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.

Job titles might include: Care Assistant, Care Worker, Support Worker, Personal Assistant, Relief Team Worker, Support Worker – Supported Living, Key Worker in Residential Settings, Key Worker in Domiciliary Services, Key Worker in Day Services, Home Care Support Worker, Substance Misuse Worker, Learning Disability Support Worker, Mental Health Support Worker, Mental Health Outreach Worker and Re-enablement Worker.

To work in care is to make a positive difference to someone’s life when they are faced with physical, practical, social, emotional or intellectual challenges. Adult Care Workers need to have the right values and behaviours developing competences and skills to provide high quality compassionate care and support. They 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 which is at the heart of person centred care. Job roles are varied and determined by and relevant to the type of the service being provided and the person supported. Adult Care Workers may work in residential or nursing homes, domiciliary care, day centres, a person’s own home or some clinical healthcare settings.

Personal assistants do the same job as an Adult Care Worker and work directly for one individual usually within their own home. Working with people, feeling passionate about supporting and enabling them to live a more independent and fulfilling life is a rewarding and worthwhile job that provides excellent career opportunities.

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: 14-16 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.


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.

An Adult Care Worker must know and understand:

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

  • The tasks and responsibilities of the job role 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

  • Professional boundaries and limits of their training and expertise

  • Relevant statutory standards and codes of practice for their role

  • What the ‘duty of care’ is in practice

  • How to contribute towards the development and creation of a care plan underpinned by the individuals preferences in regard to the way they want to be supported

  • How to identify, respond to and escalate changes to physical, social, and emotional needs of individuals

  • How to access, follow and be compliant 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

  • Ask for help from an appropriate person when not confident or skilled in any aspect of their role

  • Provide individuals with information to enable them to have a choice about the way they are supported

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

  • Ensure the individual knows what they are agreeing to regarding the way in which they are supported

  • Contribute to the on-going development of care/support plans for the individual they support

  • Support individuals with cognitive, physical or sensory impairments.

The importance of having the right values and behaviours

  • How to support and enable individuals to achieve their personal aims and goals

  • What dignity means in how to work with individuals and others

  • The importance of respecting diversity and treating everyone equally.


Treat people with respect and dignity and honour their human rights

  • Ensure dignity is at the centre of all work with the individuals they support, their families, carers and advocates

  • Demonstrate all work is person centred, accommodating the individual’s needs, wishes and preferences

  • Demonstrate empathy (understanding and compassion) for individuals they support

  • Demonstrate courage in supporting people in ways that may challenge their personal/cultural beliefs.

The importance of communication

  • The barriers to communication

  • The impact of non-verbal communication

  • The importance of active listening

  • How the way they communicate can affect others

  • About different forms of communication e.g. signing, communication boards

  • How to find out the best way to communicate with the individual they are supporting

  • How to make sure confidential information is kept safe.


 Communicate clearly and responsibly

  • Speak clearly and exhibit positive non-verbal communication to individuals, families, carers and advocates

  • Use the preferred methods of communication of the individual they support according to their language, culture, sensory needs and their wishes

  • Identify and take steps to reduce environmental barriers to communication

  • Demonstrate they can check for understanding

  • Write clearly and concisely in records and reports

  • Keep information safe and confidential according to 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

  • How to recognise unsafe practices in the workplace

  • The importance and process of whistleblowing

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


Support individuals to remain safe from harm 

  • Recognise potential signs of different forms of abuse

  • Respond to concerns of abuse according to agreed ways of working

  • Recognise, report and challenge unsafe practices.

How to promote 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

  • What to do with hazardous substances

  • How to promote fire safety

  • How to reduce the spread of infection

  • What a risk assessment is and how it can be used to promote person-centred care safely.


Championing health and wellbeing for the individuals they support and for work colleagues

  • Promote the health and wellbeing of the individual they support

  • Move people and objects safely

  • Demonstrate how to reduce the spread of infection, including use of best practice in hand hygiene

  • Demonstrate the promotion of healthy eating and wellbeing by ensuring individuals have access to fluids, food and nutrition

  • Demonstrate how to keep people, buildings and themselves safe and secure

  • Carry out fire safety procedures when required

  • Use risk assessments to support individuals safely

  • Recognise symptoms of cognitive impairment, e.g. Dementia, learning disabilities and mental health

  • Monitor and report changes in health and wellbeing for individuals they support.

How to work professionally, including their own professional development 

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

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

  • How to be actively involved in their personal development plan

  • The importance of excellent core skills in writing, numbers and information technology

  • What to do to develop, sustain and exhibit a positive attitude and personal resilience

  • Where and how to access specialist knowledge when needed to support performance of the job role.


Working professionally and seeking to develop their own professional development

  • Reflect on your own work practices

  • Demonstrate the development of their own skills and knowledge, including core skills in writing, numbers and information technology

  • Demonstrate their contribution to their development plan

  • Demonstrate ability to work in partnership with others to support the individual

  • Identify sources of support when conflicts arise with other people or organisations

  • Demonstrate they can work within safe, clear professional boundaries

  • Show they can access and apply additional skills required to perform the specific job role competently.


Learners will also complete the Level 2 Diploma in 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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