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Everyone working in adult social care should be able to take part in learning and development so they can carry out their role effectively and deliver high quality care.

We’ve developed adult social care qualifications in partnership with employers and awarding organisations to meet the needs of people who need care and support.

The qualifications provide a flexible ‘mix and match' approach to meet your needs. There is a wide range of units that make up qualifications that reflect what workers should 'know' and 'do'.

To help you get to grips with the qualifications and units available we’ve developed the Skill Selector – an interactive online tool where you can access all the individual units.

Benefits of qualifications

Investment in qualifications brings a wide range of benefits.

  • Quality service - completing qualifications leads to highly skilled and competent workers providing high quality care and support.
  • Safety - training and qualifications in the key areas of health and safety provide reassurance about workers confidence and competence.
  • Value for money - qualification achievements give considerable added value and assist workforce planning in the organisation.
  • Retention - workers who receive structured learning and development feel valued and supported and are more likely to remain in their post.
  • Marketability - customer confidence and satisfaction is increased and the reputation of the organisation is enhanced.

As a sector we need to raise ambitions for a skilled workforce demonstrated through qualification achievements.

There are entry qualifications for people new to social care or interested in starting a career in the sector.

The diplomas demonstrate occupational competence.

The level 2 and 3 diplomas in health and social care have options to take a generic pathway or a specialist dementia or learning disability pathway.

The Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care enables experienced staff to develop their skills and specialisms.

The Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services has a generic pathway or a specialist dementia or learning disability pathway.

There are awards and certificates for continuing professional development to allow you to tailor learning to specific job roles.

We’ve created a guide featuring all the current adult social care qualifications and standards recommended by us in more detail.


Take a look at the other supporting materials we’ve created to explain the different qualifications available.

We also have information on the awarding organisations that offer the qualifications.

If you see gaps in the units or qualifications available please complete this form and return to: SLQA@skillsforcare.org.uk    

You can apply for funding to re-claim some of the costs for qualifications through our Workforce Development Fund (WDF).

Skills for Care and Development, awarding organisations and Skills for Health have agreed assessment principles to create a consistent approach to parts of assessment.

The Sector Skills Council expects awarding organisations to use judgment in identifying individuals who are appropriately qualified to make assessment decisions. 

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