1. ITV Report

Qualification reform for health, social care and childcare in Wales

People in Wales wanting to pursue careers in the health, social care and childcare sector will see a major shake-up in qualifications following a review.

The sector includes careers providing care in hospitals, childcare, residential homes for adults and children, and at home. Credit: Angelika Warmuth/DPA/PA Images

20 new qualifications will replace the existing 240 in place at the moment.

The new qualifications will be taught from September 2019, with the first certificates awarded in 2020.

The move follows a review published in 2016 by independent regulator Qualifications Wales into one of the largest employment sectors in Wales.

Contracts have been awarded to a consortium of City & Guilds and WJEC which will work with Qualifications Wales, Social Care Wales NHS Wales, and teachers to deliver the new qualifications.

Chief Executive at Qualifications Wales; Phillip Blaker said these changes are amongst the most substantial ever seen in the vocational system in Wales.

We are addressing the issues highlighted in our review. The new qualifications will be introduced with the full support of our partners who have a wealth of knowledge about the needs of employers, and the people they provide care for.

The current qualifications are provided by 21 different bodies so moving to one awarding consortium will make career planning and progression routes clearer and more straightforward.

– Phillip Blaker, Chief Executive, Qualifications Wales

The sector includes careers providing care in hospitals, childcare, residential homes for adults and children, and at home.

Sarah McCarty, the Director of Improvement and Development at Social Care Wales said the partnership will meet the needs of learners, employees and their families.

Listening to the views of those involved in social care has been vital in getting us to this point. This will continue over the next 12 months so that the new qualifications meet the needs of the sector over the next five years and are in-line with the principles of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act.

We have already been able to respond to feedback from the sector to, for example, strengthen qualifications around induction, work with children and young people, and management.

– Sarah McCarty, Director of Improvement and Development, Social Care Wales

The WJEC and and City of Guilds say they are pleased to be working with one another to be able to support future development and meet the needs of employers and the wider community in Wales.

What do the changes mean?

  • The new qualifications will only be provided by the C&G and WJEC consortium .. meaning they will be the only ones eligible for funding on programmes of learning funded by the Welsh Government and local authorities. The NHS will also be funding parts of their workforce to undertake these qualifications.
  • Learners who register for study on or after 1 September 2019 will take one of the new qualifications, which will replace 243 existing ones.
  • The current qualifications will continue to be funded until the new qualifications are introduced. There will also be a transition period to allow learners who are on existing courses to complete their qualifications.

The new qualifications will be taught to learners aged 14 and upwards across Wales from September 2019. From that date these will be the qualifications that feature in apprenticeship frameworks for learners of all ages undertaking related apprenticeships.