There are three types of qualifications available; award, certificate and diploma (these have replaced NVQs). For more information on adult social care qualifications, click here.
A personal assistant who is less experienced and wishes to undertake a social care qualification would be most likely to complete a level 2 qualification. An experienced personal assistant, or one supervising other personal assistants, may complete a level 3 qualification.
The diplomas and certificates are used to assess the ability to do a job. Assessment includes asking questions, watching a personal assistant do their job, marking what they have written and talking about what they do.
The qualifications are made up of different units. Some are compulsory, and others you can choose. They include subjects such as diabetes, dementia, stroke, and food safety. The health and social care diplomas at levels 2 and 3 also have a specialist dementia or learning disability pathway.
Skills for Care has created case study profiles to show how the qualifications can be tailored to job roles. A level 3 diploma profile has been developed for those working as a personal assistant. These are suggestions only. They are examples of possible combinations that could be taken and are not intended to form guidance. There are many ways in which units can be grouped together to complete the qualifications
Some suggested units for personal assistants are:
If you need help with choosing accredited qualifications try the Skill Selector on the Skills for Care website. This tool helps you to build a qualification in simple steps.