The Care Certificate is an identified set of standards that health and social care workers should follow in their daily working life. It was developed jointly by Skills for Care, Health Education England and Skills for Health, and is aimed at both new and existing care staff.

The Care Certificate sets out the learning outcomes, competences and standards of care that will be expected from health and social care staff, ensuring that they are caring, compassionate and provide quality care. Altogether, there are 15 standards, each underpinned by full learning outcomes and assessment criteria:

  1. Understand Your Role
  2. Your Personal Development
  3. Duty of Care
  4. Equality and Diversity
  5. Work in a Person Centered Way
  6. Communication
  7. Privacy and Dignity
  8. Fluids and Nutrition
  9. Awareness of Mental Health, Dementia and Learning Disabilities
  10. Safeguarding Adults
  11. Safeguarding Children
  12. Basic Life Support
  13. Health and Safety
  14. Handling Information
  15. Infection Prevention and Control

Whilst many of these standards are important in supporting people with frailty to self-care, the section below will summarise the core principles in the 5 most relevant. Links to the Care Certificate webpages of HEE, Skills for Care and other useful sources are provided at the end of this section.

Duty of Care:

Certificate holders must understand what duty of care means and why it is central to safe practice. Familiarity with relevant legislation and accepted ways of practice is expected, so that care professionals minimise potential dilemmas between duty of care and an individual’s rights. They must also understand how this may lead to conflicts when caring for a person, and how these can be managed correctly.

Work in a Person Centered Way:

This standard deals with the critical importance of promoting person centered values when providing support to individuals, as well as always acting in their best interest. Ensuring that things are done to maximise the comfort and well-being for that person and minimising any discomfort is also highlighted.


This standard sets out to ensure that staff understand the critical importance of effective and timely communication with the individual being supported, highlighting the different forms, methods and styles of communication. It also highlights the issue of reducing barriers to effective communication, as well as the central importance of ensuring confidentiality to maintain trust.

Awareness of Mental Health, Dementia and Learning Disabilities:

This standard ensures that staff has a basic understanding of the different types of mental health conditions and their possible impact on the individual’s well-being. The importance of how staff showing a positive attitude towards affected individuals can improve the care and support they receive. An understanding of the main legislation relevant to individuals with mental health conditions, dementia or learning disabilities is also expected to be demonstrated.

Safeguarding Adults:

The assessment related to this standard will expectstaff to demonstrate their knowledge of the term ‘safeguarding adults’, as well as knowing the main types of abuse and how to recognise potential indicators for each type. An understanding of the term ‘harm’ is expected and staff are expected to demonstrate their knowledge in ways of detecting, reporting, managing and reducing harm and abuse in adults; eg by being aware of relevent legislation, duty of care, managing risk and whistleblowing.

Useful links:

Visit the Skills for Care website for a wide range of resources