Training Certificates

Care Certificate research evaluation reveals that some managers refuse to give training certificates to care staff.

The latest comprehensive research evaluation of the Care Certificate Induction involved a Telephone survey with Managers in 401 Care Organisations and Qualitative Interviews and Focus Groups in 10 Care Organisations with 24 managers and 68 care workers. Some participants revealed that withholding certificates is an ongoing practice in social care. For as long as I have been in the Health and Social Care sector (circa. 20years now), there have been anecdotal reports by social care workers that they are denied their training certificates, portfolios and other evidence of learning by employers. Certainly, I have had direct conversations with care workers in training who state the same. Training records have been used as a bargaining tool to discourage staff from leaving their employment as it becomes harder for them to prove their skills and knowledge to any prospective employer.


Recruitment and retention in social care

Last year Skills for Care estimated that the staff turnover rate in the adult social care sector was 27.8%. This was approximately 350,000 leavers over the year. Turnover rates have increased steadily, by a total of 4.7 percentage points, between 2012/13 and 2016/17. Their findings indicate employers are struggling to find, recruit and retain suitable people to the sector. A large proportion of staff turnover is a result of people leaving the sector soon after joining and difficulties in retaining younger workers.


I’ll say it straight – I am not convinced withholding training certificates is contributing positively to retention. In fact, as a training provider JoCo are always happy to provide certificates to both Registered Managers and learners alike. Most of our training includes workbooks given to learners to keep as part of their ongoing CPD portfolio. I decided to spend some time exploring why managers might believe in withhold training certificates from staff and have found 3 myths to bust and considerations below.


Withholding certificates from staff improves retention ·       The sector has long suffered crippling turnover rates of over 30%-50%. There is no evidence however that withholding training certificates reduces this.

·       It is probably more likely to damage the trusting relationship that should be fostered between employer and employee.

·       It is probably damaging to the reputation of the care provider employer


Consider analysing the real reasons for poor staff retention and finding practical and sustainable solutions


Keeping certificates from staff will delay their exit and save money ·       Very rarely are care organisations aware of the training return on investment (ROI)

·       Nor is ROI assessed against key exit points of staff to determine what is an optimum length of service?

·       Holding staff hostage is probably not the best approach to retention


Consider implementing a workforce development plan (WDP) which will help you to plan cost effective induction/training, track important HR data like why staff are leaving and develop genuine retention strategies.


The employer needs the records ·       Whilst it is true that managers need to have robust evidence of staff training, there is no regulation preventing them from sharing these records with the learner.

·       It is usually sufficient to maintain a staff training matrix/database and electronic copies of certificates.

·       If the care worker no longer works for you, they probably need their records more.


Consider the moral and ethical issues of refusing to give an individual records of work THEY have completed. The mistrust that this practice creates is likely to foster low morale in a workforce that is already undervalued and underpaid. There is a danger that how we treat our staff is reflected in care quality. #FoodforThought If you would like support/advice about health and social care workforce development and retention advice contact us





No comments yet.

Leave a Reply