Skills for Care, in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), are consulting on a new care workforce pathway for adult social care, together with a new Care Certificate qualification.
The proposal outlines four broad categories of roles:
- Care and support practitioners – people in the first 12 to 18 months of the job who join the sector with little to no care experience.
- Advanced care and support practitioners – those who have developed experience in social care and have obtained the new Care Certificate qualification.
- Senior care and support practitioners – individuals in leadership and management roles such as supervisors, deputy managers and registered home managers.
- Practice leader or specialist practitioners – people who work in specialist areas, such as autism and dementia.
Each pathway will be supported by a corresponding framework, setting out the following:
- behaviours, knowledge and skills people should have or, where applicable, be working towards;
- responsibilities people might be expected to perform in that role;
- any relevant experience people might be expected to demonstrate; and
- the opportunities to develop expertise or progress into other roles.
The online survey and consultation is open until 31 May 2023 – Care workforce pathway for adult social care: call for evidence – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). The DHSC proposes to publish the first part of the development pathway for staff in direct care roles by autumn 2023.
Chris Amys, solicitor at RWK Goodman, comments: “This consultation comes at a time when the DHSC said it would invest only £250m over the next two years in supporting care workers to develop their careers. This is significantly less than the £500m promised by the government in December 2021.
“Furthermore the introduction of a new Care Certification qualification is likely to become the baseline standard for all new care workers when they join the profession. It is not clear how this would interact with the 15 standards that are covered in the existing Care Certificate.”
Research by RWK Goodman shows that granting care workers shortage status increased recruitment from 4 per cent to 11 per cent between 2021 and 2022.
The consultation aims to answer criticism that the care sector in England lacks a universal career structure and clearly defined pathways.