Care Certificate requirement launches on 1 April

CQC and the Department of Health have this week published further information on what they expect from health and social care providers ahead of the introduction of the new Care Certificate. From the 1 April 2015 all new healthcare assistants and social care support workers will be required to get a Care Certificate in their first 12 weeks of employment.

The idea for the Care Certificate was initially suggested as a result of the Cavendish Review that was published in July 2013. The review made suggestions on how to improve the quality of care provided by health and care support workers in the wake of the failings at Mid Staffordshire and proposed that all health and care support workers get a standard certificate of ‘fundamental care’ before they can care for people unsupervised.

Since then, Health Education England, Skills for Care and Skills for Health have developed the Care Certificate. This assesses the fundamental skills, knowledge and behaviours that are required to provide safe, effective and compassionate care. It will be awarded to staff in health and care roles who can demonstrate that they meet the 15 Care Certificate standards which are:

Awareness of mental health, dementia and learning disability
Safeguarding adults
Safeguarding children
Basic life support
Health and safety
Handling information
Infection prevention and control
Fluids and nutrition
Privacy and dignity
Communication
Work in a person centred way
Equality and diversity
Duty of care
Your personal development
Understand your role
Individuals need to complete all 15 standards in full before they can be awarded their certificate.

The Care Certificate will be used by CQC as a benchmark of how providers can meet the staffing regulations, and may actively be looked for by CQC inspection teams.

Commenting on the Care Certificate, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Andrea Sutcliffe, said “We welcome the launch of the Care Certificate from April as a framework for good practice for the induction of staff across health and social care settings. I encourage all providers to be aware of the new Care Certificate standards.

“As part of our new approach to inspecting, monitoring and rating health and social care services, we expect providers to recruit, support and develop their staff appropriately.

“It is a crucial responsibility of providers to make sure that their health and social care staff are skilled, valued and trained to do their job well. We know from our inspections that those who do are more likely to deliver the sort of safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led services that people have every right to expect.”

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