WAMITAB has announced that it has been approved by the Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to offer End-Point Assessment for the new Level 2 Healthcare Cleaning Operative.
The Healthcare Cleaning Apprenticeship was approved in February 2020 and has been welcomed by key industry bodies: the Association for Healthcare Cleaning Professionals (ahcp), the Cleaning and Support Services Association (CSSA), the British Cleaning Council and WAMITAB, which has played an active role in its development.
The apprenticeship is the only standard with a direct focus on cleaning and so will be important for the cleaning industry, which plays an integral role in keeping buildings clean and combating the spread of infections such as COVID‑19. It will help meet the significant demand for apprenticeships in the NHS and healthcare sector; the NHS Apprenticeship Levy is worth some £200m and could be used to address critical skills needs across the UK health system.
The new standard, with an allocated funding band of £4,000, will support those working in healthcare environments that require greater attention to safety and infection control. This includes a range of both public and private sector environments such NHS hospitals, private hospitals and care homes (nursing and residential).
It may also be suitable for some GP practices, first aid facilities, community health centres, educational establishments and leisure facilities where their cleaning operatives have a broad cleaning role. The 12-month apprenticeship involves responsibility for routine and non-routine cleaning, including detailed cleaning and rapid response cleaning to a hygienic standard of cleanliness set by organisational and policy guidelines.
An employer group, including healthcare employers, with support from trade unions, universities, education, awarding organisations and a number of industry associations, has been working on the development of the healthcare cleaning standard since 2019. WAMITAB and the ahcp actively supported the employer group, led by the CSSA member, Exclusive Cleaning.
Chris James, CEO at WAMITAB, said: “From the outset, WAMITAB trustees committed to support the development of the Healthcare Cleaning Operative apprenticeship standard. It was crucial that WAMITAB, industry partners and Government stood shoulder to shoulder to develop and support its introduction. I strongly believe that at this pivotal point in UK history, no other apprenticeship could be more appropriate to the needs of society than healthcare cleaning.”
Delia Cannings, National Lead for Education & Training at the Ahcp said: “I believe that the specialist work undertaken by healthcare cleaning teams requires professional acknowledgement. The new standard embeds the fundamental principles of cleaning as a science, whilst embracing the very essence of the risk assessment factors.
“The attention drawn to the cleaning industry during the current COVID-19 pandemic makes the timing perfect for the introduction of this apprenticeship, which facilitates the development of skills and knowledge; measures effectiveness and supports efficient service delivery.”
In its role as the End-point Assessment Organisation (EPAO), WAMITAB will provide apprentices, employers and training providers with support and guidance from the beginning of their programme. A range of materials will be provided to help prepare apprentices for their assessments such as example assessment materials and suggested reading lists to aid revision for the knowledge test.
In addition, WAMITAB is developing a Level 2 qualification which will align with the knowledge requirements of the Healthcare Cleaning Operative Apprenticeship. This qualification will be supported with a full training package, including workbooks, which could be used as part of the portfolio of evidence.
Two of WAMITAB’s regulated qualifications: Level 1 Award in Cleaning Principles and the Level 1 Award in the Principles of Infection Prevention and Control, come with a complete package of training and assessment materials and could be offered outside of the Apprenticeship Levy funding to support the delivery of underpinning knowledge elements.
For further information about the Healthcare Cleaning Operative apprenticeship please email firstname.lastname@example.org