If you have been working in the care sector for a while now, you may be wondering about career progression. How can you take your career to the next level? Do you need to commit to further study? What kind of opportunities are out there on the market?
Like most sectors, the care industry does reward those with ambition and drive. And, if you are excelling in your current role, you may well be looking for a bigger challenge.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that my candidates ask me when they are looking to take the next step in their care career:
How do I step up into a senior role?
A lot of more senior opportunities may ask you to level up on your existing qualifications so speak to your recruiter or current employer about how to go about this. You might also want to start examining the transferable skills you have that will allow you to transition into a more senior role. You could also consider specialising in a specific area of care -e.g. dementia or end of life – in order to create a clear path for progression.
What does a leadership or management opportunity look like?
There are lots of different managerial roles available within the care sector. These include Team Leader or Supervisor; Deputy or Team Manager; Manager; and Specialist Co-Ordinator. Depending on where you believe your skills set to lie – or, indeed, where your interests and passions lie – you may prefer one career path over another.
What qualifications will I need?
Supervisors in care homes, care at home and housing support services need to gain both a practice and a supervisory qualification. The main national practice award is the SVQ Social Services and Healthcare at SCQF level 7 or the HNC Social Services.
There are four ways to gain the additional supervisory qualification, which must contain at least 15 credits at SCQF level 7 or above of supervision or management theory and practice for a supervisor of a care service.
- PDA Health and Social Care Supervision at SCQF level 7.
- SVQ Social Services and Healthcare at SCQF level 9.
- Any two units from the list we have specified here from SVQ Social Services and Healthcare at SCQF level 9 and SVQ Care Services Leadership and Management at SCQF level 10.
- Another qualification that contains at least 15 credits at SCQF level 7 of supervision or management theory and practice specifically for a supervisor of a care service.
If you are considering progressing into a management role in the future, you may wish to consider options 2 or 3 above, as these would build towards meeting the requirements for managers in these care services.
A manager of a care home, care at home or housing support service has to gain a practice qualification and a management qualification. The main national practice award is the SVQ Social Services and Healthcare at SCQF level 9 and the main management award is the SVQ Care Services Leadership and Management at SCQF level 10.
How often do senior roles come on the market?
There is always a demand for experienced and qualified staff for senior roles. Though experience and qualifications are needed, employers often choose a specific candidate based on your values. Senior roles often come on the market when services expand or grow; people move on or are promoted; or when services restructure.
How can I get more leadership experience?
As a leader, you’ll be expected to drive change, problem solve and ensure high standards of care. There are lots of ways to get experience of these core skills, including asking to represent your employer at external events / meetings; offering to train and develop other members of staff; or simply asking to shadow managerial level tasks.
Most care providers will take on a candidate for a senior role, stepping up from an entry level care assistant or a support worker role without the candidate having achieved the required SVQ3 or HNC as yet. You do have to be working towards one of those qualifications once in the role and this is acceptable as per the SSSC. Your employer will also usually provide access to the relevant course as part of the role.
If you would like to speak to me about senior care roles in Edinburgh and the East Coast, or your career plans in general, click here to drop me an email
and get in touch.