Training for care work
What qualifications do I need?
You don’t necessarily need any qualifications to start working in social care; what’s really important is your values.
Most social care qualifications can be done once you start your role as they're specific to the job you’re doing and the skills you need to do it; these are known as vocational qualifications.
Before you start
You don't necessarily need any qualifications to start in a role in social care. However there are some you might want to do to get a taster of what it's like to work in the sector.
- Level 1 Award in Preparing to work in the care sector
- Level 2 Certificate in Preparing to work in the care sector
- Level 3 Certificate on Preparing to work in the care sector.
You could find a training provider and pay for this yourself, or your local Jobcentre Plus or college might help.
For some roles such as social worker or occupational therapist you'll need a degree to get a job. Or for some senior roles such as a manager or counsellor, you might need to have a relevant qualification.
When you start
When you start you should get a thorough induction which includes the Care Certificate. This is a set of standards that everyone needs to do their role. Your employer should also ensure you have mandatory training relevant to your role such as fire safety, moving and handling and first aid.
Whilst you’re working
The current qualification in health and social care are diplomas, which have replaced NVQs. Many workers will still hold NVQs which are valid for working in the sector.
These qualifications range from level 2 to level 5 and are evidence based so need to be done whilst you're at work.
You could also do smaller qualifications or training to help you develop specialist skills. This could be in things like:
- dementia care
- communication skills
- end of life care
- activity provision
- team leading.
You could speak to your employer about doing qualifications and training. You could also find short courses online, with a local charity or community group, or choose to pay for training yourself through an Advanced Learner Loan.