CQC Care Certificate Position and Expectations for Care Providers
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We welcome the development of the Care Certificate, which sets standards for the induction of health care support workers and adult social care workers. These individuals play an essential role providing people with some of the most personal and fundamental support and are a significant part of the workforce in the services we regulate. It is crucial they are valued, supported and trained to do their important job well. The Care Certificate will help new members of this workforce to develop and demonstrate key skills, knowledge, values and behaviours, enabling them to provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care.
The Care Certificate builds on and replaces what we already expect to see as good practice in this area – the Common Induction Standards (CIS) in adult social care and the National Minimum Training Standards (NMTS) in health.
What we expect
CQC expects providers to induct, support and train their staff appropriately. In our guidance for providers on how to meet the regulations, we are explicit about our expectation that those who employ health care support workers and adult social care workers should be able to demonstrate that staff have, or are working towards, the skills set out in the Care Certificate, as the benchmark for staff induction. Reference to the Care Certificate is made in our guidance to providers under Regulation 18 on staffing, and Regulation 19 on fit and proper persons employed. The guidance includes links to the relevant Care Certificate materials, signposting providers to resources that can help them implement the standards as part of their induction programmes.
We understand that it will take some providers more time to make the transition from one induction framework to another. Some providers may have already mapped what they currently do to the new standards and identified improvements they can make. For others this will take longer. We do not expect all providers to have this in place on 1 April. Materials to help providers implement the Care Certificate are readily available and it is reasonable to expect providers to be implementing the new standards by the autumn.
During our inspections, we explore a provider’s approach to staff induction, support and training using our new key lines of enquiry. In particular, ‘Is the service effective?’
• Do staff have the right qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience to do their job?
• How are learning needs identified? Is there a workforce development plan to encourage staff to develop and promote good practice?
• Do staff have appropriate induction, support, training, supervision?
• How are staff supported and managed?
We can do this in a range of ways – speaking to new members of staff, speaking to managers, speaking to people who use the service, observation of practice, looking at staff records and training plans, etc.
All providers should be able to demonstrate how they are meeting the regulations and how they are providing a safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led service. Use of nationally recognised good practice, such as the Care Certificate, is one good way of helping to demonstrate this to CQC.