Staff training

“We will address the training provided to care assistants in house and externally. We feel the training is lacking many elements and is not given in a educational and standardized way. This means there are flaws in the training and some care assistants are receiving a higher or lower quality of training and awareness”

Here we provide you with guidance for your staff and colleagues. We advise care providers to implement the best range of tools and resources for their team to gain better motivation and production. Staff who are given the best equipment will use it to their ability and be proud of the work they achieve because of this.

Care Certificate

The Care Certificate replaced the National Minimum Training Standards (NMTS) and the Common Induction Standards (CIS) and provides the framework for these within Health and Social Care. As a care provider you must ensure all your staff complete the care certificate within the first 12 weeks of starting their new role. 

The Care Certificate is not accredited as a qualification and we often find companies will not accept new employees with a completed care certificate from their previous employer. The new staff member, will be asked to resit the care certificates 15 modules in their own time. Even if they have a certificate in place. We find this to be extremely counterproductive and discriminative of the care staff who have already completed this work previously, some may refuse all together. The outcome of this is, a reduced effort overall given by the care staff, feeling as if their work is already undervalued and disregarded as not good enough by their new employer. For this to happen at the very beginning of the working relationship lays the pathway for a commitment return from the staff member of a very low standard and assumption that the employer does not consider that individual a valued member of the team.

We advise all care providers and employers to give new employees the same equal opportunity and respect as the current retained employees, to use their previous training and care certificate as a portfolio of their knowledge and understanding of their job role. Refer to Skills for care for advice if unsure on the current requirements for the care certificate.

We believe the time, commitment and passion of a care assistants role wasted on resitting care certificates could be put back into the service provided for those in need of care improving the consistency of the services. Removing the duty from employers and governing the distribution of care certificates in a educational environment we can ensure care certificates are completed in a timely manner without the need for a resit in preparation for the individual to begin a career in care. We wish to standardize the care certificate and make it mandatory.

tax, forms, income

Nightingales Army have spoken to Skills for care directly in relation to Endorsement of the care certificate and how we can purpose to make the qualification recognized and mandatory. We aim to use the care certificate in our training (coming in the near future)

..But we can train a new generation of health care assistants who have a future plan to be a nurse or nursing associate to work their way up within their area, improving retention, consistency and knowledge as they move up their career ladder.

Turnover is high and it affects the care received by the individuals who require it. According to a study by National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report, the average hospital turnover rate in 2017 was 18.2% which is the highest recorded turnover in the industry for almost a decade. Since 2013 the average hospital turned over 85.2% of its workforce.

The report by the National Audit Office (NAO) also paints a grim picture of staff recruitment and retention in the adult social care sector, reporting that

  • There were 1.34 million jobs in the adult social care sector
  • The vacancy rate for jobs across the sector was 6.6%
  • Staff turnover hit 27.8% across the sector
  • Even more damning is the report’s finding that 33.8% of care workers who support adults with daily tasks leave within a year.

Dailypay – Employee Turnover Rates in the Healthcare Industry


We met Paul, the founder of NACAS though networking in 2020, due to the restrictions of Coivd we had to do introductions via Zoom. We are very pleased to unite and to have the opportunity to share his company with you, so you can to utilize this service, it’s benefits and rewards. As a carer or health care professional NACAS can give you further guidance and advice on: employment and immigration legal advice, online training and professional development, mental health, well-being and much more.

NACAS benefits: including their different membership options. At nightingales Army we feel the different options and benefits offered through NACAS can support a wide range of carers in different areas and with different annual rates suitable for all. Have a look at NACAS Membership page here.

We have been given permission to share NACAS survey results with you and wish to thank Paul and his team for their hard work and commitment to raising awareness and promoting great care service. 

Between 30th July and August 7th, 2020, the National Association of Care & Support Workers conducted a short survey entitled Professionalism & Parity in Social Care. The principal aim of the survey was to gauge the level of understanding among care workers of what being a professional meant to them. It also asked questions around training and what they felt was meant about parity with our healthcare colleagues.”

Click here to see: NACAS – Survey Results Summary

“NACAS is a membership organisation and professional body run by and for care and support workers.

Our philosophy is that care workers deserve to be respected, supported and recognized for the amazing work they do, and that no care worker should ever feel alone.  

At NACAS we are proud that we have a reputation for providing  professional services, personal development opportunities and support for our members and elevating care working as a highly skilled profession.” – NACAS what we do.

Following in the footsteps of giants.

The road to professionalising Care Workers.

Paul Featherstone

Founder- National Association of Care & Support Workers

It is often perceived that care working is carried out by those who cannot get a “proper” job, by those who are too old, too stupid, as they either dropped out of education or did not get a raft of A+ exam results, unable to do anything else, that it is easy to get a job in care, that anyone can do it, single mum’s become care workers because it’s the only thing on offer.

Those of us who do the job, will know that the reality of just how difficult being a care worker is.

However, the modern-day perception of care working is nothing new.

Until the mid-nineteenth century nursing was not an activity which was thought to demand either skill or training. Nor did it command respect, sound familiar?

Read the full article here: NACAS – The road to care work as profession

Nightingales Army – Thanks Paul for allowing us to share the article you have written.

Have an unanswered question? Contact us today and we will help you to find an answer.

Watch out:

Staff do not require repetitive, unsupportive training that does not improve their knowledge and experience. It is counterproductive and makes the employee feel withdrawn from their role. 

Training should be completed and the employee should be provided their certificate of learning to support their professional development plan.

Care Elderly Woman
Et call home. Tony Luciani Photograph. Subject to copyright

Mobile phones

Nightingales Army recognizes 80% of health care assistants are women and as such they have a duty of care not only to those in their work place but to other individuals and dependents outside of work. This is classed as a sandwich carer. The duty of an individual who is sandwich caring doubles as they have commitments to their external duties as well as their contracted duties. This can require the individual to be more vigilant of the needs of others who rely heavily on them. 

Within your employees contract mobile phones are generally not permitted on the floor during shift.  This is due to GDPR and confidentially. Phones are not permitted to be used on the floor, in front of residents or in the offices where public and residents can see. We advise those who have dependents out side of work to speak to their care home manager to request they keep their phones on their person during shift. This can support you as an employee to be able to be the first contact in an emergency. 

Dependents or school are able to call the home to pass on a message, but Nightingales Army do not recommended this due to the low staffing levels and constant use of the phone lines for professionals such as doctors, therapists and pre-assessments. Messages do not get to the individual in good time. Passing messages around the home to reach the correct individual is also a breach of GDPR where information can be spread against the individuals wishes. 

We know by experience this happens within the home and can cause friction between staff. Personal information should not be shared publicly, with colleagues or residents. We do not promote use of mobile phones on the floor and feel health care assistants should be responsible for their own actions. If you breach this, you will be taken through the disciplinary route which can lead to dismissal.

Speak to your employee to set out an agreed way of working with mobile phones. Support them to be able to manage their home and work life accordingly. This will improve their mental health, commitment to work. Make them feel supported and reassured they can concentrate on their job role.