Lead Adult Care Workers are the frontline staff who help adults with care and support needs to achieve their personal goals and live as independently and safely as possible, enabling them to have control and choice in their lives.

In addition, Lead Adult Care Workers have responsibility for providing supervision, frontline leadership, guidance and direction for others, or working autonomously, exercising judgement and accountability.

Typical job titles include Care Officer, Care Supervisor, Senior Care Worker, Supervising Care Worker, Senior Support Worker, Relief Team Leader, Social Work Assistant, Social Services Officer, Outreach Development Worker, Community Support Worker, Community Outreach Worker, Community Development Worker, Family Support Worker or Personal Assistant. These could all specialise in a variety of areas such as learning disability, mental health, drug and alcohol misuse, home care, dementia and end-of-life care.

As a Lead Adult Care Worker, you will make a positive difference to someone’s life when they are faced with physical, practical, social, emotional or intellectual challenges. You will be expected to exercise judgement and take appropriate action to support individuals to maintain their independence, dignity and control. By providing leadership, guidance and direction at the frontline of care delivery you will be instrumental in improving the health and wellbeing of those receiving care and support. Lead Adult Care Workers will in some circumstances have delegated responsibility for the standard of care provided and may supervise the work of other care workers. This exercising of autonomy and accountability means leading and supporting others to comply with expected standards and behaviours.

Lead Adult Care Workers may work in residential or nursing homes, domiciliary care, day centres or some clinical healthcare settings. As well as covering Lead Adult Care Workers this standard also covers Lead Personal Assistants who can work at this senior level but they may only work directly for one individual who needs support and/or care services, usually within their own home.

These are the personal attributes and behaviours expected of all Adult Care Workers carrying out their roles:

  • Care is caring consistently and enough about individuals to make a positive difference to their lives
  • Compassion – is delivering care and support with kindness, consideration, dignity, empathy and respect
  • Courage – is doing the right thing for people and speaking up if the individual they support is at risk
  • Communication – good communication is central to successful caring relationships and effective team working
  • Competence – is applying knowledge and skills to provide high-quality care and support
  • Commitment – to improving the experience of people who need care and support ensuring it is person-centred.


This apprenticeship is 95% government-funded with a 5% employer co-investment. Please call or email for more information.

If you are an employer with a pay bill over £3 million each year, you will automatically be paying into the apprenticeship Levy. Please call or email for more information.

Further funding information can be found here.

  • Duration: 15-18 Months

  • Location: Workplace

Entry Requirements

It is expected that the learner will have a minimum of 5 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above. Alternatively, learners with long-standing evidence of work to a Level 3 standard may apply if they are supported by their employer and would then follow Functional Skills training alongside the apprenticeship.

It should also be noted that the learner will need to achieve a Level 2 standard in English and Mathematics prior to their End Point Assessment. These are referred to as Functional Skills and during enrolment, learners will be required to complete both Maths and English Initial Assessments and diagnostic tests to assess their level of understanding. If learners are exempt due to prior achievements, certificates must be presented as evidence before enrolment if this is the case, failure to do so will result in learners having to complete Functional Skills.

To be eligible for the apprenticeship learners will need to work a minimum of 30 hours per week and have the support of their line manager and employer. Learners will complete a self-assessment to assess their knowledge, skills and behaviours to ensure they are eligible for the apprenticeship.


Lead Adult Care Worker requirements:

  • Understanding of candidate’s duties and responsibilities

  • Understanding the candidate’s personal development.

  • Understanding of duty of care and safeguarding.

  • The role of a multi-disciplinary team and different working relationships within the health and social care sector.

  • Core values underpinning the role.

  • Duty of care and the need to treat individuals with dignity and respect.

  • Regulations, legislation, standards and importance of acting within agreed ways of working.

This will be delivered in class and include blended learning, follow-up, group discussion, webinar/online learning, group discussion and workplace discussion.

A Lead Adult Care Worker must know and understand:

The job they have to do, their main tasks and responsibilities

  • Their job roles and other worker roles relevant to the context of the service in which they are working. This could include supporting with social activities, monitoring health, assisting with eating, mobility and personal care

  • Both their own and other workers professional boundaries and limits training and expertise

  • Relevant statutory Standards and Codes of Practice for their role

  • What the ‘Duty of Care’ is in practice

  • How to create and develop a care plan based on the person’s preferences in the way they want to be supported

  • How to monitor, plan, review a care plan in response to changing physical, social, and emotional needs of individuals

  • How to lead and support others to ensure compliance with regulations and organisational policies and procedures.


The main tasks and responsibilities according to their job role

  • Support individuals they are working with according to their personal care/support plan

  • Take the initiative when working outside normal duties and responsibilities

  • Recognise and access help when not confident or skilled in any aspect of the role that they are undertaking

  • Implement/facilitate the specialist assessment of social, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of individuals with cognitive, sensory and physical impairments

  • Contribute to the development and ongoing review of care/support plans for the individuals they support

  • Provide individuals with information to enable them to exercise choice on how they are supported

  • Encourage individuals to actively participate in the way their care and support is delivered

  • Ensure that individuals know what they are agreeing to regarding the way in which they are supported

  • Lead and support colleagues to understand how to establish informed consent when providing care and support

  • Guide, mentor and contribute to the development of colleagues in the execution of their duties and responsibilities.

The importance of having the right values and behaviours

  • How to ensure that dignity is at the centre of all work with individuals and their support circles

  • The importance of respecting diversity, the principles of inclusion and treating everyone fairly


Treat people with respect and dignity and honour their human rights

  • Demonstrate dignity in their working role with individuals they support, their families, carers and other professionals

  • Support others to understand the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion in social care

  • Exhibit empathy for individuals they support, i.e. understanding and compassion

  • Exhibit courage in supporting individuals in ways that may challenge their own cultural and belief systems.

The importance of communication

  • The barriers to communication and be able to both identify, and determine, the best solutions to achieve success when communicating with the individual they are supporting

  • How to communicate clearly both verbally and non-verbally and able to influence others to maximise the quality of interaction

  • The role of advocates and when they might be involved

  • Their own, and other workers’ responsibilities for ensuring confidential information is kept safe.


 Communicate clearly and responsibly

  • Demonstrate and promote to other workers excellent communication skills including confirmation of understanding to individuals, their families, carers and professionals

  • Use and facilitate methods of communication preferred by the individual they support according to the individual’s language, cultural and sensory needs, wishes and preferences

  • Take the initiative and reduce environmental barriers to communication

  • Demonstrate and ensure that records and reports are written clearly and concisely

  • Lead and support others to keep information safe, preserve confidentiality in accordance with agreed ways of working.

How to support individuals to remain safe from harm (Safeguarding)

  • What abuse is and what to do when they have concerns someone is being abused

  • The national and local strategies for safeguarding and protection from abuse

  • What to do when receiving comments and complaints ensuring appropriate and timely actions takes place

  • How to recognise and prevent unsafe practices in the workplace

  • The importance and process of whistleblowing, being able to facilitate timely intervention

  • How to address and resolve any dilemmas they may face between a person’s rights and their safety.


Support individuals to remain safe from harm 

  • Support others, to recognise and respond to potential signs of abuse according to agreed ways of working

  • Work in partnership with external agencies to respond to concerns of abuse

  • Lead and support others to address conflicts or dilemmas that may arise between an individual’s rights and duty of care

  • Recognise, report, respond to and record unsafe practices and encourage others to do so.

How to champion health and wellbeing for the individuals they support and work colleagues

  • The health and safety responsibilities of self, employer and workers

  • How to keep safe in the work environment

  • What to do when there is an accident or sudden illness and take appropriate action

  • What to do with hazardous substances

  • How to promote fire safety and how to support others to so

  • How to reduce the spread of infection and support others in infection prevention and control

  • How to use and promote with others where relevant, risk assessments to enable a person centred approach to delivering care.


Champion health and wellbeing for the individuals they support

  • Lead and mentor others where appropriate to promote the wellbeing of the individuals they support

  • Demonstrate the management of the reduction of infection, including use of best practice in hand hygiene

  • Promote healthy eating and wellbeing by supporting individuals to have access to fluids, food and nutrition

  • Carry out fire safety procedures and manage others to do so

  • Develop risk assessments and use in a person centred way to support individuals safely including moving and assisting people and objects

  • Manage, monitor, report and respond to changes in the health and wellbeing of the individuals they support.

How to work professionally, including their own professional development of those they support and work colleagues

  • What a professional relationship is with the person being supported and colleagues

  • How to work with other people and organisations in the interest of the person being supported

  • How to be actively involved in their own personal development plan and, where appropriate, other worker’s personal development plans

  • How to demonstrate the importance of excellent core skills in writing, numbers and information technology

  • How to develop and sustain a positive attitude and address signs and symptoms of stress in self and other colleagues

  • How to carry out research relevant to individuals’ support needs and share with others

  • How to access and apply good practice relating to their role

  • How to access and apply specialist knowledge when needed to support performance in the job role.


Work professionally and seek to develop their own professional development

  • Take the initiative to identify and form professional relationships with other people and organisations

  • Demonstrate, manage and support self and others to work within safe, clear professional boundaries

  • Take the initiative to evaluate and improve own skills and knowledge through reflective practice, supervision, feedback and learning opportunities

  • Demonstrate continuous professional development

  • Carry out research relevant to individuals’ support needs and share with others

  • Demonstrate where necessary mentoring and supervision to others in the workplace

  • Demonstrate good team/partnership working skills

  • Demonstrate their contribution to robust recruitment and induction processes.


Learners will also complete the Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care to support the apprenticeship.

Course Delivery

This will include a wide range of teaching and learning techniques and styles including one-to-one coaching, discussions and teaching, observations, practical assessments, mentoring, independent research and e-learning. The assigned PMA Tutor/Assessor will use online face to face platforms such as Zoom/MS Teams/FaceTime/Skype, as well as periodic workplace visits.

Learners will have access to Aptem, our e-portfolio system that supports in monitoring progression throughout the apprenticeship.  It is the central system that keeps track of learner assignments, evidence and holds resources that will support learners to complete the apprenticeship.

Line managers will be a key driver in learner development, importantly in agreeing the unique learning plan and kept abreast of progress at every step.

A PMA Tutor will be assigned to work with the candidate throughout the duration of the course and will support them through their journey. The programme will be delivered through face-to-face learning with their Tutor, online via the ILM Illuminate portal and Tutor observations. The Total Qualification Time is a minimum of 130 hours.

What is 20% off-the-job training (OTJ)?

Learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment and leads towards the achievement of the apprenticeship. This can include training delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work but must not be delivered as part of their normal working duties. Both Learner and employer will receive a Guide surrounding 20% OTJ training.

Apprentices will be expected to keep a log of all learning activities working towards the 20% off the job requirements.

Off-the-job activities could include:

  • Attending masterclass teaching and learning sessions
  • Coaching
  • Independent research
  • In-house training
  • Shadowing
  • Industry visits
  • Mentoring
  • Supervision with employer
  • Writing assignments
  • Online learning
  • Manufacturer training
  • Role play
  • Simulation exercises
  • Team meetings that include training
  • Completion of reflective journal

Functional Skills

Functional Skills are nationally recognised qualifications in English and maths.  They are part of a government initiative and designed to improve literacy and numeracy skills across the workforce.  Due to this, Functional Skills are a mandatory part of Apprenticeship Standards.  Anyone enrolling to an Apprenticeship must complete Functional Skills English and Functional Skills maths unless they have already achieved them previously at Level 2 or have GCSE’s (or equivalent) in both subjects at Grade C or above.  Certificates must be presented as evidence before enrolment if this is the case, failure to do so will result in learners having to complete Functional Skills.

In order to support you in completing Functional Skills, PMA will undertake an initial assessment and diagnostic assessment which will enable its specialist tutors to identify which areas to focus on with you and this will form the basis of a personalised learning plan.

It is important to bear in mind that Functional Skills do require apprentices to sit formal examinations.  The team will support you with exam technique alongside your learning plan, and will arrange for the examinations to take place at your workplace.

If you are undertaking a Level 2 Apprenticeship, you are required to complete Functional Skills English and maths at Level 1.  If however you complete Functional Skills early, it is a government requirement for PMA to upskill you to Level 2 Functional Skills.  If you are undertaking an Apprenticeship at Level 3 or higher, then you will automatically be enrolled to Level 2 Functional Skills.

End Point Assessment (EPA)

EPA is the name given to a series of tests that an apprentice must complete at the end of their Apprenticeship in order to receive their certificate. The EPA confirms apprentices are capable of undertaking the job that they have been training to do.  These tests are undertaken with an external organisation (known as an end point assessment organisation) to remove any bias from the examination process.  The employer will choose the end point assessment organisation and PMA will support them to obtain information pertinent to this if needed.

When apprentices enrol on to an apprenticeship, they study various units covering a wide range of relevant topics for their job enhancing their knowledge, skills and behaviours. This is often referred to as being ‘on programme’ and apprentices must complete all of the mandatory components of this including Functional Skills where appropriate.

Once this is completed, it is at this point the employer, after discussion with their apprentice and PMA, ‘signs off’ their apprentice as ready for EPA. This decision process is known as the ‘gateway’ to End Point Assessment.

The apprentice must be assessed by a minimum of 2 different assessments methods and the methods used will be the ones most relevant to the job. This testing will examine that the apprentice is capable of doing their job.  After the EPA, the apprentice is graded by pass, merit or distinction. Clear grading descriptors set out the requirements for each grade.


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