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How the new health and social care Apprenticeship standards will benefit the sector

 width=The health and social care sector has already started benefiting from the implementation of the new Adult Care standards that replaced the previous Apprenticeship frameworks at the beginning of this year (2018). This forms part of the major Government reform of Apprenticeships (across all sectors) which aims to replace all Apprenticeship frameworks with standards by 2020.

Working with leading care sector employers

We have welcomed the opportunity to start delivering the new Adult Care Worker (Level 2) and Lead Adult Care Worker (Level 3) Apprenticeship standards to our Health & Social Care partners as this new occupation-led training will undeniably benefit employers in meeting the complete needs of the sector.

2018 marks Paragons Skills' 20th anniversary and this is the same number of years that we have been delivering Apprenticeship training to the care sector. We work with leading employers such as Care Management Group (CMG), Gracewell Healthcare, Sunrise Care, Nurse Plus and many similar care specialists to map Apprenticeship training with current learning and development objectives, plus providing support to recruit and train new Apprentices to ensure the continual flow of skilled personnel. 

How Apprenticeship standards are an improvement on frameworks

Since Apprenticeship Frameworks are primarily qualification-focussed (not occupation-led), it’s possible for an Apprentice to achieve all qualifications in the framework but not actually have the right skills to carry out their job, and consequently require further training from their employers. Furthermore, the frameworks guide the learner through a fixed set of units, which once they’ve completed, they won’t necessarily need to demonstrate the skill again.

The new standards were written by leading adult care employers acting as part of the government’s Trailblazer initiative to replace the current Apprenticeship Frameworks, supported by awarding organisations, Skills for Care and learning provider representatives to ensure that they meet the complete needs of employers in the care sector.

End-point assessment to ensure competency

width=A major difference between frameworks and standards is that with the standards, the Apprentice is required to undertake an independent end-point assessment which is a synoptic assessment of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that have been learnt throughout the Apprenticeship. In short, Apprentices must demonstrate that they are able to perform their roles, and are fully competent in their occupation. End-point-assessments are graded and an Apprenticeship certificate is only awarded after Endpoint assessment is successfully completed.

Furthermore, with the standards, the training based around the skills, knowledge and behaviour of the Apprentice can be adapted to the requirements of the Apprentice’s specific job role and organisation, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ set of units approach that the old frameworks offered. We work with employers that deliver Adult Care in residential, domiciliary and home settings, and the new Adult Care Standards enable us to make the training 100% relevant to the setting in which the care is delivered. 

Paragon Skills range of Health and Social Care Apprenticeships 

In addition to the Adult Care Worker (Level 2) and Lead Adult Care Worker (Level 3) Standards, we offer the Health & Social Care (Adult Pathway) Higher Level 5 Apprenticeship to equip managers with more advanced training in managerial and care skills. 

Adult Care Worker Apprenticeship Standard Level 2

The Adult Care Worker Apprenticeship is a competency-based Apprenticeship designed for employees who are working as Adult Care Workers or Personal Assistants in an Adult Care setting. The Level 2 Standard covers areas of training such as duty of care, handling information in care settings, health, safety and wellbeing in care settings, equality and inclusion and implementing a person-centred approach in care settings plus a variety of other units integral to the training of employees.  It also involves the Care Certificate (see below).

Lead Adult Care Worker Apprenticeship Standard Level 3

The Lead Adult Care Worker Level 3 Apprenticeship has been designed for employees with a level of supervisory responsibility such as Care Supervisors and Senior Care Workers who work in residential or nursing homes, domiciliary care, day centres or some clinical healthcare settings. The training is based around improving the sector-specific skills, knowledge and behaviour in addition to developing leadership and management skills. It also involves the Care Certificate if not already completed (see below).

Health & Social Care Higher Apprenticeship Level 5

The Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care has been developed by Skills for Care and is the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) replacement for the Level 4 NVQ in Leadership and Management Care Services. It is suitable for Adult Care Workers already employed in management or deputy management positions, or for those who have a direct supervisory role within Adult Care residential services, day services or domiciliary care. This qualification aims to ensure that managers in the Adult Care sector have appropriate management and leadership capabilities and that there is a trained and competent cohort of experienced, new and aspiring registered managers available to meet the demands of care providing employers. 


The Care Certificate

Both Adult Care Apprenticeship standards (Level 2 & 3) include the Care Certificate. The Care Certificate consists of 15 standards that an employee in the Care Sector must complete as part of the total induction. Care Sector employers are obliged by law to ensure that all employees complete this training to meet the essential standards set out by the Care Quality Commission.

What this means for your new employees

It means that all employees have the same introductory skills, knowledge and behaviours to be able to provide compassionate, safe and high-quality care and support. The Care Certificate:

  • is the beginning of the career journey for those new to care
  • is a foundation for health and adult social care integration
  • ensures those new to the sector are supported
  • is endorsed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
  • is a CQC expectation - all employers should now be offering it. This CQC inspector briefing highlights how they look for evidence in their inspections.

Although the Care Certificate is designed for new staff, it also offers opportunities for existing staff to refresh or improve their knowledge.

In addition to the specialist care sector Apprenticeships, we offer a range of Apprenticeships to care organisations to support the delivery of the business and the key operational aspects such as Business & Administration, Customer Service and Leadership and Management Apprenticeships

For more information on how we can train your team, please contact our customer service team on 0800 783 2545.