Source: Skills for Care

1.0 Introduction

Any new work role brings with it new things to learn. The Skills for Care Common Induction Standards set out the first things you need to know for your work in providing care or support to people, whatever their needs may be.

Induction is the first step along a pathway that will continue all through your career in the social care sector. This guide will explain what induction is and how it can set you on track for giving high quality care or support, and getting recognition for the work you do.

2.0 What’s in the Common Induction Standards?

There are six Common Induction Standards:

Standard 1 Understand the principles of care
Standard 2 Understand the organisation and the role of the worker
Standard 3 Maintain safety at work
Standard 4 Communicate effectively
Standard 5 Recognise and respond to abuse and neglect
Standard 6 Develop as a worker.

Each standard contains a number of topics, or ‘areas’ of knowledge that you need to know about before you can work safely without close supervision. Each topic is made up of ‘outcomes’, which say what exactly you need to know about the topic.

You are not expected to know all the outcomes straight away. The outcomes state what you will know after you have been through induction.

3.0 What to expect from your manager

3.1 Your manager has two duties related to the Common Induction Standards:

  • a duty to arrange for you to learn about the different ‘areas’ within the standards
  • a duty to make sure that you know enough to meet the ‘outcomes’ for each area.

There are different ways of learning new things. Sometimes it can be better to be told information, sometimes better to watch someone else do a task, sometimes better to talk about ideas with other people, and so on.

Different people also prefer some ways of learning more than other ways.

So the Common Induction Standards do not say how people should learn what’s in them: you should discuss and reach agreement with your manager about the ways that will help you learn best. You might attend training sessions, or be asked to read part of a book, training package or policy document, or to talk about your work with another team member who has knowledge to pass on.

3.2 During your induction period (which could be up to 12 weeks) you will be assessed to make sure you have understood everything you have learned. This assessment might be carried out by someone within your organisation, for example, your line manager or your training manager. If part of your induction includes an accredited programme that is externally assessed, then the assessment may be carried out by someone outside of your organisation. Your manager will have the responsibility to sign off your Certificate of Successful Completion when you have successfully completed your induction period.

3.3 If you change jobs, after you have successfully completed a common induction, your new manager will want to see your Certificate of Successful Completion, and should be able to accept that you have already covered those parts of the induction standards that are common to all social care work settings. However, those parts of the induction process that are workplace specific may need to be done each time you change jobs. These are the induction outcomes that are highlighted in the standards.

3.4 When you have successfully completed your induction, you will be on the way to meeting many of the knowledge requirements for the core units of the NVQs in Health and Social Care at each level. You will also have evidence towards some of the other units you need for your NVQ. Your NVQ assessor will help you to identify which these might be.

4.0 Further knowledge and skills

When you have successfully completed your induction, you may develop your job role to include new areas of work that have not been covered by the Common Induction Standards. There will be essential learning for specific new tasks and this should be provided. This may be done in a number of ways, including the completion of knowledge and skills sets.

Knowledge and skills sets can be used for a variety of things:

4.1 Essential learning for specific tasks
The induction standards provide you with the basic information and skills necessary for work in social care. There will be some tasks, however, that you may be required to do, that will need further learning before they can be performed safely. Examples include handling medication, using moving and handling equipment and preparation of food. Knowledge and skills sets will provide you with the learning you need to be able to perform these and other tasks safely. You should not be asked to undertake these tasks without having added the appropriate learning to your induction.

4.2 Underpinning knowledge for NVQs
Successful completion of induction will provide evidence towards meeting the knowledge requirements of the core units of NVQs in Health and Social Care at each level. It will not provide all the underpinning knowledge for the whole of an NVQ. Knowledge and skills sets may be undertaken to meet knowledge requirements and/or performance criteria needed for you to complete the remainder of your NVQ.

4.3 Continuing professional development
Learning should continue throughout your career, and should enable you to develop new skills, and open up career options. You can choose knowledge and skills sets in consultation with your manager, to support professional development that will be beneficial to the organisation and to your career progression.

4.4 Continuing professional competence
You might not wish or be required to develop skills in new areas, following the completion of your NVQ. However, it will still be necessary for you to keep the skills that you have up to date. Knowledge and skills sets can provide an opportunity for you to ensure that you are working in accordance with current best practice.

4.5 Supporting transition
Workers who are moving from one type of social care provision to another, or who are starting work with a different service user group, will have new things to learn so that they can understand how their practice may need to be adapted to the changed circumstances. Knowledge and skills sets can provide the learning necessary for workers to make a successful transition into a different part of the social care sector.

5.0 GSCC Codes of Practice

Finally, successful completion of induction will help you to meet the General Social Care Council (GSCC) code of practice for social care workers, which describes the standards of professional conduct and practice required of social care workers as they go about their daily work. This code reflects existing good practice, and must be met by all workers.

Your employer also has to adhere to a code of practice which includes their duty to establish a competent workforce. You successfully completing your induction is a part of this. The Common Induction Standards have been designed to help make sure that you can provide a quality service for the individual(s) you support, and that includes making sure you are safe to leave alone with responsibilities. Your manager will make the decision about when you are safe.

Copyright Skills for Care and Development (SfC&D)