A career in social care can be extremely varied and each particular role will come with its own set of challenges and entry requirements. For individuals looking to progress, it’s important to understand the sort of criteria that employers and recruiters usually look out for, and whether that involves professional qualifications or soft skills. 

At Randstad Care, we have years of experience when it comes to recruiting for social care jobs and can help ensure that your prospects are in the best shape possible. 

Professional qualifications for social care rolesProfessional qualifications are hugely valuable tools for anyone looking to progress in a social care environment. They not only demonstrate that you are knowledgeable regarding your profession, but also that you are committed to continuing professional development (CPD) and adhering to the latest industry standards. 

The relevant qualifications will vary depending on the area of social care that you are working in and your specific role, but some common industry-recognised courses include the following:

  • Care Worker – Qualifications like the level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care could help you move into more senior roles. Those of you that are hoping to move into care centre management or social work will also find a degree or a level 5 Diploma in Leadership in Health and Social Care beneficial. 

  • Counsellor – Your career development as a counsellor will be boosted by gaining accreditation from one of the industry’s professional bodies, such as the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP). Courses will vary, but usually involve a mix of study and practical work to further develop your skills.

  • Nurse – Having already acquired an undergraduate degree, studying for a masters in nursing or a related subject could allow you to take the next step in your career. In particular it may enable you to become a clinical nurse specialist or advanced nurse practitioner.

  • Education Welfare Officer – The National Association of Social Workers in Education (NASWE) has a number of courses available and if you are not already qualified, a degree in social work could help with your professional development. 

Experience, networking and soft skills

Aside from professional qualifications, there are other ways of advancing your social care career. Gaining experience in a related field, such as working with young or vulnerable people, can be a great help when first starting in the industry. Furthermore, joining recognised industry bodies can prove hugely beneficial in terms of networking. Not only will you get to meet more experienced individuals that can provide advice and support, you may develop contacts that will prove useful in securing future job opportunities. 

The importance of soft skills should also not be neglected when looking to develop as a social care worker.  Communication skills, empathy, leadership, flexibility and the ability to work under pressure can prove just as important as professional qualifications, and it’s important that applicants keep this in mind when trying to searching for a role. 

If you’re not sure what your next step should be in your career, Randstad Care is here to help. With years of experience in the care sector, we can help you climb the ladder or secure that all-important first job to ensure that your social care career is heading in the right direction.