1. What can I do with the ECC?
By having the ECC you can demonstrate your understanding of the basic knowledge needed to work in the social care sector. The ECC will establish a comparable base for entry level care staff across Europe and provide an accessible and transferable certificate for workers and employers. This will make it easier for workers to find jobs in the care sector in other countries of the European Union and in places such as America and Australia where some employers sometimes find it difficult to understand 'national' awards - especially if they are not written in English.
Where there is stiff competition for a job, having the ECC may make all the difference between getting an interview and not getting one!
2. Does the ECC relate to health care or social care?
In German speaking countries and in Portugal there is a big difference between the health care sector which is often referred to by the term "care" (German: "Pflege") and the social care sector. The ECC is intended to provide enough basic knowledge to work at entry level in the social care sector. In countries like the UK there is often a big overlap between the role of healthcare assistants and social care assistants. The ECC covers most of the the induction requirements for entry level health and social care workers in the UK.
3. Is it a vocational training course?
Not really - but it could be part of one. The ECC may be delivered in a number of ways (e.g. on a specific taught course, via distance learning, or wrapped inside a larger course), but its basic aim is to provide individuals with the basic knowledge required to work in care at an entry level. The larger course could be a vocational or an academic one - there are NO set requirements about how you learn, how long it takes, where you learn or who 'teaches' you. The only thing which matters is - do you really understand the learning covered by the BESCLO and can you demonstrate it by passing the exam?
4. Could the ECC be adapted and delivered as part of existing training courses?
Yes - of course! In some countries the ECC basic learning outcomes might already be included in existing training. For example in Germany that means, ECC will be included in the one year and three year courses of "Heilerziehungspflegehilfe" and "Heilerziehungspflege". The ECC is an EU wide summary of the basic knowledge needed to work in the care sector. In each country of the EU there may be additional requirements you will need to undertake if you get a job there.
5. Is the ECC a qualification?
The ECC is not a qualification in itself in every country, but we hope to see many training courses demonstrate that they are 'ECC compliant' (that means the course covers all the things the ECC requires you to know). The ECC is based on a set of basic social care learning outcomes. The achievement of the knowledge is assessed through a multiple-choice questionnaire. The ECC is not intended to provide evidence of competence or to replace existing qualifications for social care staff in participating countries. At the time of the CCFC project all European countries are introducing new National Qualification Framework which must be referenced to the European Qualification Framework. We hope in to get the ECC formally recognised and referenced to one of the eight levels of qualifications in the EQF. This is still work in progress for all the EC countries.
6. Who can offer ECC courses?
This will vary from one country to another. ECC courses could be offered in various ways (distance learning, college, in work, etc) and by different training providers (a college, school, employer, etc). One of the CCFC Partners is a University and uses it on some of its mainstream social care courses.
7. Does ECC improve my chances in the labour market?
It will provide employers with evidence that the holder of the certificate understands enough basic knowledge to work in the sector, and therefore could open up opportunities to work across Europe where the ECC is recognised. The ECC will promote a common EU-wide understanding of the values and quality we should find in social care services. ECC holders could be in a better position to work in a wide range of EU countries where employers recognise the ECC. Past experience has shown that having the ECC can differentiate you from a mass of people all applying for the same job.
8. How much will it cost to get the ECC?
The basic charge across the EU is €60 but this is adjusted according to the GDP of your country, so this will vary from one country to another, and on how the course is delivered. Depending on how you learn, there may be a charge from your training organisation to cover the cost of any training course you do. In some countries the cost may be covered by government or EU grants for re-training workers.
9. How many/in which countries is the ECC operating?
There are now 18 partners covering 16 EU member states. For more information click on the tab "where can I get the ECC?"
10. Are there any entry requirements to become a candidate?
The main requirements are that the candidate must be a minimum of 16 years of age, and must have a basic level of literacy (reading and writing) in the language of the country where the test is being taken.
Learners do not need to have previous experience in the social care sector, do not need to be in employment and do not need to have gained any previous qualifications.
11. How will the ECC contribute to improve the quality of services offered?
ECC courses could come from universities, training organisations, schools and employers in every country and will promote a common EU-wide understanding of the values and quality we should find in social care services.
12. What are the areas of knowledge are covered in the ECC?
The ECC provides training / knowledge in the following main areas:
-Values of social care
-Promote life quality for the individuals you support
-Working with risk
-Understanding your role as a care worker
-Safety at work
-Communicating positively
-Recognise and respond to abuse and neglect
-Develop as a care worker
13. If I think that my knowledge already covers those areas do I have to do the training anyway or can I just do the assessment?
You can contact an ECC delivery partner and try to be included in the next assessment test to verify if your knowledge is indeed compliant with it. Some experienced people do pass the exam without any prior learning or preparation, but most people who do it this way fail. Experience tells us that some training and preparation greatly increases the chances of you passing.
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