CACHE Health and Social Care qualifications for Northern Ireland re-designed in collaboration with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council

The CACHE suite of Health and Social Care qualifications for Northern Ireland has been reviewed and re-designed in collaboration with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council, along with representatives from the social care sector, Further Education colleges, training providers, and working groups to ensure their suitability specifically for the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care workforce.

The Level 2 and 3 qualifications were designed to support learners to develop the knowledge and skills required to work in a range of Health and Social Care settings.  The Level 5 qualification builds upon the foundation laid in Level 2 and 3 and consists of two pathways – Adult Management and Residential Management.

Supporting professional development

The review of the qualifications was facilitated by the Social Care Council, the regulatory body for the social care workforce in Northern Ireland. The role of the Council is to register social care workers, to set standards for their training and practice, and to support professional development across the workforce. It is also the Sector Skills Council for Social Care and Early Years and as such has a responsibility to ensure that qualifications offered in Northern Ireland meet the need of both these sectors. 

Paul Rooney, Professional Adviser and Chair of the Social Care and Early Years Qualification panel at the Council, said: “These qualifications have been designed to ensure learners will be able to acquire new skills and knowledge required for their role as a social care worker. They also enable learners to further develop and carry out their roles to a high standard, with kindness and compassion for the people they are supporting.

“Learners will gain confidence as they work through the qualification and this confidence will support and help them enhance the care and support they give to the people using their service.

“It is envisaged that these qualifications will help learners better understand why working from a strong value base, and having the right attitude and behaviour, is as important as having the skills and knowledge required to carry out their role to a high standard.”

Working with stakeholders

Paul continued: “The Social Care Council actively works with employers and others to support staff to develop their skills and knowledge.  We worked closely with CACHE and others in the development of these qualifications which will be offered by learning providers across Northern Ireland and we would highly recommend them to learners.

“CACHE has been providing qualifications in the Early Years sector in Northern Ireland for some time and we were keen to work with them to review and develop new qualifications for the social care sector.”

Adrian Joseph, Qualifications Developer at CACHE, commented: “We value the opportunity to work with stakeholders such as the Social Care Council to ensure the Health and Social Care qualifications are current, fit for purpose and reflective of the roles in practice.

“Working collaboratively with organisations and colleges based in Northern Ireland allows us to develop content and materials that will support delivery and assessment.”

CACHE is continually growing its network of stakeholder contacts, visit the collaborative working page to find out more.

Our NCFE CACHE Level 2 and Level 3 Diplomas in Health and Social Care (Adults) (Northern Ireland) (603/4401/5 and 603/4724/7) are now available for registrations. Our Level 3 Extended Diploma and Level 5 Leadership Diploma will be launching in 2020.

For more details on these qualifications, visit