The Care Certificate – What’s all about? Part 2…
How to assess and document
Following on from last week’s article on the Care Certificate, here we go into a bit more detail about the importance of the Certificate and how it should be assessed.
The introduction of the Care Certificate was aimed to provide clear evidence to employers and people who receive care and support that the carer in front of them has been trained and developed to a specific set of standards. It shows that the carer has been assessed for the skills, knowledge and behaviours to ensure that they provide compassionate and high quality care and support. This helps meet the requirement for providers of regulated activities to ensure that their staff are suitably trained. The Care Certificate should also ensure that there is a record of the assessment decisions that can be audited by the employer.
It’s important to note that each carer starting a new role within the scope of this certificate is expected to already have training, education and assessment as part of their induction.
The foundation of the standards of behaviour expected of an Adult Social Care Worker are known as the ‘6 Cs’:
The Care Certificate assessment explicitly sets out these foundations.
Each employer must provide a comprehensive induction program to meet ‘Outcome 14’ of the essential standards set out by the Care Quality Commission – “Supporting Workers” and the Care Certificate is a key component of this. Think of it as the beginning of the career journey for these staff groups and is only one element of the training and education that will make them ready to practice within their specific sector. However, the Care Certificate does not replace employer induction specific to the environment in which practice will take place, nor will it focus on the specific skills and knowledge needed for a specific setting.
Assessing the Care Certificate standards requires a person who is competent in the particular standard and there are 15 of these. This could mean 15 different assessors! While there is no requirement for assessors to hold any assessor qualifications they should be familiar with, and work to, the standard set out in the National Occupational Standard.
One of the most frequently raised questions in regard to workplace learning is ‘How much evidence is enough to meet the Standard?’ Well, the evidence is sufficient when the assessor is confident that the carer has met the standard. The assessment is structured in the same format as Care qualifications, where the person being assessed must show their knowledge and performance skills. It should be as rigorous as the assessment of any formal qualification. The learner can’t be ‘part skilled’ or ‘have some knowledge’ and meet the Standards.
The assessor should be asking learners to ‘describe’, ‘explain’, ‘define’, ‘list’, or ‘identify’ correct processes. These can be undertaken using written or verbal evidence such as the workbooks, written questions, or audio files. Skills for Care have some fantastic resources and templates. Unless ‘simulation’ is expressly allowed, performance skills must be undertaken in the workplace during the learner’s real work activity and observed by the assessor. Each assessment should be appropriate to the employment setting, the learner and the outcomes to be assessed. There is no requirement for any end testing. Certificates of Attendance, attendance on study days or e-learning without assessment of what has been learnt is not evidence towards achievement of the Care Certificate.
Each employer must determine what is appropriate and what action to take if someone is not able to meet the standards having been given the appropriate level of support to do so and the use of assessments can influence the training needs of the individual learner to support them to meet the standards required. This can also support organisations to efficiently use their training budgets.
Finally, there is the need for assuring the quality of the teaching and assessment of the Care Certificate. The organisation must assure themselves that the standard of teaching and assessment is of sufficient quality that they can be confident that the carer has fully met the standard.
So, as you can see, there is a lot going with the Care Certificate. 15 standards to be assessed, written and workplace monitoring… plenty to keep on top of, especially if you have a large number of staff. Flexible Training has qualified assessors that are competent in all areas of the Care Certificate and can help with assessment of carers AND identify individual training needs for each carer undertaking the Care Certificate. We can help you make sure that your staff have the right level of knowledge and competencies at this stage of their career.
Give us a call. Together we can support your organisation and staff to offer the best quality care available.