A new qualification could have a major impact on improving the quality of care provided to people of all ages in Wales.
Launched by the Care Council for Wales (CCW), and awarding bodies, Agored Cymru and City and Guilds, the award is designed for those starting in care jobs to develop the knowledge and understanding they need to be better prepared for their roles. It can be completed before starting work or during the induction period.
It builds on the social care induction framework (SCIF), which all new starters in care jobs have to follow in their first 12 weeks in the job. First launched in 2001, the SCIF has evolved and been strengthened over time and has now led to the development of the new qualification, as well as specialist awards for working with those with sensory loss.
The importance of good induction was illustrated at the launch with the premiere of a film produced by Cardiff-based professional arts organisation, Re-Live, which specialises in creating theatre and life story work with people on the margins of society. The film, shown at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, highlighted the difference good induction can make to the quality of care provided for an older person who moves to a residential home.
Speaking at the event, CCW Chief Executive, Rhian Huws Williams (pictured), said: “A good induction into the workplace is essential for social care workers in Wales. When it’s carried out properly, it can help new starters understand the importance of treating each person as an individual and the values they should bring to their day-to-day work.
“We want to make sure all new social care workers in Wales get a good induction and the right start for their careers. There are many examples of good practice across the country, but the picture isn’t consistent. This means we need to strengthen the national approach to induction, as it’s essential people understand the importance of values right from the start.
“We need to help employers and those involved in training to run quality inductions by giving them the guidance and tools they need. We believe this new qualification, and the resources that go with it, will make it clear what staff should be achieving as part of their induction. In particular, helping them realise the importance of treating everyone with dignity and respect.
“With the onset of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill, this is a time of change with new emphasis on people and their strengths, working with them to achieve what’s important to them and focusing on their well-being and quality of life. We all need to bring good practice alive so that we showcase what is good and learn from that so that we have vibrant services and confident staff who are well-supported and encouraged to do their best for those they work with,” she added.
The films, entitled Home from Home, will be available as part of a learning resource later in the year. They will provide an opportunity for managers, employers and social care workers to debate and reflect on treating people as individuals and what influences quality of life for all adults and children using social care services.
Kayleigh Chainey, Agored Cymru Development Manager said: “We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the Care Council for Wales in providing a qualification that supports the care workforce in Wales. This qualification enables workers to develop and strengthen their knowledge and skills which are essential to social care practice.”
Suzi Gray, City and Guilds, Health, Social Care and Childcare Adviser (Wales and Northern Ireland) said: “City and Guilds is delighted to support the Care Council for Wales in the development of the Level 2 Award in Social Care Induction (Wales). We believe that establishing a robust and standardised induction framework is an important step in the journey towards a professional and committed social care workforce.
"Providing an effective induction can be a challenging undertaking and we are confident that this new qualification will help social care employers across Wales ensure that social care workers are well prepared for the challenging and essential work they do.”