Work on national minimum training standards and code of conduct due to begin in April
Press release 9 March 2012
Development of national minimum training standards and a code of conduct for healthcare support workers reporting to registered nurses and midwives and adult social care workers in England is due to begin in April.
The Department of Health has commissioned Skills for Health and Skills for Care, in consultation with unions, employers, support workers, regulators and education providers, to produce a final report, including the proposed code and standards, by September 2012
It is expected that this work will define minimum training or induction standards for a range of 'core' health and social care support tasks.
The standards will also help to clarify the training requirements and levels of accountability for those workers undertaking a wide variety of functions in addition to the 'core' support tasks across health and social care.
The project will specifically identify the standards required for healthcare assistants that report to registered nurses and midwives, as well as adult social care workers, but consideration may also be given to how far these standards might be applicable to other support workers roles.
The code of conduct and standards can then be used by commissioners, employers, supervisors and direct users of services to assure themselves of the competence and behaviours of healthcare support workers and adult social care workers. They will support employers to make informed decisions about who to employ, what tasks individuals should undertake and the skills they need to undertake those functions.
The standards and codes are expected be delivered ahead of the establishment of a voluntary register for healthcare support workers and adult social care workers in England, and the expectation is that they would be used by any body (or bodies) as the basis for entry to any voluntary register(s).
Skills for Care CEO Sharon Allen said: "Skills for Care believes this is a vitally important piece of work to be developed with employers and key partners across adult social care. We will be talking with employers and other partners to make sure the standards effectively support the professional development of the 1.56 million people who work in our sector enabling them to provide person centred care and support."
Skills for Health CEO John Rogers said: "We are delighted to be asked to develop the code of conduct and standards for healthcare support workers. This will build on the work we have already undertaken to develop competences and support learning and skills development for this group of staff who are an essential part of the health sector workforce and make a vital contribution to patient care"
Paul Clarke, Skills for Care - 0113 241 1297 / 07977 519 287 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Smith, Skills for Health - 0117 910 2286 / 07747 562 086 email@example.com
Notes to editors:
- Skills for Health is the Sector Skills Council for all health sector employers: NHS, independent and third sector. Since 2002 we've been working with employers to get the right people, with the right skills, in the right place at the right time. We are the authoritative voice on skills issues for the health sector and offer proven workforce solutions and tools - with the expertise and experience to use them effectively. www.skillsforhealth.org.uk
- Skills for Care is the employment-led strategic body for workforce development in adult social care in England, which is licensed jointly with its UK allies by UKCES to be the 'Skills for Care and Development' Sector Skills Council (SSC). Both organisations are chaired by Professor David Croisdale-Appleby. The other members of the SSC are the Children's Workforce Development Council (also for England), the General Social Care Council, the Scottish Social Services Council, the Care Council for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Social Care Council.
- Skills for Care forms a strategic overview of workforce needs in adult social care, which accounts for nearly 1.56 million workers spread over 48,300 establishments employing care staff. Skills for Care members are drawn from groups representing public, private and voluntary sector care employers, along with representatives of staff, trainers, service users and informal carers. Social care includes residential care, domiciliary care and social work with all its specialisms.
- Skills for Care and its SSC allies promote and develop the social care sector's National Occupational Standards which are statements of competence that describe 'best practice'.
- Skills for Care area networks are major brokers of funding for social care workforce development.