Should Care Homes Choose NVQs over Apprenticeships?

Training care home employees has a huge positive effect. It is a proven strategy to engage people in the business of care provision. When you take an interest in your people’s future, and offer them opportunities to improve and advance their career by doing so, the benefits are tangible.

In our article Five reasons why training health and social care staff is so important, you can read how training staff:

  1. Improves the quality of care you offer
  2. Improves your CQC rating
  3. Increases loyalty and the benefits it produces (e.g. lower staff turnover and absenteeism, better quality of work, etc.)
  4. Increases business opportunities
  5. Improves dignity, respect, and choices for residents

As the care home sector continues to evolve, care home managers are beginning to question which training and qualifications best suit their business. In this article, you’ll learn why care homes should choose NVQ Diplomas over apprenticeships.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a framework of training that includes:

  • A competence-based qualification
  • A knowledge-based qualification
  • Learning of functional skills

The apprentice achieves qualification through a combination of on-the-job experience and off-the-job learning.

The disadvantages of apprenticeships for care home employees

Apprenticeships generally take a year to 18 months to complete. During this time, those on apprenticeships have little opportunity to progress in their career. In an industry that is suffering from a third of employees leaving within a year (with the recent National Audit Office report concluding a major reason for this high staff turnover is that “workers feel undervalued and there are limited opportunities for career progression”), the extended nature of apprenticeships is a problem for health and social care providers.

What is the NVQ Diploma model of training?

The NVQ Diploma is a work-based qualification. It can be tailored to individual requirements, and there is no need to send learners to college for classroom-based training. The NVQ focuses on skills, knowledge, and behaviours required to do the job. Theory and knowledge learning is provided both on-the-job and with the aid of modern technology.

It is incredibly flexible, allowing people to qualify at their own pace within the timeframe allowed.

An NVQ Diploma provides evidence that the holder has achieved nationally recognised standards of competency in care. The unit-based approach, allowing learners to pass individual ‘portions’ on their way to full qualification, boosts success rates. It also helps learners to realise that they are making headway to their goal, aiding motivation.

How do employees and the care home benefit from NVQ Diplomas?

The shorter-term nature of NVQ Diploma qualification aids care homes both with retention of staff and funding issues of providing training. In fact, our fast-track NVQ Diploma offers full qualification in as little as four months.

For employees, benefits include:

  • Onboarding new skills and being credited for their new knowledge and ability quickly
  • They receive dedicated one-to-one support from an experienced tutor
  • Motivation remains high as they realise the care home is invested in them and their career
  • They learn a nationally recognised qualification that evidences their skills and workplace performance

For employers, benefits include:

  • Maximum efficiency – care staff have vastly reduced time away from their job
  • Reduced administration – NVQ Diplomas are highly streamlined, meaning less paperwork and administration.
  • Your home will not be subject to often intrusive and disruptive OFSTED or college inspections (of course, the highest level of quality provision is of course still maintained)
  • Your workforce will be more quickly qualified and up-to-date with the latest best practices in adult social care
  • Service and care to residents improves at a faster rate
  • Staff turnover will fall sooner

To discuss whether training by NVQ Diploma or apprenticeship is the most beneficial route for your care home and its employees, contact StriveCare today. Prepare to be surprised, as we show you how training your staff could cost your care home nothing.


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