Learning and Development in social care

Whether you are starting or changing your career you will find a huge variety of career pathways and opportunities for learning and development in social care. Find out more about how you can develop your career on the Skills for Care website.

The Care Certificate shows the minimum areas that should be covered as part of your induction training. You may then choose to do additional formal qualifications depending on your area of work or chosen career path, for example NVQs or apprenticeships. There are lots of opportunities to earn while you learn in social care.


Learning and development in social care - apprenticeships

Many social care employers offer apprenticeships to existing employees as part of their professional development. This could be through one of the mainstream colleges or other training providers who offer an alternative to college.

Explore the wide range of apprenticeships available to develop a career in social care and health.

Access to Higher Education courses

If you’re thinking of changing careers or getting back into higher education to progress your career in social care you may want to consider an Access to Higher Education (Level 3 Diploma) course in Health and Social Care.

This course is delivered in local centres across Cornwall and is open to all applicants who are aged 18 or over. To be eligible you must have a Level 2 (GSCE or equivalent) qualification in Maths and English, or be willing to study for this alongside your Access course. There is a cost associated with this course but financial support is available. For more information and to apply visit Cornwall Council’s website.

Get in to Nursing in social care

Nurses are a vital part of the social care workforce and many Nursing homes across Cornwall grow and develop their nursing teams by supporting existing care staff through apprenticeships. If you’re already working in social care there are two key routes you can take into Nursing – the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship (2 years) or the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship (4 years).

Get in to nursing in social care

Visit our Nursing in Social Care page for more information.

Assistant Practitioners & Nurse Associates

Care home assistant practitioner courses are standalone courses of several weeks’ duration. They provide the knowledge and skills to complete or assist with specific tasks that are covered in the training.

Assistant practitioner programmes are based on a 2-year curriculum of study that are attached to an accredited further education establishment. The course is based on a level 5 foundation degree and includes extensive supervised practice and sign off of competencies. Once complete, an Assistant Practitioner can support a registered nurse by undertaking delegated tasks that they are competent to perform.

An assistant practitioner is not a role specific to social care or to a particular social care setting. It has been developed to assist organisations to deliver high quality, patient-centred care in a variety of settings. Although not registered practitioners, assistant practitioners have a high level of skill through their experience and training.

Nurse associate programmes are required for NMC registration as a nurse associate and involve completion of a 2-year foundation degree. Only courses that are approved by the NMC will allow people to register as a nurse associate and work in a way that supports a registered nurse by monitoring as well as providing care.  More information on what nurse associates can do and the training they require can be found on the NMC website.

A nurse associate is accountable for the range of tasks and activities set out in the NMC standards of proficiency and, once qualified, can undertake these without requiring additional competency checks.

Useful links for learning and development in social care