HCSW Trailblazer update

1 April, 2021

In late 2020, the Chairs of the Healthcare Support Worker and Adult Care Worker Trailblazers agreed to working together to convene a Trailblazer with a balance of representation from across health and adult social care to explore the possibility of a joint health and adult care apprenticeship standard at level 2 which would replace the two existing standards.

During the Spring of 2021, a Trailblazer group with employers from across health and adult social care met to take forward this proposal.   Engagement commenced with the sectors to gain feedback on this approach.  Feedback obtained demonstrated that the changes required to develop a joint standard, and subsequent loss of both existing standards, would reduce the flexibility afforded to the workforce by the current level 2 offerings.  Employers therefore decided that retaining both standards at the present time is the best way forward and therefore a decision has been taken to cease the joint Trailblazer.

Instead, two independent Trailblazers will now take forward the review of the Level 2 apprenticeship standards for Healthcare Support Worker and Adult Care Worker.

The Healthcare Support Trailblazer will now prepare a reviewed Level 2 Healthcare Support Worker standard for consultation and more details will follow on HASO soon

The Chairs of the two Trailblazer groups have found it immensely valuable to work together across both sectors and have committed to meet on a regular basis to ensure that employers across health and adult social care have access to apprenticeships that meet the needs of the workforce and the populations they serve and to raise the profile of this work in both sectors.

The joint chairs Jane Hadfield – Senior Programme Manager Health Education England (HEE), Kay Fawcett OBE – National Lead for the Care Certificate, Derbyshire Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Helen Wilcox – MBE, CEO, Woodford Home Care & Support Services said:

“Although it is not the right time to progress with a single apprenticeship standard, we have enabled some excellent cross-sector working.  It has been a pleasure to work with colleagues from across both sectors together. There are so many examples of where services are using both the health and care apprenticeships to train their workforces and we are keen for the dialogue between the two groups to continue.”

Bhavena Patel and Soryah Brown Relationship Managers, Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education said:

“To continue to support the network between health and social care we will be looking at ways we may be able to facilitate cross-sector discussions and improve understanding of how the two standards can be applied in different settings.”