Mandatory Care Certificate for HCAs

From 1st April 2015 all new to post health care support workers and adult social care workers must complete the Care Certificate. This should be completed as part of the employer induction process, ideally within 12 weeks of commencing employment, though this may vary and will depend on individual needs.

NHS Health Education England states “ The Care Certificate is the start of the career journey for staff groups 1-4 and is only one element of the training and education that will make them ready to practice within their specific sector. The Care Certificate does NOT replace employer induction specific to the environment in which practice will take place, nor will it focus on the specific skills and knowledge needed for a specific setting”.  It goes on to reiterate “The Care Certificate must be completed and assessed before new workers can practice without direct supervision”.

Health Care Support workers with previous experience can use the self-assessment tool found on the NHS Health Education England website to identify gaps in their learning (see below link).

The Care Certificate is a basic level 2 assessment. The Primary Health Care Assistant (PHCA) course delivered by the Primary Care Training Centre is a 60 credit level 4 university accredited course that runs over 40 weeks. It is relevant to PHCAs who want to expand their role and enhance their knowledge and skills in relation to working in Primary Care and is not a substitute for the Care Certificate.

The Care Certificate documentation for employers along with the self-assessment tool can be found through the following link:

Frequently Asked Questions


Care Certificate Guidance Document; Health Education England, Skills for Care, Skills for Health 2015



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