Children, Young People & Families Standards finally approved!

The long awaited Children and Families Manager Level 5 and the Level 4 Children and Families Practitioner Standards have been approved for delivery.
If you have staff you would like to register on these qualifications or would like more details then please email
or call
0151 336 6900

Assessor Vacancy for Manchester Area

DH Associates are looking for a professional, passionate and driven care assessor to join our Grade 1 ‘Outstanding’ Training team.  You will have a caseload of 45 learners mostly in Greater Manchester. You will need to have experience in the Care Industry, as well as a real passion for the sector!  We will provide excellent support, training and invest in your future. A very attractive salary package and company car is on offer, so if this looks like you’re next move, get in touch today and get yourself on that shortlist!

Care Assessor: Essential Qualifications

  • Assessor Qualifications
    • Health and Social Care Qualification (Level 5 minimum)
    • English and Maths Qualifications (Level 2 minimum)
    • Full UK driving licence

Care Assessor: Essential Skills

  • Minimum 2 years experience in Care Sector
  • Excellent communication skills to build relationships with employers and learners

Care Assessor: Desirable Skills/Qualifications

  • Experience of managing care services
  • Health and Social Care Qualification Level 4 or above
  • Experience of assessing in care
  • Experience of delivering functional skills
  • Quality assurance of qualifications

We offer:

  • Salary scale of £22,000-£29,000, dependent on experience/qualifications
  • Company Car – Fully Expensed including Private Mileage Allowance
  • 25 Days Holiday + Bank Holidays
  • Private Medical Insurance
  • Company Pension
  • Flexibility of Working Hours (Due to the Nature of the Business)
  • Tools of the Trade, Mobile, Laptop etc are provided.
  • CPD and training
  • Full induction and planned supervision and support

For more information please contact Jacquie Williams or Mike Hall on 0151 336 6900.

To apply please forward your CV to

Learner of the year: Nicola Depledge

Nicola has worked for Bluebird Care Bury for four years. She has completed her Health and Social Care Apprenticeships at level 2 and at Level 3. She moved on to develop her leadership skills completing her ILM Level 2 Team Leader qualification and is now nearing completion of her Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship in Leadership and Management.
Nicola explained that she feels that the progression from level 2 through to Level 5 has been beneficial to her and Bluebird Care Bury. She feels that using the apprenticeship routes made available to her have helped her to develop new knowledge, developed her skills and given her a better understanding of her role and responsibilities and the needs of vulnerable people.
When informed that she has been chosen as our apprentice of the year Nicola stated that she feels very proud.

Small Employer of the year: Home Instead Warrington

The Warrington office of Home Instead Senior Care opened on 1st June 2007 and is based at Warrington Business Park. Home Instead Senior care makes a difference to the individual clients and to their family members by investing in their staff through the apprenticeship program.
“We really value the support from DHA, the assessor’s we have had really go that extra mile to bring out the potential of the candidates.  We have seen a real difference in the confidence, knowledge and the motivation of staff.
As a company DHA are always very responsive to all the various needs that crop up.  I would never consider changing to another company “they feel like friends.
I value training and development extremely highly; our vision is to bring out the potential of our care givers to be extraordinary in all they do and how they feel about themselves. So working with DH is perfect, they share our values and are a great team.
We will continue to invest in apprenticeships regardless of the 10% contribution as trained staff out whey  the risk factors of having unqualified staff”.
Melissa Chritchley.

Large Employer of the year: Future Directions

Future Directions is a valuesbased high quality care provider. Their intention is to drive the personalisation agenda so that each individual they support has their own support package to meet their individual support needs.
Future directions provide services across the North West and plan to expand further. They have invested in the Apprenticeship scheme and are seeing the benefits of a well trained workforce.

“Future Directions CIC are committed 100% to the support and development of its staff. We recognise that by making this investment it helps Future Directions to maintain and improve the company and overall social care: standards, safety, productivity and flexibility. It has also help to reduce our staff turnover and sickness.
Our commitment is evident from the top of the organisation and you often hear our Managing Director, Paula Braynion quoting Ricard Branson: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they don’t want to.
During July 16 we started to work with DH Associates who have 100% complimented our learning and development offer to our staff. Future Directions have found them to be supportive and responsive to our needs. Since April 17 Nicky Bagshaw (Employment & Engagement Officer) has been particularly helpful in supporting us on our journey along the Apprenticeship Pathway”.

June Learner of the Month


Jane Davis

Jane is completing her Level 3 Apprenticeship in Health and Social Care and works for Leonard Cheshire Disability and is based at Wharfedale House, a purpose-built, two story home that can accommodate up to 18 adults with physical disabilities, situated in Wetherby, West Yorkshire.

Jane was put forward for Learner of the Month by her assessor, Jackie Allen. In explaining her reasons Jackie explained that “Jane is an absolute pleasure to teach and have as a learner. Jane attends all her appointments and completes all assigned work to a very high standard. What stands out about Jane is her person centered, holistic care she delivers to the service users. She seems to go above and beyond expectations to ensure the needs and wishes of the service users are met”. In addition to going “above and beyond” Jane has also carried out fundraising to support service users’ trips and holidays.

Jane feels that she is learning from completing her Level 3 Apprenticeship and is really enjoying learning and developing her knowledge, skills and practice.

Well done Jane!

July Newsletter

End Point Assessment

At our Employer Days attendees were given the opportunity of knowing what type of questions and the style of questions that a Lead Adult Care Worker Apprentice will be completing in preparation for End Point Assessment. They were given ten questions to complete and asked for their feedback.
One of the questions that generated discussion was:

A Lead Adult Care Worker is supporting an individual who has insulin injections from a District Nurse. They notice that the District Nurse has left the used syringe in a tray on the bedside table.
How should the Lead Adult Care Worker report this?

  • As an injury.
  • As a near miss.
  • As a medication error.
  • As a safeguarding concern.

There were agreements and disagreements about the correct answer to this question which reflected discussions we,as a team have had prior to setting the task.
The answer to this question is that it is reported as a near miss.

If you are still wondering: It is reported as a “near miss” because it is a health and safety issue.

We have complied feedback received about the questions we received at the Employer Events and at our team meeting to City and Guilds.
Thank you to everyone who attended and we are sure this feedback will be listened to.

If you would like further information about End Point Assessments and how they will be conducted please do not hesitate in contacting any member of our team.

Reminder: Free bike or bus and tram travel for apprentices

Uptake from our learners has been poor so just a quick reminder:
Apprentices across Greater Manchester can get free bus and Metrolink tickets to travel to work.

The Apprentice Free Ticket Scheme offers new* apprentices ONE free 28 day bus and Metrolink ticket for them to use accessing their place of work and training. The apprentice ticket can be used on all Metrolink trams and most buses across Greater Manchester.

The ‘Apprentice Bike to Work’ scheme, offers apprentices access to free recycled bikes, cycle training and bike maintenance courses provided by TfGM. The bikes also come with cycling accessories and safety equipment such as lights and helmets.

Please let your assessor know if you are interested in any of these schemes.

*within the first 6 months of their apprenticeship start date

May Newsletter

New Learners

Thank you all for your support in managing the volume of demand in the last 2 months. We did say don’t leave it to the last minute but as predicted that is how it panned out.  Hopefully most of you have benefited from the excellent support from Nicki & Eileen to access Invest in Health funds.

It has been extremely hectic for assessors and managers. We have had 400 learners start over the last 2 months, this is quadruple our usual volume.  So please be patient as the assessors try to see them all this month. We have 3 new assessors coming!

Mr Busy


Changes for Small / Medium Employers within Apprenticeship Levy

With the introduction of the Apprenticeship Reforms and Funding Changes 2017/18 from 1st April 2017 small/medium employers will have to contribute 10% for each Apprenticeship. Funding is available for 90% of apprenticeship costs. Payments start from the 1st May 2017 for all SMEs.

Levy paying employers will have been informed that they are paying a levy and have an account. These employers will pay 90% towards an apprenticeship and funding is matched 10%.

The government website has really detailed fact sheets on how the system will work, how this can be paid and accessed, or you can contact DHA and speak to one of the Employer Engagement Officers  with any queries on what impact the new system will have to your company and to learners on future qualifications.
We are also eagerly awaiting Skills for Care announcement in May about the Workforce Development Fund for 2017/18.

National Great British Care Award – Home Care Worker of the year 2017

We send our congratulations and a big well done from the whole team to Mini Patel, who this week has won National Great British Care Award – Home Care Worker of the year 2017.

Mini works for Choice Care Blackburn and is currently undertaking his Level 5 Higher apprenticeship with DHA.

Minni Patel

National Awareness 2017

With April being National Stress Awareness Month, Skills for Care and other health care providers have joined forces to build up understanding of the topic and put strategies in place to reduce the risks factors to identify stress, as well as the importance of reducing own stress and to raise awareness of the benefits of work life balance.  We have added new resources to the well being section within Edmodo DHA learner folders with links to services and facilities.
In May the Alzheimer’s Society is asking everyone to unite against dementia.

Dementia is set to be 21st century’s biggest killer, but awareness and understanding of the condition is still low and families often are unaware of the affects. A new TV advert is also coming out soon.


National Apprenticeship Week 2017

It is the 10th anniversary of National Apprenticeship Week and events are taking place across the country 6th – 13th March.

The week will highlight the success of apprenticeships over the last decade, celebrating the positive impact on individuals, businesses and the economy. This year’s theme is “ the ladder of opportunity”, emphasising the importance of progression through the qualification levels from Intermediate, Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships.




Learner of the Year 2016/17 – Richard McFarlane

Richard works for Wirral Autism Together and was apprehensive about starting an apprenticeship. Richard has shown a real drive to achieve his qualifications and is extremely proud of his achievement. This is his story.

“In 2012 I had a stroke, which left me partially sighted along with other cognitive problems, a few months after starting work as a support worker for Autism Together, thankfully they kept my job open for me after nearly a year off sick, as I would not have been able to return to my previous career as a taxi driver and lorry driver which I did for over 30 years.

I was given the opportunity to do the Advanced Apprenticeship in Social Care. At the age of 52 I was a bit unsure if I wanted to do it or if I was capable of learning, but I surprised myself, I found it challenging but interesting.

I received excellent support from my assessor Carrie Butters who was very patient and took the time to answer any questions, especially with the Maths and English. Carrie was an organised and excellent mentor.

Completing the apprenticeship has given me confidence to do my job and made me think about my role as a support worker and the decisions I make when supporting service users”

Learner of the year

Apprenticeship Employer of the Year 2016/17 (Large Organisations) – Leonard Cheshire Oakwood

Corrine Waters and her senior team have shown outstanding commitment in supporting their staff undertaking apprenticeships at intermediate, advanced and higher levels. The work environment is challenging as it is a specialist service supporting individuals with an acquired brain injury. They purchased resources to support learning and provided support to individuals to enable them to complete work set, which has kept learners on target hence the dedication to completing their qualifications. Some of the support team have progressed and been promoted to a Senior role as they have developed more skills and Knowledge with in their role taking on more responsibility.

They have supported the assessors when in the building and made sure each learner attends their agreed appointment. They have excellent communication with all parties involved ie learner, seniors, assessor and management. Corrine has always been dedicated in enabling staff to learn and develop as it is essential for them to have the confidence and ability to support the clients.

Large Employer of the year

Apprenticeship Employer of the Year 2016/17 (SME) – Choice Care

Choice Care is domiciliary company based in Blackburn that provides support with aspects of daily living for individuals living in the surrounding area. Choice Care has achieved the award of SME Employer of the Year 2017 due to the Manager’s and company`s commitment to training and development of the staff team.

There is an expectation amongst all staff that they undertake and achieve their intermediate apprenticeship in Social Care. The company ensures that staff are supported to attend all necessary appointments and rotas are managed effectively around this. The Manager is closely involved in the progression and achievement of staff and on a daily basis communicates with the assessor on the progress of learners. Any problems are dealt with effectively and instantly—resulting in no loss of time or support for the learners.

All staff are encouraged and supported to progress further in their learning and many have progressed onto the advanced apprenticeship, with some being promoted and undertaking the higher apprenticeship.

Choice Care believes in supporting their staff in developing and recognising the efforts that are put in. They hold an annual Awards Evening at the local football ground, with a 3 course meal and entertainment provided as a thank you to the hard work, commitment and quality care that is provided. Awards are given related to the quality of care provided, feedback received from individuals, and the passion shown within their role. A member of staff is chosen as “Carer of the Year” and automatically entered into the national competition

SME Employer of the year