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Become a registered care manager

Become a registered care manager

We take a look at the qualifications and experience you need in order to become a registered care manager in a residential, care or nursing home environment. Words by Sarah Gill.

Service providers and care managers alike both have to register with the CQC, but in the case of a large group of care homes run by one company, it’s only the company that must register because they are providing the regulated services throughout all of their care home locations. By definition the registered manager is the person in day to day charge of the regulated services provided at the care home, who must also be registered with the CQC. As an individual looking to get a care manager job, you will definitely need to be registered.

The conditions for a CQC care manager’s registration are not only based on employment experience and qualifications but also character, personal medical history, mental and physical capacity of the individual, and of course the results of a CRB disclosure. In most cases the CQC will require an interview before they consider an application for a manager’s registration. If you are already a qualified nurse registered with the NMC, you will still need to show professional development achievements in leadership and management before you can be considered for manager registration.

NVQ Level 4 in Leadership and Management for Care Services

This is the industry standard professional development qualification for all care professionals looking to progress their career into care management. This award replaces the RMA registered manager’s award, which will still be accepted for those candidates that have already achieved it but for all new care managers, the NVQ 4 will be the industry standard going forward.

As with all work based professional development qualifications, you must already be employed in a management role within a care or nursing home. It’s likely that you will be a deputy manager, lead nurse or senior care home nurse already. You will have to complete 4 core units and 4 optional units, the core units are:

LMC A1 Manage and develop yourself and your workforce within care services

LMC B1 Lead and manage provision of care services that respects, protects and

promotes the rights and responsibilities of people

LMC C1 Develop and maintain systems, procedures and practice of care services to

manage risks and comply with health and safety requirements

LMC E1 Lead and manage effective communication that promotes positive

outcomes for people within care services

Assessment for this award takes place at your workplace, and you will be ask questions, observed performing tasks and asked to present your portfolio. The entire NVQ can be completed within 2 years, but between 1-2 years is the usual time for completing the course.

Masters Degree in Healthcare Management

Postgraduate courses may also be an accepted form of professional development in care management, depending on the course content. You can choose to study evidence based health management, health and social care management, and leadership in health and social care all of which can be combined with employment experience to apply for registration with the CQC. Postgraduate study can be done to any level you choose, you could take a PG certificate or go the whole way to achieve a masters degree, it’s flexible around you and how much time you want to put into it.

A full masters degree course usually lasts for between 1-2 years and combines a taught modular programme with individual study and usually a dissertation. Some examples of module titles are:

Contemporary Issues in Heath Policy

Management and Governance in Healthcare Organisations

Research Methods

Leadership and Service Improvement

Organisational Behaviour

International Healthcare Systems

You can choose to study full or part time, so if it suits you to remain in work while you study you can attend a course part time for 1-2 days per week. Unless you’re lucky enough to be sponsored through post graduate study, there will more often than not be fees that must be paid. This vary hugely according to the length and level of the course, but some masters degrees can cost up to £10,000 in tuition fees.

Open University Study

If you can’t afford to take time off your job or are unable to study part time during the working week, you could choose to study through the Open University for anything from an undergraduate certificate in managing care to a postgraduate diploma in advancing healthcare practice. Some OU courses stipulate you must already hold a professional registration such as NMC or HPC, but some of the short postgraduate courses do not require this.

While an OU course may not on it’s own be enough to qualify you for registration as a care manager with the CQC, it can help you to achieve a position as a Deputy Care Manager, which will give you the employment opportunity to complete your NVQ4 qualification.

The key to achieving any managerial role in care, but in particular a care manager job is lifelong learning. You should be committed to your professional development and see your education as a journey, and not just a goal to be completed. Of course there will be huge achievements with the more study you undertake, but continued development throughout your career will keep you open minded to new ideas and developments within the care sector.

If you want to find out more about the jobs that care managers do you can browse care manager jobs here or read our interview with Karen Foley - assistant manager in a residential unit.

With thanks to photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net for the picture.

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