Overview of key changes in health and social care

If you work in the health and social care sector, you already know that there are plenty of changes happening, particularly in the world of learning and development. 

To help you navigate all the upcoming developments, we’ve put together a quick guide of what is happening and why. 

Withdrawing the QCF 
The current Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) will be withdrawn to make way for the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) in December 2017. In readiness for this transition and the new Skills for Care (SfC) and Skills for Health (SfH) qualifications guidelines, there will be new replacement qualifications for the health and social care sector.

Here’s what is changing:

  • units (with the same title) provided by awarding organisations no longer have to be worded exactly the same, however the content will be very similar 
  • each awarding organisation can focus on particular optional unit content within their diplomas and other qualifications for social care 

Here’s what’s staying the same: 

  • a range of high quality qualifications will still be available to meet the learning needs of those working in social care 
  • familiar levels and titles will stay for familiar qualifications, such as awards, certificates and diplomas at levels 2, 3, 4 and 5 
  • qualifications can still be made up of units 

For more information on the RQF and what this means for qualifications, go to http://www.highfieldabc.com/rqf

Key changes within the sector
Skills for Care (SfC) and Skills for Health (SfH) are working together to support the government’s agenda on integration, transferability and opportunity for learners and workers in both health and adult care services. As a result, both organisations have jointly developed the core knowledge and skills to be used within qualifications. 

To ensure that the core content developed in new RQF qualifications stays consistent and transferable, SfC and SfH have developed qualification specifications – in consultation with employers, learning providers and awarding organisations – upon which the new qualifications must be based.

The specifications outline the mandatory and minimum content expected within a particular qualification, as well as information about its size, level, assessment principles and guidance for optional units. 

The range of optional units offered within the qualifications is now open to each awarding organisation and will therefore vary. However, awarding organisations must provide a sufficient range, number, content and level to enable learners to contextualise their learning to meet needs. 

Those qualifications submitted to SfC and SfH that meet the specifications will receive approval and carry the appropriate logos, making it easier to identify which qualifications are recognised. We fully expect Highfield’s qualifications (listed below) to meet these specifications.  

A list of SfC approved qualifications for the care sector can be found at http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Learning-development/Qualifications/Approved-qualifications.aspx

New Highfield adult care qualifications 
Highfield has developed the following qualifications for the RQF: 

  • Highfield Level 2 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF) 
  • Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF) 
  • Highfield Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF) 
  • Highfield Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Adult Care Services (RQF) 
Highfield Level 2 Diploma in Care (RQF)
This new RQF qualification will replace the HABC Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England (QCF) (600/4122/5). The HABC Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England (QCF) will expire on 31 December 2017. Centres will have until 31 December 2019 to complete learners and apply for certification. The last date a learner can register for this qualification will be 31 December 2017.

At level 2, this new RQF qualification will be the common qualification for both the health and adult care services, allowing learners to enter either workforce.

The qualification has been written in line with the minimum requirements set out by SfC and SfH, and confirms the competence of those who work in health and adult care services in England.

The Highfield Level 2 Diploma in Care (RQF) will also link with the knowledge and skills required within the Adult Care Worker and Healthcare Support Worker apprenticeship standards, supporting roles such as adult care worker, healthcare assistant/support worker and personal assistant.

Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF)
This new RQF qualification will replace the Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England (QCF) (600/4121/3). The HABC Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England (QCF) will expire on 31 December 2017. Centres will have until 31 December 2020 to complete learners and apply for certification. The last date a learner can register for this qualification will be 31 December 2017.

This new RQF qualification is suitable for learners working in adult care. The qualification will develop and confirm the competence of those who work within adult care services in England.

The Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF) will also link with the knowledge and skills required within the Lead Adult Care Worker apprenticeship standard, supporting roles such as lead personal assistant and lead adult care worker.

Additionally, Highfield will also be launching (expected for November2017) the Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support (RQF) for those working in the health sector. There will therefore be two level 3 qualifications available from Highfield in this area.

The Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF) qualification will include the same mandatory unit content as found in the new Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support (RQF). (NOTE: the Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support (RQF) will also include some additional mandatory content, as developed collaboratively by AOs and Skills for Health).

Highfield Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF)
This new RQF qualification will replace the Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care (England) (QCF) (601/6015/9). The HABC Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care (England) (QCF) will expire on 31 December 2017. Centres will have until 31 December 2020 to complete learners and apply for certification. The last date a learner can register for this qualification will be 31 December 2017.

This new RQF qualification will contain Skills for Care’s minimum requirements that develop and confirm the competence of those who are working within adult care services in England.

The Highfield Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF) will also link with the knowledge and skills required within the Lead Practitioner in Adult Care apprenticeship standard.

Highfield Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Adult Care Services (RQF)
This new RQF qualification will replace the HABC Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services (England) (QCF) (90 Credits), pathways Adults Management and Adults Residential Management ONLY. The Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services (England) (QCF) (90 Credits) will expire on 31 December 2017. Centres will have until 31 December 2020 to complete learners and apply for certification. The last date a learner can register for this qualification will be 31 December 2017.

This new qualification will contain Skills for Care’s minimum requirements for developing and confirming the competence of those who are working within adult care services in England as managers.

The Highfield Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Adult Care Services (RQF) will also link with the knowledge and skills required within the Leader in Adult Care apprenticeship standard, supporting roles such as managers/advanced practitioners.

Withdrawal of QCF Health and Social Care Qualifications
From January 2018, only RQF qualifications will be available from Highfield. Learners who enrol on QCF qualifications prior to January 2018 should continue their study. However, they must complete their study before the certificate end date provided in the table below:

Table 1

Qualification to be WITHDRAWN Withdrawal date Certification end date SASE framework closure
HABC Level 2 Award in Awareness of Dementia (QCF) 31 December 2017 31 December 2019 N/A
HABC Level 2 Award in Awareness of End of Life Care (QCF) 31 December 2017 31 December 2019 N/A
HABC Level 2 Award in Employment Responsibilities and Rights in Health, Social Care or Children and Young People’s Settings (QCF) 31 December 2017 31 December 2019 29 December 2017
HABC Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England (QCF) 31 December 2017 31 December 2019 29 December 2017
HABC Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England (QCF) 31 December 2017 31 December 2020 29 December 2017
HABC Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care (England) (QCF) 31 December 2017 31 December 2020 N/A
HABC Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services (England) (QCF) (90 Credits) 31 December 2017 31 December 2020 29 December 2017

Overview of replacement qualifications in the sector

Table 2

QCF/current qualification Replacement/new qualification (RQF) Related to apprenticeship standard Qualification launch date
Health and adult care – merged qualification
Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England (QCF) Level 2 Diploma in Care (RQF)

 

(Will include the same mandatory units as other AOs who have worked in collaboration with SFH/SFC)

 

Optional units will differ between AOs

Level 2 Healthcare Support Worker (approved for delivery) Jan 2018 launch
Level 2 Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support (QCF)

 

Highfield Qualifications does not currently offer this qualification

Level 2 Adult Care Worker (approved for delivery)
Adult care only qualifications
Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England (QCF)

 

Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF)

 

(Will include the same mandatory units as other AOs that have worked in collaboration with SFH/SFC)

 

Optional units will differ between AOs

Level 3 Lead Adult Care Worker (approved for delivery) Jan 2018 launch
Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care (England) (QCF)

 

Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF)

 

(Will NOT include the same mandatory units as other AOs)

 

Optional units will differ between AOs

Level 4 Lead Practitioner in Adult Care (not approved for delivery) Jan 2018 launch

What this means for you
The content changes should not impact greatly on your current delivery. However, please be aware that you must fully review the specifications of these qualifications before delivering them. 

Highfield will be creating new, updated assessment paperwork for the RQF qualifications that will be available to download from the members’ area of www.highfieldqualifications.com . Important: centres must ensure they are using the correct paperwork.

The approval criteria have not changed for the new health and social care qualifications.

Due to the changes to content within these qualifications, please be aware that the sampling of learners’ work will take place by our external quality support (EQS) team prior to certification in order for support to be provided to your centre. Therefore, we ask that you to keep us informed when you have learners’ claims to complete.

Posting courses
As our new qualifications launch on 1 January 2018, you may continue to offer QCF qualifications until 31 December 2017, as you do now.

Updates to training resources
Please be aware that Highfield International is updating its supporting training materials in line with the new qualifications and will be providing full information on this in due course.

New Highfield Health Qualification

Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support (RQF)
This qualification is part of a new suite of qualifications developed through Skills for Care and Skills for Health, which are working towards qualifications that have at their heart shared core competences with optional specialisms to meet the requirements of both health and adult care services.

At level 3, there will be two separate qualifications in this field. These are:

  • Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support (RQF)
  • Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF)

The Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support (RQF) qualification will include the same mandatory unit content as found in the new Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF). However, it will also include some additional mandatory content, as developed collaboratively by AOs and Skills for Health.

This qualification is also developed to align with the knowledge, skills and behaviours within the Level 3 Senior Health Care Support Worker Standard. Highfield will be offering units to support those learners who work in the following areas:

  • Adult Nursing Support
  • Mental health Support
  • Children and Young Peoples Support
Replacement/new qualification (RQF) Related to apprenticeship standard Qualification launch date
Highfield Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support (RQF)

 

Highfield will be offering optional units for 3 specific areas:

  • Adult Nursing Support
  • Mental health Support
  • Children and Young People Support

 

L3 Senior Healthcare Support Worker

 

Option 1: Adult Nursing Support

Option 2: Maternity Support

Option 3 Theatre Support

Option 4: Mental Health Support

Option 5: Children and Young People Support

Option 6 Allied Health Profession – Therapy Support

Nov 2017 Launch
     

The Qualification Development Team
Highfield Qualifications

Highfield joins Care Learning Coalition

Care Learning CoalitionHighfield has become part of the Care Learning Coalition (CLC), a new initiative by Skills for Care to raise the standards of training in the health and social care sector.

Developed as a network for learning and development providers who are committed to raising the quality of training, the CLC brings together Skills for Care’s endorsed providers and provides them with a certificate and logo to demonstrate their support.

The Endorsement Framework is a mark of quality that is given to the best learning and development in the adult social care sector. 

Highfield became an endorsed provider with Skills for Care for its innovative e-learning package to support learners and employers undertaking the Care Certificate, receiving the prestigious Approved e-Programme accolade being awarded Recognised e-Provider status.

The Care Certificate workbook was developed by Highfield in 2015 on behalf of the Partnership, made up of Health Education England, Skills for Care and Skills for Health. Highfield elearning’s resource was developed independently of the Partnership, but mirrors the content of the workbook and was created by the same team of health and social care sector experts.

To find out more on the CLC, go to http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Learning-development/Endorsement-framework/Endorsement-framework.aspx

Training funding available for adult social care employers

Training fundingTraining funding is available to put towards the costs of local authority employees completing the Level 5 Certificate in Fundamental Knowledge in Commissioning for Wellbeing (RQF). 

The funding is being made available from the Workforce Development Fund (WDF), and is designed to help cover the costs of local authority employees completing adult social care qualifications, units and learning programmes. 

Employers can claim back a contribution towards the costs of employees completing the relevant qualifications, units, apprenticeships and learning programmes. Employers who directly incur costs for learning and development, such as course fees, can access the WDF to reclaim a contribution towards these costs.

Employees must have job roles that primarily undertake direct commissioning of adult social care services.

A list of the funded qualifications is available here

The WDF is disbursed by Skills for Care (SfC), and is available until 29 September 2017. 

If you are a learning providerlarge national organisation (1000+ employees) or an employer led partnership, please visit the appropriate page for more information and to apply. 

You can also read more about how the WDF has helped others.

To apply
There are different ways to access the training funding depending on your location:

 To find out how Highfield Assessment compares to its competitors, please visit here.

 

Official endorsement for Highfield’s Care Certificate e-learning

Highfield e-learning’s course to support the Care Certificate has been given official endorsement from Skills for Care.  

The e-learning has been given the prestigious ‘Approved e-programme’ mark, while Highfield has been awarded ‘Recognised Provider’ status as part of Skills for Care’s Endorsement Framework. 

For more information on Highfield’s Care Certificate e-learning, go to https://www.highfieldelearning.com/products/care-certificate 

 

Sector skills councils launch consultation on future qualifications

Following the government’s changed policy on qualifications and apprenticeships across all sectors, the two sector skills councils responsible for the health and adult care workforces – Skills for Health and Skills for Care – have been working together to consider the future approach to health and adult care qualifications.

Both sector skills councils are committed to qualifications that have, at their core, shared knowledge and skills, which support the vision of employers and provide integrated services and the portability of skills and knowledge across the health and adult care workforce.

sector skills councils

Following a review into the content of current qualifications, they are holding an open consultation that will allow healthcare professionals to have their say on the councils’ proposed content changes to level 2 and level 3 health and social care diplomas.

Further information on the imposed changes is available here.

The questionnaire will close on Wednesday 10 August 2016.

Updates from the apprenticeship trailblazers

As you probably know, apprenticeships are going through a radical redesign.  Last year, the government announced it would implement many of the recommendations of the Richard Review, with an emphasis on increasing employer involvement in the overall design of apprenticeships.

That process is now well under way, with a number of ‘trailblazer’ groups having been set up.  These groups, which are made up of large and small employers, professional bodies, trade associations and sector skills councils, have been working together to design new apprenticeship standards for occupations within their sector.  Whilst some of these (Phase 1) have already delivered new standards, a further eight sectors were announced in April (Phase 2), and are currently consulting on the draft apprenticeship standards that have been developed so far.