english          中文

ECCert: research findings

The Care Certificate was introduced in 2015 as a new common training standard for unregistered care staff across health and social care in order to improve the safety and quality of care provided by this workforce. This research aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Care Certificate in achieving its intended outcomes of improved experience of induction, training and job readiness for care workers, improved care for patients, and improved training provision and career development pathways offered by care organisations.

Research timeframe: May 2017-October 2017

Funders: NIHR Policy Research Programme (PR-R14-0915-12004)

What were the key findings / outcomes?
The uptake of the Care Certificate has been good, and it is widely welcomed as providing a standardised approach to improving the skills of those new to care, enabling staff to feel better-prepared to provide high quality care. However, there is a proportion of smaller organisations where it has not been implemented, largely due to lack of resources and capacity.

There has been considerable variation in how the Care Certificate is delivered, ranging from group-based programmes combining teaching and activities, to short online courses completed individually. This inconsistency has undermined the credibility and portability of the Care Certificate, and its use as a transferable qualification supporting the movement of staff between organisations was not widely reported.

How should this influence practice? 
(a) For practitioners: Care Certificate training is most effectively delivered using participatory and experiential approaches and incorporating practical and classroom components to facilitate the transfer of learning into everyday practice.
(b) For services: Organisations should recognise Care Certificate completion through such things as certificate presentation ceremonies. Care staff should be encouraged to ‘own’, value and be aware of their continued professional development through regular mentoring and peer support.
(c) For workforce development strategists: Guidelines on the implementation of the Care Certificate should be updated to incorporate greater clarity on a number of aspects of provisions. Guidance and support should be targeted at small care organisations on how they can implement the Care Certificate standards.

Further information:
Dr Louise Thomson, Academic Lead, IMH Research Support and Consultancy Service. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This summary is based on independent research commissioned and funded by the NIHR Policy Research Programme (Evaluating the Care Certificate). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, the Department of Health, ‘arms’ length bodies or other government departments.

Evaluating the Care Certificate (ECCert)

About the study

A study funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme has recently commenced: ‘Evaluating the Care Certificate: A Cross-Sector Solution to Assuring Fundamental Skills in Caring’ (ECCert).

The Care Certificate is a set of 15 standards designed to provide a consistent approach to the training and induction of healthcare assistants and social care support workers for their roles within care organisations. This project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the Care Certificate in achieving its intended outcomes which include improving the experience of induction, training and career development for healthcare assistants and social care support workers as well as improving care for patients. It will also explore the processes through which these outcomes are achieved and how different approaches to the implementation of the Care Certificate impact on these processes and outcomes.

Read more: Evaluating the Care Certificate (ECCert)