Care Cert for home care agency | QCS

As agency providing home care and ad-hoc staff support to care homes, what is the expected criteria we have to meet in line with the care certificate? What measures can we use to assess staff competency? While assessing for competency in people’s homes could be achievable, how do we assess the competency of workers sent to support care homes considering the how busy the home could be and confidentiality and dignity of the service users. – Elizabeth

Sheila Scott
Answered by Sheila Scott

Dear Elizabeth,

Thank you for your question. As I wasn’t sure of the answer, I contacted Skills for Care who have sent me the following comprehensive answer.

‘It would not be possible for recruitment agencies who do not directly deliver care themselves to complete the Care Certificate for new workers coming into the sector.  This is because the Care Certificate can only be signed off and issued by organisations who directly deliver care themselves.

Where the recruitment agency does directly deliver care, they can use their own occupationally competent colleagues (e.g. senior care staff / registered managers / registered nurses) to undertake the workplace assessment.  In these situations, more than one assessor may be used to sign off all 15 Standards based around their expertise.  As the Assessor Document highlights, those undertaking the assessment do not need to formally hold an assessor qualification, but they must be experienced and knowledgeable on what they are assessing.

Recruitment agencies who do not directly deliver care can help the process by providing training associated with the Care Certificate, as well as using the Care Certificate mapping resource to identify what a previously experienced health and care worker may have covered some parts already.

Providing evidence of past training and qualifications can help the care organisations where the temporary workers will then be placed to determine what additional needs to be trained and assessed in the workplace.  When they have been assessed, recruitment agencies will want to obtain evidence from their clients that this has been done and file this with other evidence.  By having detailed records of the agency staff learning, development and assessment can help with providing health and care workers (and being clear with employers what remaining areas of assessment are required).

Whether a recruitment agency wishes to use their own assessor as part of the workplace assessment process, this is something that you may want to discuss further with clients.  Ultimately sign off must be by the care organisation’s own staff, so they would most likely wish to arrange this themselves.

Care organisations responsible for the assessment should advise the people they provide care for about the need for assessment, providing the opportunity for the user of the service (or family member) to agree.  It is hoped that most will value the fact that new care workers are being effectively supervised and assessed before they are signed off to work alone, though where the person needing care does not wish to be observed, this should be respected and an alternative assessment opportunity be identified’.

I do hope this is helpful. Please contact me again if you have further enquiries.

With best wishes.


About Sheila Scott

Sheila Scott OBE from National Care Association (NCA). Care is Sheila’s life; she possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business and as a leader in the care sector. 3. Read more

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