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The Care Certificate

One of the key recommendations from the Francis Inquiry was for greater education and training for the unregistered workforce. This recommendation was taken forward by Camilla Cavendish in a detailed review. The Cavendish Review published in July 2013, recommended the introduction of a Certificate of Fundamental Care, now referred to as the ‘Care Certificate’.

The review recommended that the certificate should:

  • Be applicable across health and social care
  •  Be portable between roles, and transferable between employers.
  •  Build upon the existing and tested Common Induction Standards (CIS) and National Minimum Training Standards (NMTS).
  • Equip people with the skills and knowledge to be able to provide quality care, and test their capacity to be caring.
  • The certificate is intended to be the start of a career journey for support workers and is not intended to replace employer induction specific to the environment in which practice will take place.

Health Education England, Skills for Care and Skills for Health, have worked together to develop the Care Certificate. The Care Certificate has been field tested with a range of employers across health and social care to ascertain whether the content and delivery of the Care Certificate is effective and fit for purpose. As a result, a number of recommendations have been agreed by the Department of Health’s Governance Assurance Board.

The Certificate replaces the National Minimum Training Standards for support roles and will apply to all support staff that provide direct care to patients and clients (but may be applied to others). The Certificate aims to ensure employees have the appropriate knowledge, skills, behaviours and values to deliver safe and compassionate care. The initial focus is on new recruits although consideration will be given prior to national implementation on how the Certificate might be applied to existing staff.

Staff will be required to learn about and be assessed, including in practice, over a three month period. Individuals will need to complete all 15 standards to be awarded the Care Certificate. The 15 standards should remain, subject to some amendments.

North Central and East London

Across HE NCEL, we have been working with the following 3 pilot sites in 2014/15 to review the 15 standards and methods of rolling out the Care Certificate in practice:

  • Islington Pilot: Consists of Whittington Health, Islington CCG, GP surgeries, London Borough of Islington Social Care, Camden and Islington Mental Health Trust, community pharmacies, Hospices and Care Homes as well as voluntary sector providers.
  • Waltham Forest, East London And City (WELC) Pilot: Consists of Barts Health NHS Trust, East London Foundation Trust and Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Great Ormond Street Hospital: GOSH is reviewing the 15 standards with a Children and Young People’s healthcare focus and testing these adaptations for roll out from April 2015.

 For further information on the work in HE NCEL, contact info.ncel@hee.nhs.uk

The Care Certificate is expected to be rolled out to new starters in health and social care from April 2015. 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 from January 2015.


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