From education to employment

Liverpool awarding body Open Awards launches new adult social care programme to support government transformation plans

The Open Awards team behind the development of the Level 2 Adult Social Care Certificate, from left - Validation Officer Irene Oliver, Head of Development Julie Goodwin and Director of Business and Development Nina Hinton

Liverpool-based awarding body Open Awards has launched a new Adult Social Care qualification to support the government’s plans to improve and standardise training for domestic care workers.

Open Awards developed the Level 2 Adult Social Care Certificate to support plans from the Department for Health and Social Care and Skills for Care – the strategic workforce development and planning body for adult social care in England – to develop the domestic care workforce.

Government funding totalling £50 million is being made available from June to support training the 37,000 workers in direct adult social care roles.

Open Awards Chief Executive Heather Akehurst OBE said:

“This new qualification will help to support the government’s aim of improving and standardising the training that is available to carers who play such a vital role in our communities.

“Care offered by this important sector of the workforce helps to maintain quality of life for people who need assistance while continuing to live in their own home.

“We believe this course will help to improve career pathways for carers and ensure that service users receive the best care possible. 

“Financial support the government is offering will help to drive adoption of this new approach to social care training, and we would urge employers to seize this opportunity to access funds to upskill their teams.”

Open Awards developed the new programme to support plans from the Department for Health and Social Care and Skills for Care – the strategic workforce development and planning body for adult social care in England – to develop the domestic care workforce.

Adult social care sector employers can access £1,500 of funding for every staff member enrolled on the new programme, which can be delivered by further education providers.

Learners will cover the 15 care standards set out by Skills for Care, ranging from exploring the basics of the role to key areas of care including safeguarding, basic life support and infection prevention.

Announcing plans to develop the domestic care workforce in January, Minister for Social Care Helen Whately said:

“The workforce is the heartbeat of the social care sector and staff should be given the recognition and opportunities they deserve. These changes will give brilliant care workers the chance to develop rewarding careers in social care.

“Turnover of staff is lower where there is access to learning opportunities to gain skills and qualifications, according to social care workforce development body Skills for Care. Investing in better training and supporting staff to develop their careers will act as an incentive for people to join or stay in the workforce.”

To be eligible to complete the programme, learners must be employed full-time or part-time in a suitable role within an adult social care setting. The programme is open to both domestic and international workers aged 19 or over.

Employers will be linked with a training provider, and learners required to complete a portfolio of evidence showing they have the required knowledge and skills. 

Denise Wherton, Training Manager at Staffordshire-based provider Nexxus Care, said:

“We’re very excited about the launch of this new course and the opportunity it provides to support the development of our workforce.

“Completing this qualification will give both employers and service users additional confidence that the staff we employ understand their role, have a strong understanding of how to deliver compassionate and safe care, and have invested time in their career development.”

Open Awards provides Ofqual-regulated qualifications and units across a range of sectors. Its qualifications and units are used across a range of education settings including Further Education, schools, sixth-form colleges, prisons, private training providers and third sector organisations.
To find out more about the Level 2 Adult Social Care Certificate, or how to become a training provider, visit the Open Awards website.

Employers who choose to put their staff through the programme can claim funding of £1,500 per employee from June 2024 until March 2025.

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