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CPD Zone    Resources by profession   

Healthcare Support Workers

Read about the HEE “Shape of Caring Review: Raiding the bar” (published March 2015)  relating to the education and training of care assistants and nurses.

There is an increasing range of opportunities to work in a clinical support role in general practice.

The NHS Health Careers website offers concise information on entry requirements and training, plus relevant professional organisations, for specific roles in the NHS including Healthcare assistants (HCAs)  and Phlebotomists.

The Royal College of Nursing and Health Education England  have developed a career resource to help registered nurses and the clinical support workforce across the UK plan their health careers effectively.

Alongside supporting Practice Nurses, the Royal College of Nursing offers resources to Health Care Assistants and other health care support workers working in general practice.

  • First Steps for HCAs is the RCN’s  learning resource for health care assistants. It can be used as part of your workplace induction programme or in your own time. The updated version has additional content relevant wherever you work, a reflective diary and much more.

As a Care Support Worker or Health Care Assistant you can register with NHS Professionals for flexible work opportunities suited to your skills and competency levels.

The Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and West Berk Excellence Centre is a new partnership of organisations across health and social, including private and voluntary employers and training providers, who are committed to improving access to high quality vocational education and training to the support workforce.

The Talent for Care

Health Education England is developing a strategy for staff in pay bands 1-4 who have The Talent for Care. The aim is to widen their route to  training and scale up best practice in order to provide some of the best patient care in the world.

The Care Certificate

Following the Francis Inquiry the government commissioned a report to review and make recommendations on the recruitment, learning and development, management and support of healthcare assistants and social care support workers. The  resulting Cavendish Review, published in July 2013,  found that the training of healthcare assistants and social care support workers was inconsistent, and one of the recommendations was the development of the Care Certificate .

The Care Certificate was launched in April 2015 and is designed to give everyone the confidence that all new health care assistants are introduced to the values, knowledge, skills and behaviours required to provide safe and compassionate care. It will ensure that healthcare assistants and social care support workers receive consistent, quality and transferable learning and development in the fundamentals of care.

The CQC will reference the Care Certificate in regulation 18 (staffing) & regulation 19 (fit and proper persons employed) and see the achievement of the Care Certificate as a minimum in their good and outstanding categories.

Read about implementation of the Care Certificate on the National Skills Academy for Health Resources website.

The supporting documents for the Care Certificate can be found on the Skills for Health website.

The Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH)  free Care Certificate e-learning programme is available here.

Hints and Tips for GPs assessing the Care Certificate will help you understand how the standards could be assessed in General Practice.

The Skills Platform has published a Care Certification Implementation Toolkit to assist those responsible for delivering the Care Certificate to new employees as part of their induction, but also opportunities for existing staff to refresh or improve their knowledge and skills. The standards and assessment criteria can be used as a tool for assessing training needs.

To meet the needs of staff as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the HCSW2020 Accelerated Care Certificate takes a blended approach to learning, using a mix of existing e-learning resources available on the e-Learning for Healthcare Hub and practical competency-based learning.

Care Navigators

Care Navigators are just one of the new workforce roles suggested by the Primary Care Workforce Commission in its report The Future of Primary Care report  to support GPs in managing their workload.

The role of Care Navigators is to navigate patients and / or carer to the source of help they need be it medical, social  or housing guidance. They can work across  a range of different care settings and can have a range of different titles including Patient navigator, Primary care navigator, Care coordinator, Health navigator or Life navigator. Care Navigation: A Competency Framework (HEE 2016) describes the core tasks, purpose and core competencies of ‘care navigation’.

Care Navigators are considered to be one of the “truly innovative” roles in a review of the new roles crossing boundaries in health and social care. (Supporting integration through new roles and working across boundaries  Kings Fund June 2016.)

The role is already being  developed by different organisations across Thames Valley, CCGs, charities, and local authorities, to work across sector boundaries – learn more in Scoping report: Patient navigator roles across Thames Valley which describes the variety of approaches already being taken across Thames Valley.


The CPD Zone is brought to you by the GP schools of Health Education England working across Thames Valley and Wessex, in association with Oxford Health FT Library.​

Last updated: 15 January, 2021

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