Are you considering a career and care but need clarification on what qualifications you need?
The good news is, in many cases, employers don’t require specific academic qualifications. Most care training is performed through NVQ diplomas ranging from Level 1, roughly equivalent to GCSE grades 3 to 1, to Level 7, the equivalent of a master’s degree.
While qualifications aren’t needed to get involved in care, most employers provide opportunities for employees to gain qualifications on the job. And in many cases, they’ll pay for it.
Here’s what you need to know about the qualifications you need to work in care.
The Care Certificate
When you start a job in care, your employer may require you to undertake the Care Certificate as part of your induction. Many care workers have a 12-week induction where they receive basic training and complete the certificate.
The certificate consists of 15 standards that anyone new to care should know and understand, including:
- Understand your role
- Your personal development
- Duty of care
- Equality and diversity
- Work in a person-centred way
- Privacy and dignity
- Fluids and nutrition
- Awareness of mental health, dementia and learning disability
- Safeguarding adults
- Safeguarding Children
- Basic Life Support
- Health and Safety
- Handling information
- Infection prevention and control
Qualifications useful for care workers
As mentioned, no formal qualifications are required to be a care worker, and most training can be carried out ‘on the job’.
However, some employers prefer employees to have some first aid skills and a diploma in Adult Care or Health and Social Care, Levels 2 and 3.
These diplomas cover topics such as anatomy and physiology, health and social care, communication, safe handling of medication and infection control.
While they’re not essential, gaining qualifications is a good idea for anyone looking to develop their career as a carer.
Transferable skills for carers
Many people choose to transfer to care from another job. There are so many transferable skills which help people become excellent carers, including:
- Communication: Care workers need to be able to understand and communicate effectively with the people they are caring for, as well as their families, colleagues, and other professionals. Excellent communication skills will put you in good stead to work in care.
- Emotional intelligence: Care workers need to be able to understand and empathise with the feelings of those they are caring for. Emotional intelligence is an essential transferable skill for carers.
- Problem-solving: Care workers need to be able to think on their feet to find solutions for difficult situations. Carers will put problem-solving skills from other jobs or studies to good use.
- Flexibility: Care work can be unpredictable, so care workers must adapt quickly to changing situations, similar to many other jobs.
- Organisation: Care workers need to be able to manage their time, resources, and paperwork efficiently. Organisational skills from other jobs are very useful.
Care is a diverse practice with many opportunities for career development. Read some of our stories about people who transferred their skills from another job to care and contact us to discover how to start your journey in care.