You need no formal qualifications before you start, but as you work, there will be the opportunity to develop skills through on-the-job training and learning courses. Many of these are work-based such as NVQs or involve day release to attend local colleges.
Alternatively, you could choose to take a full time course at college before seeking work. Financial help may be available depending on the type of course you choose to study and your individual circumstances.
If you are still at school, in some areas a new qualification will be available from September 2018. The Diploma in Society, Health and Development will be a qualification that you can start in Years 10 and 12 or above, and could lead to further study or to a job with training. The Diploma will introduce you to the principles and values that underpin all the different jobs in this sector, looking at different areas, like the children and young people’s workforce, health, community justice and social care sectors. You will gain the awareness and understanding skills you’ll need to deal with some of the most vulnerable members of society, and to go on to employment, college or university.
If you choose to study for a Diploma you can take it instead of GCSEs or A levels (although you can include some GCSEs and A levels within your Diploma programme).
Foundation and Higher Diploma students can continue with education or take their new skills into a job that offers further training. Those who choose to stay in education can move on to the next level of Diploma, or take different qualifications such as GCSEs, A levels or an Apprenticeship. Advanced Diplomas can lead either to university or into a career. To find out more about the Diploma in Society, Health and Development visit http://yp.direct.gov.uk/diplomas
AS /A2 level in Health and Social Care is offered by some sixth forms and colleges of further education. This will give you a ‘taster’ of careers within the sector as well as an awareness of the needs of particular service user groups such as Early Years, Older People or Individuals with Specific Needs. Many colleges offer BTEC First or National Certificates / Diplomas in Health and Social Care. These courses allow you to develop your knowledge and skills through a wide range of units such as Communication, Human Development, Equality, Diversity and Rights in Health and Social Care, Development through the Life Stages, Supporting and Protecting Adults and Caring for Children and Young People. You will put your learning into practice through work placements in the Health, Care and Early Years sectors and will be well placed to start a career in the Health and Social Care sectors or progress to Higher Education. The BTEC Nationals have been developed with close reference to the National Occupational Standards to ensure that learners will have a firm grounding in the principles of health and social care when they progress to employment. Equally, students can choose to progress on to higher education.
The National Database of Accredited Qualifications (NDAQ) contains details of qualifications that are accredited by the regulators of external qualifications in England (Ofqual), Wales (DCELLS) and Northern Ireland (CCEA).