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Whatever your health or social care workplace, it is important that you have the right level of literacy, numeracy and communication skills. A mistake in what you write or say could have a serious impact on the care that is provided. For example, medications, if not recorded clearly and correctly, could be given twice.

You may need to read and contribute to care plans, record data clearly and legibly, fill out forms, write emails or take notes You need to be able to read and understand instructions about your ways of working.

You might be involved in supporting an individual to monitor their weight, for example, and keep a record of weight loss and then calculate overall progress. You might take and record an individual’s temperature or blood pressure at regular intervals and report on any concerns. You might need to know the difference between a variety of different measures, such as gram and milligram, and be able to calculate simple conversions.

Good communication skills are one of the Care Certificate Standards. When working in health or social care an exchange of information will develop your understanding of an individual’s needs. If the information is inaccurate or misleading, mistakes can be made which can result in care that is not person-centred.

The internet has a number of websites where you can check your level and then develop your literacy, numeracy and communication skills. Non-web-based materials and face to face learning opportunities can also be found. You might be expected to have skills at a specific level in your role and be provided with support to improve your skills. 

It is important that you continually develop your functional skills, whether at work or at home as they will be very important in improving your accuracy and efficiency while at work. There are many courses, online or class-based, books and web-based resources that can help you. Ask your manager if there are any particular opportunities, resources or support available.

  • Standard 2.2 - Learning Outcome 2.2a
  • Standard 2.2 - Learning Outcome 2.2b
  • Standard 2.2 - Learning Outcome 2.2c
  • Standard 2.2 - Learning Outcome 2.2g
  • Standard 2.2 - Learning Outcome 2.2i