginning of the career journey for people starting out in care. It ensures that adult social care professionals know how to provide high-quality, safe and compassionate care and support, whatever setting they work in.
What are the Care Certificate standards?
The Care Certificate is made up of 15 minimum standards that new care workers should cover as part of their induction programme.
Each standard is underpinned by learning outcomes and assessment criteria. Upon completing all 15 standards, workers will be awarded their Care Certificate.
The 15 standards are:
- Understand your role
- Your personal development
- Duty of care
- Equality and diversity
- Work in a person-centred way
- Privacy and dignity
- Fluids and nutrition
- Awareness of mental health, dementia and learning disabilities
- Safeguarding adults
- Safeguarding children
- Basic life support
- Health and safety
- Handling information
- Infection prevention and control
The Care Certificate: For employers
The Care Certificate is endorsed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and is now a CQC expectation. This means that all employers should offer it to their staff.
Although the certificate is aimed at new starters, it can also enable existing employees to build on or refresh their knowledge and skills.
In any care setting, the registered manager has overall responsibility for signing off the Care Certificate. Before signing off, they should be satisfied that the worker has met the 15 standards and is competent in their role.
Care providers can also decide how the certificate is delivered and assessed. This could be in-house or through an external learning provider.
The Care Certificate: For learners
The Care Certificate sets out the essential skills you’ll need in your career in care. You’ll be expected to undertake the certificate if you’re:
- New to care
- Working in adult social care
- Providing direct care in a nursing or residential home or hospice
- A home care worker
You may also be asked to complete the certificate if you’re working in a non-care role within a care setting - for example, if you work as a maintenance person or cook.
You’ll undergo training and be assessed on whether you understand and can carry out the 15 standards in your role. Once you’ve completed the standards, you’ll be able to work unsupervised.
The training process should begin at the start of your employment but may happen in stages. As you complete each standard, you may be allowed to do the work covered by that standard without supervision - even if you may still need supervision in other areas.
Completing the Care Certificate will give you a solid foundation in your career in adult social care, and may help you in pursuing further training, qualifications or apprenticeships in the future.
What is the Skills for Care Code of Conduct?
The Skills for Care Code of Conduct outlines the attitudes and behaviours that people who receive care or support should expect, setting the standard for all adult social care and healthcare support workers in England.
As an adult social care or healthcare support worker, the Skills for Care Code of Conduct states that you must:
- Be accountable by making sure you can answer for your actions or omissions
- Promote and uphold the privacy, dignity, rights, health and wellbeing of people who use health and care services and their carers at all times
- Work in collaboration with your colleagues to ensure the delivery of high quality, safe and compassionate healthcare, care and support
- Communicate in an open and effective way to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of people who use health and care services and their carers
- Respect a person’s right to confidentiality
- Strive to improve the quality of healthcare, care and support through continuing professional development
- Uphold and promote equality, diversity and inclusion
The Code of Conduct complements the Care Certificate, with the Code of Conduct setting out how workers should behave and the Care Certificate outlining what they should know and be able to do.
The code ensures employers know the standards their employees should meet, enabling them to make sure workers behave appropriately and meet the requirements of their roles.
It can be used to identify areas for improvement and continued professional development, and can inform personal development reviews and objective setting.
You can see the Code of Conduct in full here, along with guidance on meeting the standards it outlines.
The Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set
The Adult Social Care Workforce Date Set (ASC-WDS) is an online data collection service, provided by Skills for Care, covering England’s adult social care workforce.
It currently holds information on more than 20,000 care providers and 750,000 employees. Skills for Care uses the collected data to share insight and intelligence into the care sector.
This intelligence is crucial to the government, local authorities and the CQC in planning, monitoring and funding the sector.
The ASC-WDS also aids care providers in recording and accessing key information, understanding their employee training needs and accessing valuable funding.
How we can help
Our easy-to-use home care software, uRosterCare, is being built in line with Skills for Care’s ASC-WDS.
Our system will enable you to download employee data in the correct .csv format for Skills for Care’s bulk upload option.
This will allow you to easily upload your workforce information in bulk to the database, saving you the hassle of copying and pasting employee information multiple times.
uRosterCare is a new and exciting digital home care management system. It will enable you and your workers to record important information at the point of care in clients’ homes, giving managers access to live information so they can keep up-to-date in real time.
If you’d like to know more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us - we’d love to chat.
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