Being a great carer is all about care, compassion, consideration, and the ability to communicate effectively. Knowing how to work professionally and deliver care safely is important, so what carer training should you be doing as a private carer?
As a carer, you are expected to have good observational skills, whilst delivering a high standard of care. You are also expected to do this in a safe and dignified manner. Policies, regulations, and guidelines in the care industry are constantly being updated, to you must stay up to date.
These are all skills which you can learn, through the official options available at all stages of your career. If you arent sure about private caring, check out our article on the subject by clicking on this link.
Your role as a carer:
Care is not the easiest profession but it can be one of the most rewarding. You get the chance to improve lives every day.
A great carer will show respect at all times and form a good relationship with their client. This can only be developed through great communication and developing an understanding and awareness of their client’s needs. The relationship between the carer and the client is essential to ensuring the client receives great care that maintains their independence.
It is imperative that all carers work to their own capability. It is important to follow policies and procedures whilst understanding the need for confidentiality and safeguarding.
In this post, we’re going to give you advice on how to be a great carer and the available training. We will cover:
- Getting started as a carer: how you can achieve the skills and ability to deliver a high standard of care.
- Growing your skill base: additional training programs and certifications which will give you the knowledge to care for clients with more complex requirements
- Maintaining your standards: what you can read and keep up with the latest in best practice thoughts and procedures in the industry
Training as a carer: How to get started
If you are already qualified, you may want to skip this section. As a new carer, it is important that you have the right training accreditations. Luckily, there are many different training options for starting your care career, you just need to find the right one for you.
The Care Certificate
The Care Certificate, which came into force in April 2015, guides new carers through all of the most current standards. The certificate offers free online care courses with certificates, with a small amount of in-person checking to ensure you have understood it.
It recommends that new health and social care workers be inducted according to the Care Certificate framework. As a paid Private Carer this is not a legal requirement, but we recommend signing up to this course in the interest of health & safety for yourself and your client.
To get started, register as a Health Care worker and complete the self-assessment resource. This will give you an idea of how much you already know. It should also identify the areas you need to work on, allowing you to focus on areas in which you are weakest. It’s a fantastic start, as it targets what you need to know most.
To access these resources, go to www.skillsforcare.org.uk. In the search box enter “Care certificate” then click on “care certificate workbook”. Alternatively, www.skillsplatform.org or www.social-care.tv have good questions and answers. Just search “care certificate” on either of these sites.
How to complete the course:
In order to complete the course, you need to complete all the modules in the workbooks.
You can choose to work through the e-learning course independently and seek an independent assessor/moderator. They are accredited with an assessor’s award which means that they can sign you off against guidelines. Alternatively, you can pay Skills For Care a small fee upon registration, which entitles you to have your work moderated upon completion.
This course itself is free and easy to use and can be accessed through the account you registered at skillsforcare.org.uk. It takes around 40 hrs to complete but will take less if you already have some experience.
Do remember the Care Certificate is not a qualification – it is a learning platform.
How to get your carer training assessed:
PrimeCarers is in partnership with a qualified assessor who will give advice and assess you. They will inform you when training sessions are available, and come out to your place of work to assess you. You can reach out to the team when you need this.
When you have filled in the workbooks and fully understand your care responsibilities, your assessor will sign you off. This means then you can look forward to receiving more offers from clients who need hands-on care and can be confident that you have undergone the relevant training.
NVQs and Diplomas
The NVQ Level Two (NVQ2) in ‘Health and Social Care’ is a nationally recognised qualification. You can opt to work towards and marks the standard that professional carers need to achieve. There’s also a Level Three, which you could choose to progress to.
To begin your learning you can go to any of the following websites and search for ‘Social Care NVQ’:
Alternatively, you could call your local college to book an external course or attend evening carer training classes.
NCFE & QCF carer training
For new carers or people looking to enter the care industry the NCFE course ‘Preparing to work in Adult Social Care, Level 2’ gives solid foundational knowledge. It tells you what is involved and required before you progress to the Care Certificate induction, then up to NVQ2 & NVQ3.
You then may decide to continue your education, on courses such as Dementia Care, End of Life Care, Mental Health Issues, Care Planning and many more.
You can advance your training and qualification to a QCF Diploma Level 4 in ‘Health & Social Care for Adults’. This can then be adapted with options for specific roles but covers 12 mandatory units.
There are plenty of free NCFE & QCF online and home study courses which can be put towards the completion of your NVQs. You can search for free online courses, or choose one from our list of recommendations:
Once you have submitted your details, your chosen college will email or call you to explain your next steps.
Whatever training you start with, be careful who you sign up with. Make sure they’re a legitimate recognised training body who will give you official certificates – for example City & Guilds which is well recognised. You shouldn’t hand money over to anyone you can’t verify as legitimate, so always do your research beforehand.
Growing your skill base
Even if you’re happy with your basic technical ability and know that you are delivering a high standard of care, you may still want to grow your skill base to take on a wider range of clients with more complex care needs. In fact, you will need to keep your training up-to-date each year so it is important to know how to do that.
There is a wide range of free online care courses with certificates that you can access out there, either through Google searches or by accessing the web sites previously listed. You should also reach out and speak with your local college, take evening classes or even contact the local library to see if they have training options.
Another brilliant carer training tool is Social Care TV (SCTV), where you can register for a free account and access numerous fully accredited courses for a small fee. Once you’ve completed a course, you will be awarded a printable certificate.
There are also other sites, providing similar levels of advice and training:
Whatever you decide to train in, make sure it’s going to be useful wherever you’d like to go in your career. You should also ensure the courses you do are accredited, and always do your research before paying for any training service.
How to maintain your standards
Keeping up to date with the latest best practice is absolutely essential and gives you peace of mind knowing you’re providing the very best care to your clients.
While keeping up with standards and policy changes can be challenging, given the large number of bodies and agencies putting out new standards and research every day, there are tools to help you keep up.
The CQC provides an ultimate source of truth in the care industry and almost all resources flow from them. You can sign up for their free newsletter here. Subscribe to the “Announcements about new publications” newsletter, so you are alerted when new standards are published.
This way, you can read up on the latest whenever you have some free time, wherever you are.
You could also sign up to THE HUB, to read and learn about recent surveys and best practice. You can gain access to their newsletter by clicking here.
It is increasingly important that we are able to communicate and manage our affairs online. Whether it is scheduling appointments, reporting on visits or communicating with customers and management, it is becoming increasingly important that we are able to navigate the online world. This is doubly important when working with online platforms like PrimeCarers
If working online is something you struggle with, we can help. We have teamed up with Skills Advisors to deliver some basic IT training, to help you work online, through your computer or phone, more effectively. They are specialised in ensuring you are able to continue to deliver the fantastic level of care you do, without the hindrance of struggling to use the tools that most employers and platforms require you to use. To sign up go to Skills Advisors, and quote ‘PrimeCarers’ to get 10% off.