The Care Certificate is an entry-level qualification for all health and social care workers.
It was developed in partnership by Health Education England, Skills for Health and Skills for Care to provide a set of standards for individuals beginning a career in the health and social care industry to ensure that they are able to do their jobs in a caring and compassionate manner.
It comprises of fifteen standards, which 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
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to frequently asked questions about the Care Certificate.
The Care Certificate is a set of 15 standards consisting of various practical and knowledge-based assessment criteria that are considered the minimum level of training for all health and care workers.
Although primarily developed for workers that are new to the care sector with no previous experience, employers may decide that other staff members should also complete the Care Certificate as part of their professional development.
The Care Certificate is not an accredited qualification, however it is recognised as best practice for care workers to complete it.
The time required to complete the Care Certificate will vary between individuals, however it should take around 12 weeks for a full-time member of staff.
Although the Care Certificate is not referenced directly in CQC Key Lines of Enquiry, they do require that registered organisations employ fit and proper persons (Regulation 19) and the Care Certificate can support this. Read about CQC’s official position here.
Anyone that an employer deems occupationally competent in an area of the Care Certificate can assess it – no training qualifications are required.
Some elements of the Care Certificate can be completed online (knowledge criteria), however, practical assessments are also required in the form of observations, so these must be completed in person.
The Care Certificate is an entry-level qualification and has no equivalency to further qualifications, such as Levels 2/3/4/5 diploma. However, many of the assessment criteria are very similar to the criteria for Level 2 and 3 and may be mapped to them.
This is a subjective question and will vary between individuals and be influenced by the support they get from their employer. Across 15 standards there are around 200 assessment criteria in total, which many care workers are expected to complete in their own time – therefore many workers report that it is not easy. However, the knowledge and skills that you develop from completing the Care Certificate will be fundamental to your role.
Many of the assessment criteria for the Level 2 and 3 Diploma/NVQ maps directly to the Care Certificate, so this can be used to reduce the repetition of work. However, it will up to your employer if they wish you to complete the Care Certificate or not.
Anyone can complete the knowledge criteria for the Care Certificate but you will also need to be able to demonstrate the practical aspects. Therefore, you will need to be working in a health or care role.
No, you only have to do it once, however your employer will require you to undergo regular refresher training in areas of your work as part of your continuing professional development (CPD). If you change employers you may have to redo the Care Certificate.
No, you can’t fail the Care Certificate, although it may take some people longer than others to complete it. Any assessment criteria that are not achieved will highlight where your employer may need to provide additional training before reassessment.
No, the Care Certificate should be used as part of the induction process.
This depends on your employer, however, very often the answer is ‘yes’. Although the Care Certificate was designed to be portable between employers, there is no centralised awarding body or quality control. Therefore, many employers do not trust other employers to have delivered the Care Certificate appropriately.