For the majority of adult social care roles, there is no past experience or qualifications that are essential. If the care organisation is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the employer has a responsibility to train, supervise and assess the competence of their workers, including those on temporary contracts, bank workers and volunteers (covering the duties they undertake).
For care workers joining the sector with no previous health or adult social care experience, the minimum their employer should provide is the Care Certificate. This is an induction process that the care organisation would arrange to ensure those joining the sector are well trained, supervised and assessed and competent before they are signed off by the employer to work out of line of sihgt of more experienced colleagues. Skills for Care has produced a range of materials to help employers and those working in care organisations to understand the Care Certificate.
NB: Experienced care workers who commenced working in the sector before the Care Certificate was introduced should not need to undertake this process as long as they can evidence to their employer / future employers the training that they have undertaken.
Care organisations are strongly encouraged to continue to develop staff beyond their induction and Skills for Care would recommend using adult social care qualifications that we have helped to develop. These are nationally recognised qualifications that have been developed with input from many leading employers across the sector.
For more specialist roles within adult social care, additional qualifications may be expected by employers. Registered Managers and Social Workers are required to hold high level qualifications, for example. Care organisations are responsible for providing training to meet the needs of the care that they are providing and care workers should not be placed in a position where they have not received the appropriate training and assessment before they are required to deliver this care.
For the majority of care roles, there is no formal requirement that new workers must have experience or qualifications before they commence working for an organisation. Some care organisations own recruitment practices may choose to only employ people with past experience and qualifications. For those considering applying to a care organisation, you may wish to contact the organisation to see if they are only looking to employ previously qualified care workers.