The Care Certificate and Recruitment Agencies

The Care Certificate was introduced in April 2015 to replace both the Common Induction Standards and the National Minimum Training Standards for all staff new to the healthcare and social care sectors. It came about as a result of the Francis Inquiry which looked into the serious failings at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust. Following this report, Camilla Cavendish was asked to review the recruitment, training and support of care workers within both the healthcare and social care sectors. One of the recommendations of the Cavendish Review (July 2013) was to standardise the approach to induction training across the sectors with the development of the Care Certificate.

Who needs to complete the Care Certificate?  

All staff new to care need to complete the Care Certificate within the first 12 weeks in their role. Staff who have previously completed the Common Induction Standards do not need to complete the Care Certificate, although some employers may wish to “top up” their learning and competency assessments in order to award the Care Certificate.

What does the Care Certificate cover? 

The Care Certificate has 15 standards and clearly sets out the learning outcomes, competences and standards of care that will be expected. It aims to ensure the sector prepares caring, compassionate staff who will provide quality care. The standards are: 1. Understand Your Role 2. Your Personal Development 3. Duty of Care 4. Equality and Diversity 5. Work in a Person Centred Way 6. Communication 7. Privacy and Dignity 8. Fluids and Nutrition 9. Awareness of Mental Health, Dementia and Learning Disabilities 10. Safeguarding Adults 11. Safeguarding Children 12. Basic Life Support 13. Health and Safety 14. Handling Information 15. Infection Prevention and Control

How is the Care Certificate assessed?

The major difference between the Care Certificate and previous induction training is that certain elements require that a workplace assessment of competence is undertaken by an occupationally competent assessor. Training courses, e-learning, workbooks, seminars and supervisions can be combined to deliver the standards, however the Care Certificate cannot be awarded without direct workplace assessment. Once awarded, the Care Certificate is the property of the individual, and unlike previous induction training it is transferable between employers.

Will agency workers have the Care Certificate?

During the consultation period ENS Recruitment provided input about the position of agency workers. We were concerned that agencies will not be able to award the Care Certificate due to the fact that agency workers cannot be directly assessed in the workplace by the agency, as they are under the direction and supervision of the client. After the details of the Care Certificate were published we contacted Skills for Care who have now clarified their position on this; the relevant part is quoted below:

It would not be possible for recruitment agencies who do not directly deliver care themselves to complete the Care Certificate for new workers coming into the sector.  This is because the Care Certificate can only be signed off and issued by organisations who directly deliver care themselves. Recruitment agencies can help the process by providing training associated with the Care Certificate. Providing evidence of past training and qualifications can help the care organisations where the temporary workers will then be placed to determine what else needs to be trained and assessed in the workplace.” 

What will ENS deliver in our induction?

ENS have mapped our training courses to ensure that we meet all of the requirements of the 15 standards set out in the Care Certificate. We cover all of the theoretical elements of the standards and the practical training that we can evidence using simulated activity. As explained above we will be unable to award agency workers with the Care Certificate as we cannot complete the workplace assessment elements. However, we will provide evidence of these courses and competencies to our clients.

If you need any further guidance or information on the Care Certificate then please contact Catherine Lawrence, ENS Head of Operations at

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What people are saying about ENS

ENS has been our sole agency provider for the past 8 years. During this time we have worked in partnership to establish an agency service that provides us with the assurance that ENS staff are flexible, highly trained and able to adapt to our working environment across all of our diverse services.
ENS has been able to support our services to a very high standard throughout our geographical locations. Key Performance Indicators often exceed agreed outcomes.
Our relationship with their senior team and operational supervisors is professional and open. We are assured that our long standing working relationship with ENS will continue.
To this end we would not hesitate to recommend ENS as an agency provider to support their organisation.

Director of Human Resources and Training – large Housing and Support charity based in London

We needed to fill two last minute vacancies with high quality teachers.  With this brief, Julie from ENS did not disappoint.  One candidate was from Canada and Julie ensured that the move over went as smoothly as possible both for the teacher and the school. 
What impressed me the most was how Julie listened to exactly what I required and so no time was wasted on my part, sifting through candidates who would not have been good enough for my school. I would highly recommend ENS to another school looking to fill their teacher vacancies.

Darren, Drapers Academy in Harold Hill

My daughter Lynda has enjoyed 24 hour care provided by ENS since July 2013. The care staff are all well trained & briefed as to her complex healthcare regime & are also very sociable. This is very important to Lynda who loves to talk &interact with them. They also manage her household budget, encourage her to participate in domestic tasks within her capabilities, & promote a healthy lifestyle. The administration of ENS is excellent & has ensured that Lynda has a regular rota of carers & that when stand ins are necessary that they have had shadow shifts with her.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the hard work and support you have offered our Foyer and Parent and Child Scheme in managing the placement of temporary staff.
We appreciate the level of consistency and continuity your staff have bought to the schemes and would not hesitate in recommending the services of ENS Recruitment.

Foyer Manager – Large Housing Association based in Southeast England