Health, Social Care and Childcare

We published the Sector Review of Qualifications and the Qualification System in Health and Social Care including childcare and play work in July 2016.

The Review outlined a number of actions we committed to, one of which was to develop a new suite of Health & Social Care and Childcare qualifications for Wales which will replace more than 200 qualifications which are currently eligible for funding on programmes of learning funded by Welsh Government or local authorities.

From September 2019, these will be the qualifications available to deliver in schools, further education and work based learning and will be the qualifications that feature in apprenticeship frameworks for learners of all ages undertaking related apprenticeships.

Current qualifications will continue to be funded until this point; there will also be a transition period to allow learners who are already undertaking qualifications to be funded to complete their qualifications. Our awarding body partner to deliver these contracts are a consortium of City & Guilds London Institute and WJEC. This consortium brings together expertise in qualification development, assessment design and delivery from a general and vocational qualification perspective.

Furthermore, we are assured that this partnership will ensure parity between qualification and assessment provision across the two official languages of Wales, along with providing a strong change management strategy to support the qualification system with effective training, support and resources.

We will be working closely with the consortium, along with our collaborative partners; Social Care Wales and the National Health Service Wales Workforce, Education and Development Service, to ensure that the sector is engaged in the development of these qualifications and the sector and the wider public receive information that is useful and timely.

Health and Social Care and Childcare Qualifications – Frequently Asked Questions

You may have heard about the changes that are happening to Health and Social Care and Childcare qualifications in Wales. We hope these frequently asked questions will help you understand the changes and the impact the changes will have on learning providers, learners and the sector workforce.

Information for learners

Why are Health and Social Care and Childcare qualifications in Wales changing?
In September 2015, Qualification Wales began a review of qualifications and of the qualification system in the Health and Social Care sector in Wales. Our review found that a number of changes should be made,to make sure that the qualifications are fit for purpose and preparelearners for work and further study in a fast-developing environment. In order to make these changes, we will be working with sector bodies and an awarding body consortium of City & Guilds and WJEC to develop new Health & Social Care and Childcare qualifications for Wales.

When will these changes be made?
These new qualifications will be introduced from 1 September 2019.

What happens if I have already begun study for a qualification in Health & Social Care and/or Childcare?
If you are already studying for a qualification in Health & Social Care and/or Childcare before September 2019, you will not be affected by these changes. You will continue your learning until the completion of the qualification. For the certification end date of these qualifications, please refer to our QiW database.

I already have a qualification in Health & Social Care and/or Childcare – will these qualifications still be recognised by employers?
If you hold one of the qualifications currently required for your role e.g. listed in the Qualifications Framework for the Social Care Sector in Wales or the Required List of Qualifications for Early Years and Childcare in Wales, this will still be recognised and accepted for practice.

Will I be able to complete these qualifications in school, college and employment?
The range of qualifications will offer you a number of ways to build your knowledge, skills and competence to work, or continue your learning, in the sector. There are routes best suited to schools, colleges, work-based learning or employment.

Will the new qualifications enable me to progress to college and university?
Yes. We have designed qualifications which will help you progress on to further study, such as college or university, through a range of different pathways. Please check with colleges and universities for their individual requirements.

Will the new qualifications enable me to progress to and within employment?
Yes. The new qualifications have been designed to prepare you more thoroughly for employment. The introduction of our new ‘core’ qualification will give you the key knowledge and understanding needed to start a career in Health & Social Care or Childcare. If you are currently working within the sector, the new qualifications will support your progression further in employment. 

Will I be able to take the new qualifications through the medium of Welsh?
Yes, all of the new qualifications will be available through the medium of Welsh. Please check with individual training providers and schools about the availability of the qualifications through the medium of Welsh.

Information for employers

Why are Health & Social Care and Childcare qualifications in Wales changing?
In September 2015, Qualification Wales began a review of qualifications and of the qualification system in the Health and Social Care sector in Wales. Our review found that a number of changes should be made to the qualifications to make sure that they meet the needs of learners and employers in Wales. In order to meet the recommendations of the review, we have committed to developing and commissioning a new suite of Health & Social Care and Childcare qualifications that reduce complexity and raise quality of the learning outcomes and experience, which are so crucial to the best care and support. Social Care Wales and the NHS in Walesare fully supportive of this vision and are active partners in the development process.

The Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 (“the Act”) and the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act show that the Welsh Government sees qualifications as an essential part of its efforts to professionalise the social care workforce.

When will these changes be made?
The new qualifications will be available for first teaching from 1 September 2019.

How will these changes impact my organisation?
Your organisation may be affected in the following ways:

  • From 2019, the new qualifications will be available for public funding and will be the only integrated Health and Social Care and Childcare qualifications available for public funding in Wales (with the exception of some more specialist qualifications in Health);
  • The subject content, structure and size of the new qualifications may differ from those currently available;
  • A new core qualification will be introduced; this will align with revised induction standards to help streamline learning for new workers.

Will my employees who are already working towards a qualification be able to undertake these qualifictaions?
The new qualifications will be available to learners who register for study on, or after, 1 September 2019. Current qualifications will continue to be funded up until September 2019 and there will be a transition period to allow learners who are already working towards a qualification to be able to complete their study. If your employee is already working towards a qualification, their learning will not be affected and they will continue their study until they complete their qualification.

Will I be able to recruit trained staff from colleges and other work-based learning courses?
Yes. Qualifications Wales, Social Care Wales and NHS WEDS have worked with a wide range of sector representatives, and will work with commissioned awarding bodies to ensure that the qualifications contain relevant and up-to-date content and develop the knowledge, skills and competence needed within the workplace. Additionally, the introduction of the ‘core’ qualification will ensure that all learners develop the key knowledge and understanding needed to begin to work within the sector, and will support progression without duplicating learning.

Will staff need to retrain?
Existing qualifications will continue to be valued and recognised, but continuing professional development is important to ensure that workers stay up to date with their knowledge and skills development.

How can I get involved?
There will be opportunities to get involved in the development of the new suite of qualifications and to have your say. Qualifications Wales, Social Care Wales and NHS WEDS will advertise many of these on our respective websites:

https://socialcare.wales/  

http://qualificationswales.org/home.aspx?lang=en

http://www.weds.wales.nhs.uk/home

Information for learning providers

Why are Health and Social Care and Childcare qualifications in Wales changing?
In September 2015, Qualification Wales began a review of qualifications and of the qualification system in the Health and Social Care sector in Wales. Our review found that a number of changes should be made to the qualifications to make sure that they meet the needs of learners and employers in Wales. In order to meet the recommendations of the review, we have committed to developing and commissioning a new suite of Health and Social Care and Childcare qualifications which reduce complexity and raise quality of the learning outcomes and experience that are so crucial to the best care and support. Social Care Wales and the NHS in Wales are fully supportive of this vision and are active partners in the development process.

The Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 (“the Act”) and the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act show that the Welsh Government sees qualifications as an essential part of its efforts to professionalise the social care workforce.

When will these changes be made?
The new qualifications will be available for first teaching from September 2019. Only learners who register for study on or after 1 September 2019 will take the new qualifications. The existing qualifications will remain in place until that date. Final certification of the current qualifications will then take place in 2021.

How will these changes affect my organisation?
The new qualifications will be restricted approved qualifications and therefore will be the only qualifications in Health and Social Care and Childcare which feature on the Qualifications in Wales (QiW) database. This means that they will be the only version of these qualifications that will be eligible for public funding. From September 2019, these will also be the only versions of these qualifications that will feature in apprenticeship frameworks.

Will I need to change the awarding body that I use?
The new qualifications are being developed by the awarding body consortium of City & Guilds and WJEC. If you are not currently using qualifications provider by these organisations, you will be required to change to these awarding bodies from 1 September 2019.

What other changes may impact my organisation?
Your organisation may be impacted in the following ways:

  • From 2019, the Health and Social Care and Childcare qualifications currently being delivered may no longer be eligible for public funding, for example, through apprenticeship frameworks (other than for learners midway through, or those who have started their qualifications);
  • From 2019, the new qualifications will be available for public funding and will be the only Health and Social Care and Childcare qualifications available for public funding in Wales;
  • The subject content, structure and size of the new qualifications will differ from the ones you currently use;
  • External verification and the balance between internal and external assessment maychange;
  • A new core qualification will be introduced, that aligns with revised induction standards to help streamline learning for new workers.

Qualifications Wales is working with the awarding body consortium to keep the financial and staffing costs of delivering the new qualifications at a similar level to the existing qualifications.

Will the new qualifications be available through the medium of Welsh?
Yes, all of the new qualifications will have handbooks, specifications and sample assessments available through the medium of Welsh and English.  All external assessments will be available through the medium of Welsh, and learning providers will be provided with support to also make internal assessment available through the medium of Welsh.

What resources and training will be available?
There will be a range of resources available, through the medium of English and Welsh, including handbooks, specifications and sample assessments. The awarding body consortium for the new qualifications will provide a comprehensive programme of bilingual training events, information and resources to get learning providers ready to deliver the new qualifications. Further information about these will be available on our websites.

What about learners who are already working towards a qualification?
The new qualifications will be available to learners who register for qualifications on or after 1 September 2019. Current qualifications will continue to be funded up until September 2019 and there will be a transition period to allow learners who are already working towards a qualification to be able to complete. Learners who are already working towards a qualification will not be affected, and they will continue their study until they complete their qualification by 2021.

How can I get involved?
There will be opportunities to get involved in the development of the new suite of qualifications and to have your say. Qualifications Wales, Social Care Wales and NHS WEDS will advertise many of these on our respective websites:

https://socialcare.wales/ 

http://qualificationswales.org/home.aspx?lang=en

http://www.weds.wales.nhs.uk/home