Sussex based support organisation, Independent lives, used Skills for Care funding to explore the use of the Care Certificate with individual employers and their PAs.
The Care Certificate lists a set of standards that should be covered as part of the induction of new care workers. It outlines the skills, knowledge and behaviours workers need to provide high quality care.
Although PAs are not required to complete the Care Certificate, there has been interest from individual employers that PAs have the opportunity to complete aspects of the certificate as part of their induction.
Independent Lives: Care Certificate workbook for individual employers and PAs
Feedback from Independent Lives’ direct payment and personal health budget clients suggested that current Care Certificate materials didn’t reflect the unique working environment of PAs and the relationship with their employer.
In response, they used Skills for Care’s user led organisation funding to develop a workbook to support the induction of PAs. This workbook picks out key elements of the Care Certificate and makes them applicable to the PA workforce.
How can employers and PAs use this workbook?
Employers can use this workbook to support PAs when they first start work, or as a refresh for existing staff.
It is based on the Care Certificate standards. PAs are not required to complete the Care Certificate. However, employers might choose to use the workbook, or relevant parts of it, to support the induction of new PAs.
If PAs would like to complete the full Care Certificate, this workbook can be used in achieving this. As well as completing the workbook, the PA would need to be observed carrying out their day to day role, to ensure they meet the standards in the certificate.
How can PAs complete the Care Certificate in full?
The Care Certificate requires workers to complete tasks to show that meet the standards and have the right skills, knowledge and behaviours to provide high quality care and support.
To complete the Care Certificate workers must complete knowledge based tasks - this could include completing this Care Certificate workbook and may involve additional training - and be observed in the workplace – where they will be assessed completing tasks to show they meet the standards.
These tasks should be assessed by a Care Certificate assessor. The assessment must be carried out by someone who is ‘occupationally competent’; this is someone who has the necessary experience to judge whether the learner has demonstrated the required competences.
Assessing PAs who are completing the Care Certificate
Individual employers themselves could be an assessor, if they feel confident and have the experience to do so. A senior PA or family member could also be an assessor, however they would need some experience of working in social care themselves to ensure they are competent to assess the standards.
There is lots of help for assessors at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/carecertificate under the ‘Assessing the Care Certificate’ tab, including a guidance document, observations records and feedback sheets.
Alternatively, a local support organisation (ULO or DPSO) may have staff who are trained to assess the Care Certificate and may be able to assess PAs.
Local care providers, such as residential care homes, may also have staff who are trained assessors. We have seen examples where individual employers have contacted local care providers to request their trained assessors assist with PAs completing the Care Certificate.
A training provider could also provide training and assessment on the Care Certificate. You can search for training providers who are endorsed by Skills for Care, and deliver Care Certificate training at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/endorsement
Find out more
You can read more about the Care Certificate at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/carecertificate
There is also lots of information for individual employers, personal assistants and supporting organisations (ULOs or DPSOs) at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/iepahub
Funding for individual employers to train themselves and their PAs is available and you can find out more at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/iefunding