Many people are confused about health care assistant training here in Ireland so here are some FAQ’s to help you understand the requirements a bit better.
What are the minimum Qualifications to work as a carer here in Ireland?
If you want to work in the Nursing Home sector or the Intellectual Disability sector, you will need to commence a Major Award at Level 5, the following awards are relevant.
QQI Health Service Skills
QQI Community Health Services
QQI Healthcare Support
Which award is more relevant?
All awards are relevant but it is important to ensure that your modules are relevant to your sector, if the award on offer includes a number of modules that are not relevant this may mean you will need additional training. You may find the modules on an Award in Healthcare Support are not broad enough for Community or Disability services. Choose your modules wisely!
How many years is my Major Award valid for?
Your major award is valid for life, however, if you wish to change to another award, for example you want to use minor awards from a previous major award perhaps Childcare and add them to a new Major Award Health Care Support, then you have just 5 years from the date of completion to utilise these modules. Many minor FETAC modules are coming up for expiry if they were completed in 2012. You can only utilise a few modules that were not mandatory, you would have to repeat Work Experience placements and modules.
I want to work in Home Care, which awards do I need?
You will need a minimum of 2 modules, QQI Care Skills and Care of the Older Person. These modules are available through Frontline Training on a Monthly basis.
Please note that the Home Care Industry is unregulated and these modules are required for HSE clients only. It is anticipated that when regulated the industry will require these 2 modules for all clients and that carers are required to work towards their QQI Level 5 Major Award.
I have completed Practical Home Care Skills and I am now told I need Care Skills – do I need to do this module again?
If you completed Practical Home Care Skills then you have the equivalent of Care Skills. If however, you want to use Practical Home Care Skills towards a major award you will not be able to do this as delivery of this module was wound down in 2012/13.
Am I required to have any other training for Home Care?
Yes, you will be required to complete a course in Manual Handling and all companies must put you through their own Induction Programme to work with HSE clients. There are other areas of training required which will depend upon the agency or working environment you choose.
You will also need to go through Garda Clearance. This takes approximately 2 -4 weeks.