The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Care has recommended a new national care body, with a governing council, to aid the professionalisation of the care sector in England.

The APPG report on its Inquiry also calls for legislation to be put in place implementing a new UK-wide qualification for care workers, starting from a reformed, compulsory and accredited Care Certificate.

The APPG report suggested that the governing council overseeing the new national care body be made up of care providers, care commissioners, trade unions and resident groups.

The report follows an inquiry into the social care sector, which highlighted a need for better quality training of care staff. The report, "Elevation, Registration and Standardisation: The Professionalisation of Social Care Workers", made the point that, unlike the NHS, social care suffers from a poor public perception and misunderstanding about “the quality of care provided”.

MPs heard how the type of training undertaken by care workers varies by employer and by care setting, with training being employer-led "with no centralised delivery". Furthermore, the report pointed out that there is no legal requirement on employers to ensure engagement with the Care Certificate, which is not a qualification.

Consequently, only one third of care workers in England have completed the Care Certificate, a third have begun but not completed it, and the remaining one third have not started.

Skills for Care told the Inquiry that variation in how Care Certificate training is delivered has led to “uncertainty over the quality of training received by care workers” and consequently “devalued” the Care Certificate. It called on MPs to consider national accreditation of the Care Certificate and professional registration of its holders to strengthen its value. This would also support its integration with National Vocational Qualifications and other relevant learning when embarking on the Care Certificate.

Care England told the Inquiry that there was a “lack of parity in typical training for the social care workforce (£16.00 per head per year) compared with that offered to the NHS Workforce at (£3,615 per head per year)."

APPG Joint Chairs Louise Haigh MP and Gillian Keegan said: “It is time to value, respect and elevate those who work so hard to provide care, and transform this world of work and healthcare for the better.”

The APPG report is available here.

Croner i Care Management and CQC Compliance offers a complete set of training modules mapped to the Care Certificate standards which can be used for in-house training.

Last reviewed 10 September 2019