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Why You Should Not Cite DSDWEB in Your Essays

Following a recent conversation with a health and social care assessor, I discovered that some of her students are directly citing this website in their work.

Whilst I’m flattered that people deem my work worthy of quoting, I must advise against this.

Citations should be from sources that are authoritative and reliable. This could be the NHS, CQC, Skills for Care, the King’s Fund, peer-reviewed research papers or government departments.

Although I try to provide detailed and accurate information on this website to help students studying for health and social care qualifications, in the grand scheme of things I am just a guy on the Internet. I do work in health and social care (currently a team manager in a supported living setting) so I do have experience but I am not a professor in academia and do not have letters after my name!

Therefore, if you use me as a source, it is very likely that your assessor will advise you to remove it from your work.

This website should be used to gain knowledge and support you to understand what assessors are looking for in the answers that you provide. It is a great starting point and can help you to answer questions but if you require citations for your bibliography, it would be prudent for you to do further research and quote from a more scholarly source.


A Massive 88% of DSDWEB.CO.UK Visitors Find The Website Useful

The Results Are In! 88 percent of DSDWEB visitors said they found the website useful

We asked 100 visitors to DSDWEB.CO.UK if they found the website useful.

After responding, we also asked them why.

All responses were anonymous.

This post takes a look at this data and responds to the comments that we received.


Before I begin, I just want to say a big ‘Thank You’ to everyone that took the time to respond to the poll and leave their comments. Your feedback makes all the work that has gone into the website worthwhile and helps us to make it better in the future.


[visualizer id=”3229″]

As you can see, a whopping 88% of visitors found the website useful.

This tells us that the work we have put into it has not gone to waste and we are providing a useful resource to the care sector.


Twelve out of 100 website visitors did not find the website useful.

The feedback they supplied is shown below along with our reply:

  1.  all of its confusing ” – We’re sorry you find it confusing. Fill in our contact form or join our facebook group and we will try to help and clarify things for you.
  2.  Carnt find what I’m looking for ” – Apologies. If you haven’t already done so, try using the red search feature that is on the top right of every page (or underneath the main text on mobile). It may be that you are doing an optional unit that we haven’t yet published – there are over 100 optional units for Level 2 and Level 3 Diplomas so please bear with us!
  3.  Not what I wanted ” – No worries – thanks for visiting.
  4.  No time sorry” – No worries, thank you for your feedback and do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance in future.
  5.  NOTHING ” – Okay
  6.  interrupting ” – We’re guessing the little pop-up box asking if you found the website useful was what was interrupting. Apologies for this but asking for feedback is important to us as it helps us improve. We only use the pop-up when we have something important to ask.
  7.  have not start using it ” – Obviously we asked you the question too soon. In future we will look at only asking visitors questions when they have visited multiple pages.
  8.  not ” – Okay
  9.  thanks ” – Okay
  10.  No ” – Okay
  11.  its crap ” – Okay
  12.  Because it’s not giving me the answer I need ” – As stated earlier, there are a lot of optional units that we haven’t written/published yet but we will get there in the end.

The main points seem to be:

  • Some people can’t find what they are looking for
  • Some people just clicked ‘No’ to get rid of the pop-up box asking them the question

Next time we run a poll we will try to give an option to just close the pop-up rather than having to give an answer to close it. We will also steam ahead with getting more optional units onto the website to make it more comprehensive.


The comments of those that found the website useful are below:

  1.  it is clear and concise
  2.  has helped me with mu assignment 
  3.  descriptive answers
  4.  good 
  5.  good 
  6.  helpful 
  7.   is good for my work.
  8.  Has giving me ideas as to how communication needs to be looked at. 
  9.  Informative 
  10.  helped me with my studies 
  11.  corse work 
  12.   a lot of information
  13.  brilliant
  14.  Things are explained well ,very useful 
  15.  o 
  16.  gives good information
  17.  superb
  18.  its amaing
  19.  good 
  20.  l 
  21.  useful info for diploma 
  22.   gives answers to questions i need to answer 
  23.  clear and concise 
  24.  helps me wiyh my nvq
  25.  it gives me some examples of information for what I need
  26.  Answer to my question
  27.  hello
  28.  gave me an idea what to write on my own work
  29.  great 
  30.  It has given me the correct way to answer questions. 
  31.  eeererr 
  32.  OK 
  33.  It had the ifo I needed 
  34.  Helping me very much in my course work
  35.  I am doing my N.V.Q and need help. Thank you. 
  36.   It had a good description which helped with my work, but you could go into a little more detail
  37.   it is easy for me understand. thank you. 
  38.  good 
  39.  It helped me understand and learn more skilful knowledge. 
  40.  Lots of little refreshers to help you understand questions 
  41.   Helpful 
  42.  great 
  43.  This website helps the thought process kick into gear. It provides the start of the discussion for the student to develop further in their own words. Thanks! 
  44.  Sick website my g 
  45.  info is brilliant
  46.   ***** 
  47.   Yes
  48.  I didn’t know how to word my answer and this helps 
  49.   YES 
  50.   Thank you 
  51.  it has enriched my knowledge in health and social care. 
  52.   i have received relevant and helpful answers 
  53.   because its got simple explanation to some questions along with good examples
  54.   helps explain questions ang gives examples 
  55.  very useful 
  56.   ; 
  57.  information has been presented clearly and easily understood
  58.  yes good examples 
  59.  find the answer
  60.  it has hone and improve my skills 
  61.   yes 
  62.  very helpful to giveing information to support learning 
  63.   Helps me with my work 
  64.   good information 
  65.   I’m terrible at putting my thoughts down the right way, and really understanding what the question is asking.
  66.  got me an answers 
  67.   It’s provided me with the answers I require for my assignment. 
  68.  ok 
  69.   Very helpful 
  70.  because im doing the care certificate. Helps me put into words the knowledge I already have which is 30+ years experience 
  71.   i’m here to find some answers ,for my NvQ LEVEL2 
  72.  All the answers are available and it helps individuals doing this course to understand the care certificate and standards.
  73.  Good material to study 
  74.  . 
  75.   Useful information 
  76.  wait 
  77.   doing my diploma
  78.  its useful
  79.   helped with my level 3
  81.  just helpful 
  82.  amazing I feel its guiding slowly and am so happy I found it. 
  83.  I fund all info for my nvq level 2 ,but im not copy paste,i wil use my skils to add
  84.  it helps with areas that I as a brand new staff member haven’t learnt yet in the course of my job 
  85.  Saved me time 
  86.  Informative
  87.   still on it 
  88.   Clear information

Lots of positive feedback there (as well as a few random comments).


Te data we received from running this poll (thanks again to everyone that took the time to answer) will be used to shape the website going forward.

Although we are helping a lot of people, there is still room for improvement and we will continue to develop and get better. We will do this by:

  • Getting more optional units online
  • Creating a less intrusive poll
  • Looking at the structure of the website to see if we can make navigation more intuitive

Next time we run the poll, we want to get over 90% of visitors finding the website useful.

In the meantime, if you have any suggestions on how to improve the website, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The Difference Between an NVQ and Diploma in Health & Social Care

Picture of a diploma with the words 'Diploma or NVQ?'

You’ve probably seen that I use the words ‘NVQ’ and ‘Diploma’ interchangeably around this website and I’ve had a few messages from visitors asking me what the difference between the two is. So, I will try to explain…

In a nutshell

Essentially, an NVQ in health and social care is the same as a diploma in health and social care. The only difference is that a while ago the name changed. However, the levels remained the same so, for example, a Level 3 Diploma is the same as a Level 3 NVQ.

The history

For many years, National Vocational Qualifications or NVQs were the standard work-based qualification that recognised and assessed employees in a wide range of career paths. NVQ’s were available in hairdressing, plumbing, administration, horticulture and many other subjects.

In 2015, NVQs were discontinued and replaced by Diplomas under the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).

And then in early 2018, the QCF Diploma was replaced by the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) Diploma.

Do workers need to upgrade their qualification?

Although going forward, only RQF Diplomas can be commissioned for new learners, NVQ and QCF qualifications still remain relevant and there is no need to ‘upgrade’ to the newer standard. All the standards carry the same amount of weight and are equivalent to one another.

Level 2 NVQ = Level 2 QCF Diploma = Level 2 RQF Diploma

Also, learners that have started studying under the QCF framework will be able to continue. However, employers should ensure that their employees training is kept up-to-date and refreshers provided where necessary.

Final word

So if NVQs are obsolete, you may be asking why I continue to use the word on my website.

This is simply because a great many people in the health and social care sector still refer to Diplomas as NVQs and, consequently, many visitors to this website find it my typing a phrase with the word ‘NVQ’ in it. If I didn’t use the word ‘NVQ’, less people would find and get help from me.

Over time, I expect the word to be used less and less until at some future point in time only the word ‘Diploma’ is used. And then I will be able to remove all reference of ‘NVQ’ from these webpages.

Aspiring Manager’s Workshop Case Study: Daniel Dutton (Me)

Skills for Care Logo (Aspiring Managers)

Just a quick post to let you know I recently finished my Aspiring Manager’s Program in Leadership and Management and Skills for Care have published a case study of me.

You can check it out here:


For the record, I can thoroughly recommend the training.


How To Answer All NVQ/Diploma Questions in 3 Simple Steps

3d person lying on a question mark

Tackling an NVQ question may seem daunting to some, so in this post I will explain a very simple formula (the same one that I use) when formulating an answer. It’s a very simple and effective process that uses three easy steps to make answering any question a piece of cake.

So, here’s a question from elsewhere on my website that I will use as an example and explain how I developed my answer:

Explain how an individual’s background can influence the way they communicate

STEP 1: Turn the question around

The first step (and also the first line of the answer) is to flip the question itself around into a statement, using pretty much the same wording. In this example, I used:

The background of an individual will have a big influence on how they communicate.

but I could just as easily have used:

The way an individual communicates can be influenced to a large extent by their personal background.


An individual’s background can have a great bearing on the way that they communicate.

See what I did there? I’ve got my first sentence and I didn’t really have to think about it!

STEP 2: Make a list

Next, it is a good idea to make a short bullet-point list of all the information you wish to convey in your answer. In the example, we are looking at things in a person’s background that may influence how they communicate today. So, my bullet list may look like this:

  • Cultural
  • Upbringing
  • Abuse
  • Education/literacy
  • First language

STEP 3: Flesh out your answer

Using the list you made in step two, pad out your answer loosely sticking to the rule of one bullet point per paragraph (in my example, I have put Upbringing and Abuse in the same paragraph to make four paragraphs using the five bullet points).

In some cultures, eye contact is viewed as impolite or disrespectful in certain situations, such as between a father and daughter or a professor and student. Similarly, some cultures display emotion and feeling in their communication whilst others are more subdued.

An individual who has been brought up in a close, loving family with lots of affectionate touching may naturally hug everyone they meet, even when it would be considered socially inappropriate, whilst an individual that has been abused in the past may be timid or cower away from people in close proximity to them.

Education (or a lack thereof) can limit an individual’s ability to communicate. They may not be able to read or write and may have a limited vocabulary with which to express themselves.

If an individual is from a different country, their knowledge of the English language could be limited, making it difficult for them to communicate their needs.

Be sure to include specific examples in your answers. For example rather than just saying education can influence communication, flesh out you answer with examples such as illiteracy or limited vocabulary.

And that’s it. Job done!

Using this simple formula you should find it much easier to answer any question thrown at you.

Good luck 🙂