Skills for Care

What to cover during induction for new social care staff

18 Aug 2022

5 min read

Skills for Care

  • Recruitment
  • Retention
  • Workforce development

Getting it right from the start is key to keeping staff long-term. We look at what to cover during the induction process.

What exactly will be needed during the induction period will vary by organisation and role, but some things are consistent for all. This includes making sure new starters feel welcomed, being on-hand to provide regular support, and ensuring they have the knowledge and resources they need to do their job effectively and support your organisation to deliver a safe, effective, responsive, well-led, and caring service.

For people joining the adult social care sector, The Care Quality Commission (CQC) expects regulated providers to provide an induction that at minimum covers the Care Certificate standards.

An effective induction might also include learning about the organisation and its values, plus the core skills and best practice required in the role.

You should tailor inductions to people’s previous experience – for example experienced workers might only need a light induction, so you might refresh, but not duplicate, previous training and knowledge. And staff recruited from overseas might benefit from additional support around UK laws such as health and safety, safeguarding, and CQC standards.


The Care Certificate

The Care Certificate is a set of standards endorsed by the CQC to ensure new starters have the knowledge and fundamental skills needed to provide quality care.

It covers vital areas including:

  • understanding your role
  • personal development
  • duty of care
  • equality and diversity
  • working in a person-centred way
  • communication
  • privacy and dignity
  • fluids and nutrition
  • awareness of mental health, dementia and learning disabilities
  • safeguarding adults
  • safeguarding children
  • basic life support
  • health and safety
  • handling information
  • infection prevention and control.

All care workers are expected to complete The Care Certificate and each of these standards needs to be met before a new worker can work unsupervised.

The Care Certificate has also been contextualised into six areas, these are:

  • autism
  • dementia
  • end of life care
  • learning disability
  • lone working
  • mental health.

This includes examples and activities to help workers understand how The Care Certificate applies to their specific area. They can be used to prompt discussion and deepen understanding.


Effective supervision during induction

Regular, open, and effective supervision is a crucial part of any induction, and offers an opportunity for managers and new starters to discuss any queries or challenges right away.

Supervisions allow managers to support new staff, as well as empowering and motivating them by discussing achievements and setting goals for next steps. This is also a time to check that new starters fully understand their new role and have the right skills and knowledge to do it, and to provide more support where needed.


Supporting wellbeing

Wellbeing support is important for all staff, and particularly important for new starters. Supporting the wellbeing of new staff from the beginning is key to ensuring they’re confident and comfortable in their roles, which in the longer run will make them happier, more effective, and more likely to stay in their roles.

Checking in on your new starter’s wellbeing should be embedded into the regular supervision process during the induction period, by asking staff how they’re feeling in their role and settling into the team. Other ways to support wellbeing for new workers could include setting up a buddy system so that they have a peer they can turn to for any questions about the role. You can also provide other team bonding or introduction sessions to ensure your new workers feel a part of the team as soon as possible.

Make sure to point new staff to any wellbeing resources and support you offer too, and potentially put together a wellbeing guide for new starters to highlight this information and showcase that staff wellbeing is a priority for the organisation.


International recruits

When hiring from overseas there’s much more to consider in the induction process as you’re not only helping your new staff member to settle into their new role but also into their new home and community.

There are practical steps you can take to help your new employee settle in - such as support to find accommodation, register at the local doctors, and set up a UK bank account. You may also wish to help new international team members get to know the rest of the team by hosting regular social events or setting them up with a buddy who can not only provide work-related advice and support but also be there to help the employee integrate and settle in other ways, for example recommending things to do in the local area.

We have information about international recruitment to support employers with this.


Manager induction

There will be specific areas of induction that need to be covered for managers, these can be found in the ‘Manager induction standards.

These standards set out what new and existing managers need to know to succeed in their role.

A supportive induction is just the beginning. Ensuring your workforce is properly supported through a thorough induction and beyond reduces the risk of staff, especially those new to care, feeling out of their depth and helps new team members fit comfortably and safely into your organisation.


Find more information to support with recruitment and retention on our #BuildingYourWorkforce spotlight

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