Starting Your Role as a Care Assistant

Care work is a vitally important role in the community that makes a real difference to people’s lives.  Absolutely critical to the quality of care and support we provide is our staff who deserve to be supported, trained, appreciated and rewarded for the essential and valuable work they do and the benefits they bring to our customers and their family and friends.

No more important is the initial 3 months in the role and we try to ensure that as you embark on your career with us that we make your life as easy and enjoyable as possible form the moment you contact us.

1. How Do I Apply?

Once you know what job role would suit you best you can apply through our vacancies page or by sending in your C.V. to cambridge@bluebirdcare.co.uk, responding to our adverts or call us direct on: 01954 212881 to discuss the potential roles and opportunities in more detail.

We will always try to get back to you within two days if your application is of interest, preferably by phone or e-mail.  We know that good people do not hang around for long and we want to attract the very best.

2. What Happens Once I have Applied?

We will contact you by phone or e-mail and make arrangements to undertake an initial pre-screening interview over the phone or by Skype. 

The initial pre-screening interview will cover the following areas:

  • Confirmation of your name, address and contact details.
  • If you are currently employed, any notice period you have to give and why you want to leave your current employer.
  • Why you want to work in care or any previous experience you may have either as an employee or an informal carer for family and friends.
  • If you are a driver with access to a vehicle for work (not essential for all roles).
  • An initial indication of the days and times you may wish to work.
  • The local areas that you wish to work.
  • A brief description of the role and what it involves, the recruitment processes we follow and our training.
  • An opportunity for you to ask any questions to help you decide if this is the role for you.

If everything goes well and you like the sound of what you hear we will then invite you in for an interview at our offices, or arrange a further Skype interview for those people who live a long way away.
 

3. What Happens After the Pre-screening Interview?

At the end of the pre-screening interview, if we both think the role may be of interest we will invite you to meet with us at our offices or via a further Skype interview at the earliest possible opportunity. This will enable us both to find out a lot more about each other and the role.  We will send you an e-mail with a company information guide, role description for the job that you are interested in and a description of ‘how to find us’.  We have plenty of parking available and are happy to conduct interviews outside of normal office hours if this is easier for you. 

We will also send you a list of documents that we would like you to bring with you which will include:

  • C.V. (if you have one)
  • Passport and/or birth certificate
  • Two proofs of address (utility bills/bank or credit card statements/letter from a government agency/HMRC/DWP for instance)
  • Proof of national insurance no.
  • Driving licence (if applicable)
  • MOT (if applicable)
  • Car insurance (if applicable)

Also most importantly the details of three referees who will vouch for you. At least one should be from your last employer or educational establishment if you are just starting out on your career.

4. What Happens During the Interview?

When you arrive for the interview we will want you to complete an application form or if you want to you can download a copy from our resources page so that you can complete it in advance and at your leisure and then bring it with you. During the interview we will want to understand more about you, your experiences in life, your work experience and why you want to work in care. We will try to give you as much information about the company as possible and the role for you to determine if this is the right decision for you. We all spend a lot of time at work and it is vitally important that you are going to enjoy what you are doing.  You can’t make other people smile and help them unless you are content and confident in what you do.

Our staff are trained to recognise the key attributes and values of someone who would make a good care assistant and we will always try to give you a decision on the day if you are successful.

We will also take a copy of all your documentation and details of your references.  

5. I have been successful what happens next?

We will send you an e-mail confirming our offer, the type of employment contract we are offering (guaranteed or zero hours) and a mutually agreeable start date which will be the first day of our induction training.  We will ask you to confirm your acceptance if, after full consideration, you think it is right for you.

We will then seek references from the people whose details you have provided as referees and also your last employer or educational establishment as appropriate.

Once we have received back at least one satisfactory reference we will send you a link to complete an enhanced DBS (CRB) check and also agree your induction training programme. If you are unable to attend all of the induction training then we can also send you our distance learning modules.

6. What training will I receive?

We believe that most people learn best through interactive face-to-face training, where you can have some fun, mix with other new starters as well as experienced staff doing refresher training and feel part of the team from the outset.  Therefore on the first day of your employment you will receive a comprehensive 5 day induction training that covers of all the critical aspects of care and help to enable you to deliver the very highest standard of care to our customers.

Our core induction training programme covers the following mandatory units:

  • Understanding your role
  • Your personal development
  • Duty of care
  • Equality and diversity
  • Working in a person centred way
  • Verbal and written communication
  • Privacy and dignity
  • Fluids and nutrition
  • Awareness of mental health, dementia and learning disabilities
  • Safeguarding adults and children
  • Basic life support and responding to an accident and illness
  • Health & safety (including fire safety)
  • Recording and handling of information
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Practical medication management
  • Moving and positioning of people

For the people who are unable to attend the full induction training we are able to provide distance learning for the classroom topics, which is then externally verified and marked. However, you will need to attend the practical training on moving and positioning of people and practical medication management.

7. What additional training will I receive?

Once you have started working in the community you will also benefit from further training on such subjects as:

  • Offering enlightened dementia care
  • Dementia awareness and caring strategies
  • Pressure sores and skin integrity
  • Bed making
  • Catheter and stoma care
  • Administration of eyes, ears and nose drops
  • End of life care

Other customer specific and specialist training is arranged as required on an ongoing basis and we maintain up to date files on all the conditions you are likely to come across in your daily work.

We also support our staff to develop and enhance their skills and to gain a professional qualification such as a QCF(NVQ) Level 2 or 3 in Social Care and for those wishing to progress into a management role and build a career social care the opportunity to study for a QCF Level 5 in leadership and management.

These professional qualifications are provided through our training partner, Lifetime Training www.lifetimetraining.co.uk .

8. When Do I start Work in the Community?

Once you have successfully completed your induction training, we have at least two satisfactory references and the enhanced DBS (CRB) check has been returned, you will be assigned a mentor to support and guide you through your probationary period. They will ensure that you are fully familiar with the company’s policies and procedures and day to day administration, such as when you get paid, communication methods and reporting.

We will then arrange for a period of shadowing, typically over a 2 or 3 week period where you will visit customers in their own homes with an experienced and qualified care assistant, enabling you to gain a better understanding of what you will be doing on a day to day basis and to help you to become more confident in your role.

As your confidence builds you will be progressively offered the opportunity to put into practice what you have learnt and observed in practice.  Under the guidance of an experienced colleague you will progressively undertake some of the tasks involved in the care and support of the customers you visit.  Working at your own pace you will continue to build up your experience until you feel confident to undertake all the care and support that our customers require, under the watching eye of the more experienced member of staff that will be with you.  It is important throughout the process that you communicate both to the customers and colleagues about how you feel about completing the tasks required.  Members of the office based team will remain in regular contact about how confident you feel in what you are doing. Once you feel confident in each of the areas of care and support, we will arrange for you to be observed by a member of the office team in the field who will be able to sign you off as competent to work on you own and enable you to be allocated individual care visits unaccompanied.  We will work at a pace you feel comfortable with and this depends on you and any previous experience you may have.

You will then be scheduled to build up your own customers whose care and support you will deliver independently.  Your mentor will continue to check on your progress on a regular basis and provide assistance and guidance. You will also receive regular field and office based supervisions, to ensure you continue to feel confident about what you are doing and to help you meet and exceed the required competency levels.

9. When Do I complete My Probationary Period?

Typically your probationary period will last three months although for some people it may take a little longer. During this time you will continue to have regular meetings with the office based staff and the field team, to develop your skills and practice and also provide additional guidance as required. They will also help you to complete your Care Certificate and once completed you will attend a probationary meeting with our care manager, to review your experience and to put together a personal development programme to enable you to develop additional skills if you wish. During this meeting we will also invite you to consider whether you wish to undertake any additional professional qualifications such as a QCF(NVQ) Level 2 or 3 and any other additional training that may be useful to you and our customers.  This will be regularly reviewed and we will support you in your career journey if this is how you wish to progress.