Guide to qualifications
and standards in
adult social care
This guide details all the current
adult social care qualifications
recommended by Skills for Care.
The qualifications have been
developed in partnership with
employers, people who need
care and support, carers, learning
providers, sector experts, awarding
organisations and other key
organisations within the adult social
Skills for Care strongly believes that, when delivered well, these qualifications will provide a capable, confident and skilled workforce. These qualifications will support workers to deliver compassionate care based on strong values and ensure dignity is experienced by all those who need care and support and their carers.
The guide is divided into three main sections:
Entry into social care
For those new to the sector considering a career in social care
‘Core’ qualifications that can be used to demonstrate professional competence
Continuing professional development
Ongoing learning opportunities
There are also helpful sections on key standards for the sector, funding, Apprenticeships, information on choosing a learning provider and other tools and resources to support learning. P02 | 03
Standards for a better start
Common Induction Standards
Manager Induction Standards
Entry level qualifications
Preparing to Work in Adult Social Care
Qualifications of occupational competence
Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care
Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care
Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services
Commissioning, Procurement and Contracting for Care
Services – Diplomas at Levels 2, 3 and 5
Continuing professional development qualifications
Assisting and moving
Chair based exercise
End of life
Food safety and nutrition
Mental Capacity Act
Seated recreational activities qualification
Workforce Development Fund
Skills Funding Agency
Choosing a learning provider
10. Other relevant qualifications
and flexible staff
to better quality
CEO, Skills for Care
Adult social care qualifications provide a
flexible ‘mix and match’ approach to the
different needs of the workforce.
There are three types of qualifications on the
Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF)
- awards, certificates and diplomas – all
available at different levels. The type of
qualification reflects its size, rather than how
difficult it is to complete.
Each one is made up of units, some mandatory
and some optional, so that the qualification can
be built to include the areas of knowledge and
skill that will be specifically relevant to the role,
or to match possible future roles.
P04 | 05
Knowledge and competence
The units that make up the qualifications reflect
what workers should ‘know’, knowledge units,
and ‘do’, competence units.
Having the right values is really important
in social care practice and can ensure that
individuals provide compassionate care and
support tailored to individual needs.
Knowledge qualifications can be completed
without demonstrating competence, so can be
achieved if learners aren’t actually working in a
setting. This helps meet the needs of learners
at different stages in their career, possibly even
before starting in adult social care.
The main qualifications achieved through the
demonstration of competence are diplomas.
They ensure that workers are fit to practice and
are equipped to offer quality care and support.
The diplomas are the core...
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