Care Certificates – Are You Ready?

Yasmin Allan and Jodie Sinclar explain the implications of the new care certificate regime which will come into operation at the beginning of April.

The Care Certificate regime, due to be launched on 1 April 2015, introduces a ‘certificate of fundamental care’ developed in order to deliver ‘common training standards across health and social care, written in language that is meaningful to patients and the public’. The certificate will replace the Common Induction Standards and National Minimum Training Standards for all new starters in health or social care.

Individuals will be required to demonstrate 15 standards in areas such as safeguarding, mental health and infection control, as well as proven communication skills and the ability to ‘work in a patient centred way’. The suggested timeframe for completion of the Care Certificate is 12 weeks. Employers will be responsible for undertaking assessment and awarding the Care Certificate – detailed guidance on the assessment process is available on the Skills for Health website.

The new regime imposes quite an onerous duty on employers and raises a number of interesting issues from an HR management perspective. Careful consideration will need to be given to how the regime is implemented and managed within each organisation. Some key issues for employers to consider are as follows.

• Nominating a responsible person for managing the scheme.
• Developing a policy or guidance document for managers on how to implement the requirements supported by a training programme.
• The employment implications where skills are not achieved within the time frame.
• Reviewing offer letters and contracts of employment.
• The impact on part-time staff and the time period for completion.
• Cost implications/monitoring burden.
• Implications of sickness, potential disability or other personnel issues which might impact upon an individual’s ability to progress through to achievement of the Care Certificate within the expected timeframe.

Bevan Brittan LLP is currently advising employers in readiness for the 1 April 2015 implementation date, so please do contact me or your usual Bevan Brittan LLP contact for further information.

Yasmin Allan, Solicitor and Jodie Sinclair, Partner, 0870 194 7890
Bevan Brittan