Do you need an NVQ to work in care?

female care worker with man

A career in care can be extremely rewarding; it offers you the chance to positively impact people’s lives by delivering compassionate, high-quality care when they need it the most.

Whilst incredibly fulfilling, working in care is not without its challenges. It can be physically demanding and emotionally taxing. Most people attracted to a career in care get a real kick out of helping others and often share certain attributes – empathy, patience, compassion, and a social nature.

Having the right personal attributes and passion is a great starting point, but landing a job in care usually requires more! Once you start browsing job adverts for care workers, you’ll quickly realise there is no hard and fast rule about what qualifications you require to work in care. The requirements vary depending on the employer and role. Nonetheless, possessing formal qualifications can give you a significant edge.

In this article, we will learn more about what qualifications are required to work in care and whether you need an NVQ.

What qualifications are required to work in care?

There is no legal requirement for care workers to have GCSEs, A-levels, degrees, or any other qualifications to get a job in the care sector.

However, that doesn’t mean securing a job in care without any qualifications will be easy. When recruiting care workers, many employers will look for signs that a person is passionate about and committed to a career in care. One way of demonstrating this is to have already completed qualifications suited to a career in the care sector.

Some organisations may only consider applicants who have already completed certain care-related qualifications. Check the job description or speak to the employer to find out if this is the case.

Some of the different qualifications that it can be beneficial to have before applying for a role working in care include the following.

  • First Aid training
  • Food Hygiene training
  • Health and Safety certificates
  • NVQ in Health and Social Care (Levels 2 and 3)
  • Care Certificate

Whilst holding GCSEs, A-levels, and any of the qualifications listed above is not a requirement for working in care, it can help your application or CV to stand out from other applicants.

Do you need an NVQ to work in care?

Once you begin searching for a job in care, you may notice that many job adverts for care staff mention NVQs. If you’re wondering, “Is an NVQ a legal requirement for working in care?” Then the answer is no, it’s not a legal requirement. However, some care employers may only consider applicants who have completed an NVQ or may state that an NVQ is desirable. Completing an NVQ in Health and Social Care could put you head and shoulders above other candidates when applying for care jobs.

What is the NVQ for working in care?

If you want to get qualified before you start looking for work in the care sector, you may want to consider taking an NVQ.

NVQs are work-based qualifications that provide individuals with recognition that they have the skills and knowledge required to carry out a role competently.

The most suitable NVQ for a job working in care is the NVQ in Health and Social Care (levels 2 and 3).

The level 2 NVQ in Health and Social Care provides individuals with all the knowledge and skills they need to work as a carer in a health and social care setting safely, competently, and in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

The mandatory units covered in the level 2 NVQ in Health and Social Care are as follows:

  • Communication
  • Personal development
  • Equality and inclusion
  • Duty of care
  • Safeguarding and protection
  • The role of the health and social care worker
  • Person-centred approaches
  • Health and safety
  • Handling sensitive information

The level 3 NVQ in Health and Social Care covers similar units to a more advanced level and allows individuals to specialise in certain areas.

Whilst some employers may prefer you to have already completed an NVQ before applying for a job, many will also consider applicants who are willing to work towards completing the qualification whilst on the job.

Discover CBAT’s expert care training courses

Here at Care Business Associate Training (CBAT), we are proud to be one of the UK’s leading care training providers.

Our wide range of care training courses are trusted by organisations aiming to improve their workforce’s expertise and individuals keen to enhance their own skillset.

Some of our most popular care training courses include our infection control, medication management, and dementia awareness courses. Our experienced trainers are adept at delivering these courses in-person or online, offering flexibility to suit your learning style. Plus, our bespoke training options mean we can customise a course to meet your unique requirements.

For more information, either browse and book a training course online or speak to a member of our team by calling 01772 816 922.