Following a successful launch in March, the Care Certificate was rolled out by employers throughout the country on April 1st. As with any new scheme, there will always be teething problems, as is the case of the Care Certificate. The main issues arising have been with some training providers making claims concerning their products and/or services in relation to the Care Certificate.
To help address this, Skills for Health and Skills for Care & Health Education England have issued a joint statement on the subject of the Care Certificate and the practices of some training providers. They say some of the claims being made include the following :
“In recent weeks we have been made aware of a number of training providers including e-learning providers making claims about their products in relation to the Care Certificate.
These claims include:
• That they have been ‘licensed’ by one or all of the organisations above to award the Care Certificate
• That they have been ‘accredited’ by one or all of the organisations above to provide training or e-learning related to the Care Certificate
• That the Care Certificate can be achieved by completing the providers e-learning
• That by using their product the employer is complying with a mandatory requirement to ensure workers achieve the Care Certificate
• The Care Certificate must be achieved within 12 weeks of starting employment and the training provider ensures this will happen”
Skills for Health and Skills for Care & Health Education England make the following points to help clarify matters:
“Skills for Health, Skills for Care and Health Education England would like to make clear the following:
1. No provider has been ‘licensed’ to award the Care Certificate. Such a licence does notexist.
2. No providers are accredited to deliver the Care Certificate. Some organisations may have had their training externally quality assured by a third party and we would encourage providers to explore this option but no provider has been ‘accredited’ to deliver the Care Certificate.
3. It is not possible to achieve the Care Certificate through completion of e-learning alone. Whilst e-learning can certainly support the acquisition of knowledge and the assessment of knowledge, the assessment of the required skills must be undertaken in the workplace unless simulation is explicitly allowed.
We would also encourage employers to look carefully at the quality of the learning materials and assessment being used in any products being marketed to them, and to consider carefully whether the assessment would comply with the assessment requirements. An example of this may be to consider whether it is possible to meet the Care Certificate assessment requirement to ‘Describe how the duty of care affects their own work role’ or ‘Explain why personal views must not influence an individual’s own choices or decisions’ by answering a multiple choice question.
4. The Care Certificate is not a mandatory requirement. However, the Care Quality Commission will expect that appropriate staff who are new to services which they regulate will achieve the competences required by the care Certificate as part of their induction.
5. It is not a requirement that the Care Certificate is achieved within 12 weeks. The Care Certificate FAQ states: The experience of the pilot sites has shown that for full-time staff the average amount of time taken for an employee new to health or social care to demonstrate the expected competences and knowledge is 12 weeks. This will vary from organisation to organisation, and may depend upon a range of factors: the hours worked by the learner, teaching methods chosen, previous educational achievement, resources and opportunities for assessment, the availability of assessors.”
Their statement shows it is important to choose an experienced training provider – one who understands the Care Certificate and other programmes and can offer suitable solutions as required.