24th March 2014

Following the publication of Robert Francis QC's report into the failings of Mid Staffordshire Hospital, Camilla Cavendish was asked to review the roles of healthcare assistants and social care workers in both health and social care settings.

Cavendish proposed common training standards across health and social care, building on what the best employers already do.  Her report recommended the introduction of a 'Certificate of Fundamental Care', now known as the Care Certificate, written in plain English, to ensure a consistent standard across the sector and to enable employers to deliver better care.

Skills for Health is now working with Health Education England and Skills for Care on the development of the Care Certificate.

The agreed draft content will build on the National Minimum Training Standards and the Common Induction Standards used in social care. It will be a requirement that assessment of the learning outcomes of the Care Certificate is clearly recorded and auditable. It is intended that achievement of the Care certificate will ensure that the healthcare support worker provides high quality, compassionate care.

Draft versions of the guidance documents associated with the Certificate are being finalised and will be posted here shortly. These documents will be tested through the pilots and may be subject to further amendments following the evaluation.

The Care Certificate will be piloted over the spring and summer of 2014. The purpose of the pilot is to ascertain that the content, assessment process and certification of the Care Certificate is effective and fit for purpose, and to gauge its potential impact. Those taking part in the pilot over the summer will test this by involving their new recruits. An evaluation report will be produced in September 2014 in time to influence the launch of the Care Certificate in spring 2015.