While we don’t require newly recruited Support Workers to have any particular qualifications, holding a Diploma in Health and Social Care at level 2 or 3 or to have an intention to go on to attain one is definitely a positive. Currently, we use the Government-approved Adult Care Apprenticeships to deliver these qualifications to new recruits, while they work as a Support Worker at the same rate of pay as their colleagues.
These qualifications are for people already working in the social care sector who want to demonstrate occupational competence: the behaviour, knowledge and values needed to carry out your role effectively. They cover topics such as promoting person-centred approaches, and the principles of safeguarding and protection in health and social care.
You can take a diploma that follows a generic pathway, or you can choose to specialise in a specific area, such as dementia or learning disabilities.
There are also a range of smaller qualifications into areas such as diabetes, end-of-life care and autism. These would be useful for people who want to continue their professional development or tailor their learning to their role.
QCF > RQF
On 1 January 2018, the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) was withdrawn, to make way for the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). The RQF is the framework by which all regulated qualifications in England (and Northern Ireland) are described. It allows regulated qualifications to be catalogued by Ofqual, assigned a level indicating the difficulty and complexity of the knowledge and skills associated with a given qualification, plus a ‘Qualification Size’ used to indicate the amount of time it would take to study for and be assessed for a qualification.