How to become a carer

There are more than seven million carers in the UK. As the population ages, this number is expected to increase. If you’re a sociable, caring person who loves looking after others and wants to make a difference to people’s lives, then a career as a carer might be perfect for you! 

At White’s Training we’ve given thousands of carers the support and qualifications they need. From specialist training that helps carers perform complex services for individuals with autismdementia or palliative care to writing effective care plans, we understand exactly what it takes. In this blog, we’ll outline the qualifications needed to become a care worker. 

What do carers do?

Carers are responsible for helping individuals with a range of daily tasks and needs. From going to the toilet, to eating and bathing, you will give support to people who need various levels of assistance.  

From vulnerable adults to the elderly and children you will work with a wide range of people, and see first-hand just how important the services you provide are. Many patients open up to their carers, along with the patient’s family, so it is important that you have excellent communication skills. More often than not, care workers are placed in a position of trust, as they are responsible for administering medication, updating relevant paperwork and even staying on top of bills if they are a live-in carer.  

What skills does a care worker need?

  • A passion to help people on a daily basis regardless of their background, age or the challenges they face 
  • A positive, enthusiastic attitude 
  • Carers need to be sensitive and approach difficult situations with tact 
  • You need to be respectful of your patient’s living requirements and their home 
  • The ability to remain calm under pressure and during intense situations 
  • An excellent understanding of health, safety and cleanliness 
  • Being able to undertake daily chores such as washing up, meal prepping and cleaning 
  • The ability to carry out personal care tasks for your client such as washing, feeding or helping them to the toilet 
  • Trustworthiness – there may be instances where you pay your client’s monthly bills and writing any correspondence that they are unable to do themselves 

What qualifications does a care worker need?  

Contrary to popular belief, carers aren’t always expected to have qualifications such as GCSEs, A-levels or degrees. However, some employers will require basic First Aid skills and an NVQ in Health and Social Care, Levels 2 and 3.  

These courses will give you the skills to work in adult social care, and give you the tools you need to work with individuals who have learning disabilities and illnesses such as epilepsy, diabetes and more. Due to the role, you’ll also be required to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) that looks at areas such as your criminal record. 

For carers who visit patients homes, they may be required to travel to many locations and will therefore need an EU driving licence.  

 Alternative routes into caring 

An NVQ in Health and Social Care isn’t always required – instead, carer workers can get experience and train through an apprenticeship scheme, where they are paid to be a care assistant. After you’ve done your apprenticeship and you move up to becoming a care worker, you will have to take part in mandatory training that’s aligned to the Care Certificate. This is a 12 week course that will ensure you’re meeting the national minimum standards of care in the UK. It covers areas such as inclusion, safeguarding, health and safety and more. Alongside this, you will be expected to undertake training in areas such as food hygiene, basic health and safety, and how to safely move people.   

What is the career progression of a carer? 

There are many opportunities for carers to progress their careers once they’ve got experience. From moving up to becoming a senior care worker to working in management or even moving to a local authority’s social service department, it is a truly exciting experience.  

Why should I become a carer?

Having a successful career as a carer is a truly rewarding and enriching experience. A friendly, trustworthy, reliable and understanding approach is crucial for you to succeed in this role. 

If you’re thinking about becoming a carer, get in touch with White’s Training today and discuss your training needs.