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The current Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) will be withdrawn to make way for the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) in December 2017.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

Apprenticeship standards: further views requested on CYP options

skills for healthSkills for Health is looking for feedback on qualifications units to support the Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard for Senior Healthcare Support Workers (Children and Young People’s option) and is asking professionals in the sector to complete a survey.

The survey has been split up into sections and the units have been allocated under different sections for ease: Safeguarding, Communication and relationship building, Mental Health, Providing support, Child development, Knowledge only units, Babies, Generic units and their applicability to Children & Young People.

The feedback will inform the final structure of the qualification pathway.

It does not include the mandatory units and only includes those units with outstanding queries.  These will be optional in the qualification for Children & Young People (not the full list of optional units).

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3346081/Children-Young-People-s-qualification-units

This survey will close at 12pm noon on Thursday 9th March 2017.

If you have any queries about the survey, please email qualifications@skillsforhealth.org.uk

To find out how we stack up against our competitors for end-point assessment, simply visit here.

Survey on end-of-life care content of new qualification

A new qualification is being developed to support the Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard for Senior Healthcare Support Workers.

This survey relates to End of Life Care content of the proposed qualification. There are existing units for end of life care and this survey seeks your views on any changes that need to be made to ensure that they are fit for purpose. The final units will be available as optional units in the Level 3 Diploma qualification.

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3341850/End-of-Life-Care-units

The survey will close at 12pm noon on Monday 27th February 2017.

If you have any queries, please email qualifications@skillsforhealth.org.uk

Views sought on new healthcare support workers qualification

healthcare support workers qualificationSkills for Health is seeking feedback from industry professionals on the development of a new qualification to support the Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard for Senior Healthcare Support Workers. 

The survey asks for your views on existing qualifications units and any gaps to support the Allied Health Professional – Therapy Support option within the apprenticeship standard. 

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3330384/Allied-Health-Profession-Therapy-Support-qualification-pathway 

The level 3 Diploma qualification will have shared core of mandatory units that meet the content requirements of the apprenticeship standard and that everyone taking the qualification will do, regardless of pathway. Areas covered include health and safety, handling information, communication, equality and diversity, personal development, duty of care and person-centred approached. Individual units that correspond with the content of options within the apprenticeship standard will also be available for learners to select. 

The survey will close at 12pm noon on 6 March 2017.

Should you have any queries, please email qualifications@skillsforhealth.org.uk

Consultation on English and maths requirements for HEI vocational programmes

Skills for HealthHEI vocational programmes has launched a consultation on what English and maths requirements there should be for entry to higher education institutions’ – HEI vocational programmes.

The organisation is seeking the views of HEIs, FE providers, healthcare employers, learners and others with experience, or an interest, in delivering English and maths programmes.

Currently there are a range of practices in setting and operating English and maths requirements for entry to ‘pre-reg’ nursing degrees and other vocational health programmes at HEIs in England. However, reports of different practices emerged during working to establish and support employers’ use of the Skills for Health Bridging Programme, including variations in external qualification requirements, the currency of qualifications and the use of internal assessment.

As a result, Health Education England (HEE) has commissioned Skills for Health to research and produce a report, which looks at:

  • what English and maths requirements are set for entry to health-related vocational programmes at HEIs in England, and HEIs’ rationales for these
  • how employers, FE providers and HEIs are addressing skills gaps in English and maths to support progression to the above
  • whether there should be a national English and maths strategy, as an action within Talent For Care and what it should address and include

To take part in the survey, click here

Closing date for responses is 23 December 2016. Skills for Health may wish to discuss some aspects of your response over the phone if you have time and are willing, so please indicate on the survey whether you are happy to be contacted. 

Apprenticeship Standard for Wellbeing Support Workers

Skills for Healthwellbeing support workers has launched a consultation on proposals to develop an apprenticeship standard for the wellbeing support workers job role at Level 2 after an expression of interest for health promotion assistant was rejected by the government.

The survey aims to gather opinions on whether the new role profile looks accurate or needs amending, and will gather feedback on how employers refer to the role internally, how many people are employed in the role (or would look to employ once the apprenticeship route is available) and whether you would be able to support the new expression of interest, due to be submitted in November.

To take part in the survey, click here. To find out more on the new healthcare apprenticeship standards, click here.

If you replied to the health promotion assistant survey, or are named as part of that steering group, please also respond to this one so that a new expression of interest can be developed.

The survey runs from from 19 October until 12:00 pm on 16 November 2016.

 

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.

Important update to first aid qualifications

First Aid ResponseFirst aid qualifications are changing – with new requirements for tutors, assessors and IQA from later in the year.

The changes, which come into effect from 1 October 2015, will see a number of updates implemented designed to improve the rigour of first aid training qualifications and safeguard learners.

Details of the changes include requirements that:

  • Tutors hold regulated teaching or training qualifications
  • Assessors have a formal (regulated) assessing qualification
  • IQAs will need to achieve a formal (regulated) IQA qualification

Where assessors and IQAs do not hold the required qualifications, they will need to undertake first-aid assessor/IQA CPD training with an Awarding Organisation.

Further details of the tutor/assessor and IQA qualifications can be found within the qualification specification for any of the HABC first aid at work qualifications or within the Skills for Health assessment principle document.

HABC account managers are currently reviewing all tutor certificates held on the HABC system. Tutors/assessors that do not fulfil the requirements by 1 October 2015 will not be able to be selected by Centres when posting a course.

For more information, contact your HABC account manager.