Learning and development


There are no minimum training requirements to start a career in care. For those who’ll be working in direct care roles, the Care Certificate is the start of the career journey.

The Care Certificate provides an overview of what Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated adult social care providers should cover in terms of training, support and workplace assessment of competence.

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Although the Care Certificate is designed for new staff, it also offers opportunities for existing staff to refresh or improve their knowledge. Please refer to the Care Certificate FAQs to learn more about the flexibility available.

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The Care Certificate is primarily aimed for those performing direct care duties such as a care worker. 

Non-care roles (such as receptionists, kitchen staff, cleaners, etc.) may benefit from some parts of the Care Certificate but it’s unlikely the full process will need to be undertaken. It’s recommended that those in ancillary roles cover all the standards relevant to their duties.

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No it should be completed within paid working hours.

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Adult social care organisations are not able to access funding from Skills for Care to cover induction training or short courses.

If you’re an adult social care employer in England, you may be able to claim the Workforce Development Fund (WDF) towards the costs of your staff completing adult social care qualifications, units and learning programmes. 

People who employ their own care and support may be able to apply for funding to help with induction training, refresher learning and qualifications via our Individual Employer funding.

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You’ll find lots of information on our learning and development web pages, including details of different qualifications, apprenticeships and professional development. Our ‘On-going learning and development guide’ provides an overview of courses and how frequently they should be refreshed.

Skills for Care does not deliver any courses or qualifications ourselves but you can find out about our endorsed learning providers who do.

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The Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Adult Care is recommended.  Further information about this is included in our specialist website section and our ‘Recommendations for CQC provider guide’.

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This is for discussion between you and your line manager but it may be necessary as part of your employment. 

Within adult social care, some training and development is mandatory to ensure that your skills reflect the latest good practice. Some adult social care organisations agree to develop all their people delivering care to a specific qualification level.

It is too simplistic for employers to consider training based on whether it is mandatory or not. 

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activity) Regulations 2014 state that teams must be ‘suitability qualified, competent, skilled and experienced’ and receive ‘appropriate support, training, professional development… to enable them to carry out the duties they are employed to perform’.

Whilst this doesn’t dictate specific areas of training, it does indicate that where a worker needs training to be competent, they must receive it. Only a few pieces of legislation make specific training statutory, and this tends to apply to health and safety and first aid.

For Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated services, the Care Certificate is the minimum that should be provided to new workers joining the sector.  However, beyond this, periodic refreshing of learning should be planned as detailed in our ‘On-going learning and development guide’.

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Skills for Care is not a ‘training provider’ in the sense that we don’t deliver a range of general courses and qualifications for adult social care providers. Our role is focused more on the design and content of qualifications, learning materials and standards to support workforce learning and promoting other ways employers can develop the adult social care workforce.

If you’re looking for a wide range of adult social care related induction courses, refresher training and national vocational qualifications, please look at our endorsed learning providers.

For those looking for a training provider to deliver apprenticeship learning please check the Register of Apprenticeship Training Provision (RoATP). This lists providers who are able to offer the new apprenticeship standards.

We do provide a small number of courses around our specialist leadership programmes and training to support some of our products.

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Our Endorsement Framework is a mark of quality that is given to the best learning and development in the adult social care sector. By being endorsed you can prove you deliver high quality learning and development.

You can find out more about the Endorsement Framework on our website including the benefits, process and associated costs.

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There are a variety of Apprenticeships available in social care, ranging from level 2 (care worker) to level 5 (care manager).

If you’re looking to start an apprenticeship, you can find out more about the different options available, the benefits of undertaking one and how to look for organisations currently offering the opportunity.

If you’re an employer looking to take on new apprentices, our website provides an overview of the process and what to do next.

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