As models of care within the NHS evolve to provide a multi-disciplinary, flexible workforce and healthcare and social care are increasingly integrated, the role of the Healthcare Support Worker (HCSW) has become increasingly highlighted.

In addition, a range of national drivers has resulted in an increase in the number of HCSWs employed in healthcare. Until recently, this role has not been clearly defined or regulated.

Incorporating the Healthcare Support Worker Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard, this course focuses on the core practical skills and underpinning knowledge and theory to gain competence, under clinical supervision, to be a healthcare practitioner in a GP Practice.

Care Certificate

Throughout this apprenticeship, you will be supported to achieve all core standards of the Care Certificate. These standards will be included at appropriate times within the overall qualification. For candidates who have already obtained the Care Certificate, this will be recognised as prior learning and taken into consideration during the learner journey.


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: 14-16 Months

  • Location: Workplace

Entry Requirements

It is expected that the learner will be working towards Functional Skills Level 2 or have prior accepted GCSE certificates. 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.


This unit will include an initial workplace assessment and one-to-one discussion with the learner and line manager and will cover:

  • Understanding of candidate’s duties and responsibilities

  • Understanding candidate’s personal development

  • The Care Certificate – fundamental skills and how it sits alongside the apprenticeship

  • Understanding of duty of care and safeguarding

Candidates will also explore:

  • 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.


Skills & Understanding

1. Communication

Delivered largely in class, focus will be on effective communication and its importance in the workplace.

Will include:

  • How to communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals and groups
  • A range of different communication techniques
  • How to meet specific communication and language needs
  • Effective handling of information including confidentiality and GDPR

2. Health Intervention

This module will necessitate learner supervision, mentoring and observation by a registered clinician. May require learning lab/clinic for some procedures.
Underpinning this unit is the requirement of the learner to demonstrate a clear understanding of what it means to provide person-centered care in a primary setting and display the appropriate values and behaviours.

Will include:

  • How to undertake a range of physiological measurements and routine clinical tasks e.g. check blood pressure, temperature, weight and pulse.
  • Promotion of physical health and well being
  • How to recognize and respond to signs of pain and discomfort
  • How to recognize and respond to signs of deterioration in health and long-term conditions
  • Support of patients with long term conditions and at end of life
  • Understanding and promotion of mental health and wellbeing
  • How to recognize and respond to any deterioration in an individual’s mental health

Candidates will also be expected to be able to perform basic life support and resuscitation

3. Personal and People Development

This unit promotes personal development in a primary care setting and will be underpinned by a clear understanding of the candidate’s roles and responsibilities and knowledge and implementation of relevant procedures, codes of conduct and protocols (See Induction)

Candidates will be expected to:

  • Take responsibility for, prioritise and reflect on their own actions and work.
  • Work as part of a team seeking help and guidance not sure
  • Maintain, reflect on and further develop their own skills and knowledge through developmental activities

  • Maintain evidence of personal development and actively prepare for and participate in appraisal.

4. Health, Safety & Security

This unit focuses on the areas required to maintain a safe and health working environment, following the principle of implementing a Duty of Care.

It includes:

  • Taking appropriate action in response to incidents or emergencies following local guideline
  • Infection prevention and control techniques
  • Moving and handling safely
  • Promoting fire safety
  • Handling hazardous substances
  • Understanding and following the principles and legislation of Safeguarding
  • How to recognize the signs of abuse and what procedures to follow

5. Equality and Diversity

  • Understand the importance of diversity, quality and inclusion
  • Promote diversity, equality and inclusion
  • Demonstrate the ability to work in an inclusive way

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, and evidence and holds resources that will support learners to complete the apprenticeship.

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

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

The learner will be able to evidence that they spend 6 hours per week on learning/training and that this is:

  • Directly relevant to the apprenticeship standard or framework and is teaching new knowledge, skills and behaviours
  • The learning is taking place within the apprentice’s normal working hours (paid hours excluding overtime)

Apprentices will be expected to keep a log of all learning activities working towards the off-the-job requirements of 6 hours per week.

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
  • Roleplay
  • Simulation exercises
  • Team meetings that include training
  • Completion of a 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 in an Apprenticeship must complete Functional Skills English and Functional Skills maths unless they have already achieved them previously at Level 2 or have GCSEs (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 techniques 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 in Level 2 Functional Skills.

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

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 trained 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 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 assessment methods and the methods used will be the ones most relevant to the job.

End-point assessment methods Duration Grading options
Multiple choice test 60 minutes Fail/Pass/Merit/Distinction
Observation of practice 120 minutes Fail/Pass
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence 60 minutes (max) Fail/Pass/Merit/Distinction

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