Health Care Support Worker

Thinking of becoming a Health Care Support Worker?…

Health Care Support Workers are a vital part of the General Practice team, supporting both nursing and medical staff in their day to day role.

Under the supervision of qualified nursing staff HCSW’s carry out a wide range of duties and skills to care for, support and provide information for patients and their families.

There are no national requirements to become a HCSW, you just need to apply for the job, however having some experience and knowledge of working in healthcare will enable you to make the right choice on your career pathway. Training is provided by your employer to ensure you are appropriately supervised and assessed as competent in your role.

There is a national drive for all HCSW’s to have completed the ‘Care Certificate Programme’. The Care Certificate is an identified set of standards that health and care professionals adhere to in their daily working life. Designed with the non-regulated workforce in mind, the Care Certificate gives everyone the confidence that health and care professionals have the same introductory skills, knowledge and behaviours to provide compassionate, safe and high-quality care and support, in their own particular workplace setting

The Care Certificate is based on 15 standards, which individuals need to complete in full before they can be awarded their certificate.

The care certificate standards

Each standard is underpinned by full learning outcomes and assessment criteria. The 15 standards in the Care Certificate are:

            • Understand your role
            • Your personal development
            • Duty of care
            • Equality and diversity
            • Work in a person centred way
            • Communication
            • Privacy and dignity
            • Fluids and nutrition
            • Awareness of mental health, dementia and learning disability
            • Safeguarding adults
            • Safeguarding children
            • Basic life support
            • Health and safety
            • Handling information
            • Infection prevention and control.

More information on the work of Health Care Support Workers can be found here.

Health Care Support Workers can follow a career pathway within General Practice;

Hcsw Table

In 2017, Health Education England announced educational reform, regulating a qualification framework through an apprenticeship model of delivery.  As a result, Health Care Support Worker (HCSW) training is now becoming standardized throughout the NHS; and Health Education England are developing new roles and standards for the support workforce.  To support these changes, the HCA framework has been updated so HCSWs continue to develop the right skills and competencies via an educational pathway.

The Thames Valley HCSW programme is aimed at developing a standardized educational pathway to support those new to health care support work to acquire the necessary competences, and to provide more experienced health care support workers the opportunity of developing their skills and knowledge.

If you are interested in progressing as a HCSW (HCA) please see the information contained in the flyer below;

BOB PCC Health Care Support Worker Programme Flyer Final

To apply for a this funded programme please complete the application form found here; BOB PCC HCSW Application Form 

For more information about HCA apprenticeships, please see the below video:


Fully qualified healthcare assistants may be interested in the next steps, which can be found on the Nursing Associate Page