Qualifications explained

 As you are new to Skill Selector we recommend you read through each of the information pages to help you understand what qualification would be right for you or your work setting.

The qualifications available in adult social care provide a flexible, 'mix and match' approach to meeting the different development needs of the workforce.

There are three sizes of qualification: 


Qualifications are made up of different units. Every unit and qualification has a level. The level shows how difficult the unit or qualification is (this can be anywhere between entry level and level 8). The adult social care sector now has qualifications and units from level 1 through to level 7.

The units demonstrate either knowledge or competence.

Which qualification?

The larger diploma can be used to demonstrate professional competence.
There are options to take a generic pathway or a specialist dementia or learning disability pathways, providing a new way for learners to gain contextualised knowledge and skills.

The smaller awards and certificates can be used to demonstrate knowledge and competence as well as continuing professional development.

Which level?

Those new to the sector will probably need to begin with a level 2 qualification.

Those more experienced or in specialist/senior roles may want to do a level 3 qualification.

If someone already has a level 3 qualification it doesn’t mean there is nothing out there for them to work towards as part of their Continued Professional Development (CPD). It doesn’t always have to be a management development opportunity – they may wish to look at the specialist CPD opportunities available (awards and certificates) that build up specialist knowledge and skills.

For those wanting to develop management skills there are three unique pathways available on the level 5 diploma in leadership for health and social care and children and young people’s services.

You are now ready to look at qualifications available, or view by area of interest


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