Mandatory Training For Healthcare Professionals


By Skills for Health | 10 July 2017

Providing statutory and mandatory training is a key investment by NHS and healthcare employers, and despite budget constraints and time concerns, it can play a crucial role in ensuring a high level of care to patients. This article outlines guidance across health and social care, with tips for sector specialisms. Skills for Health, as authors of the Core Skills Training Framework® – the trusted benchmark for statutory and mandatory training – offer a range of eLearning courses aligned to the key learning outcomes for healthcare employees.

What do we mean by mandatory training?

Many organisation use the term mandatory training as a ‘catch all’ to cover mandatory and statutory training, but there is a difference between the two.

Statutory Training

Statutory training is that which an organisation is legally required to provide as defined by law or where a statutory body has instructed organisations to provide training on the basis of legislation.

Mandatory Training

Mandatory training is that determined essential by an organisation for the safe and efficient running in order to reduce organisational risks and comply with policies, government guidelines. For the purposes of this article, we will be using mandatory training as the catch all phrase throughout.

So what topics should be covered within mandatory training?

Skills for Health UK Core Skills Training Framework (CSTF)®

To help harmonise mandatory training for NHS and healthcare workers. Skills for Health developed the Statutory/Mandatory Core Skills Training Framework.

This provides an effective framework upon which training can follow. The subjects in the statutory/mandatory Core Skills Training Framework are as follows:

  • Equality, Diversity and Human Rights
  • Health, Safety and Welfare
  • NHS Conflict Resolution
  • Fire Safety
  • Infection Prevention and Control
  • Moving and Handling
  • Safeguarding Adults
  • Preventing Radicalisation
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Resuscitation
  • Information Governance

These core skills and subjects all play a key role in the smooth, efficient and effective running of any healthcare organisation. Whether staff are being trained for the first time or are having their skills refreshed, this knowledge and the techniques provided all hold vital importance in the safety and level of care provided to patients.

Skills for Health have also launched specialist core skills training frameworks in the following topics:

In addition to the guidelines from Skills for Health’s Core Skills Training Framework, mandatory training needs to adapt to the needs of the individual workplace, with guidelines available for specialist health and care sectors.

Mandatory Training & the Care Certificate

The Care Certificate is a set standards for health and social care workers produced with the aim of standardising introductory skills, knowledge and behaviours. The goal is ensure compassionate, safe and high quality care.

The 2013 Cavendish Review found that preparation of healthcare assistants and social care support workers for their roles providing care was inconsistent. The report recommended the development of a Certificate of Fundamental Care – the “Care Certificate”.

The Care Certificate is for new staff as part of an induction. The Care Certificate isn’t mandatory per se, but there is still an expectation. The Care Quality Commission will look to ensure that whatever the organisation is doing with its training that covers the requirements of the Care Certificate.

This primary audience is Healthcare Support Workers or Adult Social Care Workers. These fields consist of Health Care Assistants, Assistant Practitioners, Care Support Workers and those giving support to clinical roles in the NHS where there is any direct contact with patients. “Care Support Workers” includes the following:

  • Health Care Assistance
  • Assistant Practitioners
  • Those giving support to clinical roles with direct patient contract
  • Care Support Workers consisting of the following:
  • Adult Social Care workers in residential, nursing homes and hospices.
  • Home care workers,
  • Domiciliary care staff

Other social care roles include:

  • Caring volunteers
  • Porters
  • Cooks
  • Drivers with direct contact with patients/ service users.

Mandatory Training for Care Homes & Hospices

It is up to the healthcare provider to ensure staff are qualified, experienced and competent. The topics for mandatory training will be in line with the Care Certificate, with additional training for additional topics such as Control of Substances Hazardous to Health, Caldicott Principles and Food Hygiene. As those working in care homes often go beyond the role of nursing to provide extra support and care to patients, it is especially crucial that they understand aspects such as food safety.

Likewise, knowledge of fire safety can potentially save lives in the event of an emergency. With infection control, this can play a crucial role in ensuring illnesses, bacteria and viruses are not spread throughout a care home, which could prove fatal with vulnerable patients all living under one roof. There would also be the potential of legal cases if an infection was to spread and it was found that staff had not followed key training and management procedures.

Mandatory Training for GP Surgeries

In addition to the Core Skills Training Framework surgeries will have their own strategies in place for their doctors and nurses. It is expected that each organisation will provide statutory/mandatory training depending on the needs of the practice and their staff.

It is specified under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 that all healthcare providers will have sufficient numbers of staff who are suitably qualified, skilled, and experienced for the visitors to the practice at all times. Some basic examples of training that would be expected at all practices include basic life support, fire safety training, infection control, knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, as well as training to an appropriate level for the safeguarding of children and adults who are at risk.

The CQC will undertake inspections to check that staff have the necessary qualifications and skills. They will check when the individual started their employment, what responsibilities they hold, and how the healthcare provider has been seeking to meet the learning needs of their team. They will also examine what training has been held, and whether they can see evidence of this training. They may ask for this to be demonstrated to them.

Mandatory Training for Nurses

The CQC team will make inspections to check levels of training, and ensure all staff that are working are considered to be experienced, knowledgeable, responsible, qualified, competent, and skilled. They may be required to demonstrate these skills during an inspection, for example, showing that they can administer a vaccine, take samples for the cervical screening programme, take a blood sample, treat minor illnesses, explain the fire safety and evacuation procedures, and demonstrate safe moving and handling of patients.

The RCN break down mandatory training into statutory core health and safety and mandatory training options.

Core health and safety awareness and training.

This usually includes:

  • Awareness of the local health and safety policy
  • Awareness of the control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH)
  • When and how to report injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences (RIDDOR)
  • Fire safety awareness training
  • Manual handling training
  • Basic risk assessment training
  • Annual updates in essential areas of fire safety and manual handling.
Mandatory training might include:
  • Complaints handling
  • Conflict resolution (managing violence and aggression)
  • Consent
  • Display and screen equipment
  • Incident reporting
  • Hand hygiene
  • Hazardous substances
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Information governance
  • Mental capacity and safeguarding adults
  • Medicines handling and management

Mandatory Training in summary

In some cases, due to budget constraints within the NHS or staff being overworked and not having enough time to attend training, mandatory training has been overlooked. However, it is not an area that healthcare organisations can afford to become lax with. Not only can training help ensure staff meet all necessary criteria and can perform their duties effectively, but it can also play a key role in their confidence. There is a great need for healthcare organisations to allow their staff to get away from clinical constraints in order to allow them the time to attend mandatory training. This is something that many industry experts are now pushing for.


eLearning for healthcare

Unlock your potential – our healthcare eLearning courses make it simple to access high quality content, that deliver on your statutory and mandatory training and compliance needs.

Discover eLearning


How to promote a positive learning environment in your healthcare organisation 

Managing statutory and mandatory training in the healthcare sector  

Looking after yourself 


Get the latest updates by email

Sign up to our monthly newsletter to receive the latest updates straight to your inbox. We’ll keep you up to date with sector news, insights, intelligence reports, service updates and special offers on our services and solutions.

Sign up to our newsletter