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28th September 2021

Mandatory and Core Training: What social care providers need to know

Learning all over again

I’ve started taking pottery lessons again. It’s a beginners’ course, without the wheel. I felt like I needed to go back and refresh, it’s been a while.

The teacher gave instructions, and I could feel myself racing ahead, smiling at the others, ‘yep, that’s right, I’ve done something similar before’. But it isn’t the same, because things change. I picked up new techniques and refreshed some dusty recollections.

Mandatory and Core Training

Pottery isn’t keeping people safe - but there is specific training areas within social care, which supports a safe, person-centred, quality service.

Some of these requirements are legal requirements, some set by Local Authorities and although CQC’s regulatory role is not to set mandatory training, providers must show they are meeting the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. The regulations include staff and manager training, skills and competencies, and will check that other legal requirements for training are reflected in staff training.

How often should mandatory training happen?

This depends on the topic, in some areas there are requirements of ‘at least every 3 years’ giving the provider flexibility within that period.

Is all mandatory training the same for each staff member and provider?

No, for instance, CQC would need to be assured that staff have an adequate level of training to support people with dementia if the service supports people with dementia. Specific Job roles may also need different levels of training – such as Registered Managers.

To help you, Skills for Care have worked to compile a grid of core and mandatory training.

Skills for Care say, ‘We’ve developed guidance on refreshing knowledge and skills in a variety of topic areas based on a review of legislation, guidelines, statutory guidance, standards and recommendations. This was produced in partnership with a panel of social care employers, learning providers and representative organisations and was updated in line with CQC’s revised inspection framework.’

Does mandatory training just take place when the cycle comes around?

Not necessarily, training may need to be brought forward because:

  • Specific staff members have been identified as needing a refresher (due to competency issues)
  • Best practice
  • and legislation changes may have occurred. It is important that these are shared and learning updated
  • Changes to risks. These could be changes to the physical building, people supported, staff or events. Training may need to be adapted to address the issues

How should we carry out mandatory training?

  • You should present learning in a way that meets your employees’ learning needs
  • Always ensure learning is understood by assessing staff on what they have learnt
  • In house training can often be helpful as you know the service and the difficulties
  • If you go to a learning provider, make sure they are able to prove their training is successful and meets, measures and monitors core objectives

How can I Monitor Mandatory Training?

  • Assess the training needed for your service. A good place to start is the Skills for Care Grid against the profile of your service
  • Using a Training Matrix to map out the training each member of staff needs to undertake and when. This will enable you to prompt staff and to audit the process for the organisation, and to evidence to CQC and commissioners the training that has taken place


QCS have a range of products to support mandatory training including policies and procedures and tools to monitor training keeping you and the people you support safe and compliant with CQC regulations… They do not help with pottery!


You can now download our free Staff Training Matrix template here, helping you to develop a clear training plans for your staff.

Download Now


*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Abi Spence

Registration and Inspection Specialist

Abi has worked for and with Government agencies relevant to social care for the past 12+ years. Primarily with the Department of Health, Social Services Inspectorate, Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and since its inception the Care Quality Commission (CQC). As part of this long involvement Abi has developed a wide and detailed understanding of relevant issues and has worked closely with stakeholders such as people that use services, carers, providers, local government, the Department of Health, Ofsted and the Audit Commission. Read more

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