Caring for you while you care for others

Health care assistants (HCAs) and assistant practitioners (APs) are hugely valued members of the RCN and the nursing team. Although there are a wide range of titles used to describe these roles, we have chosen to encompass all of these under the titles HCA and AP.

Look on the left hand side of this page for topics that interest you, and see below for a full listing of the content.

First Steps has been updated 

First Steps is the RCN's newly improved learning resource for health care assistants. The updated version has additional content relevant wherever you work, a reflective diary and much more:

First Steps

Read the impact evaluation of this popular resource (search for First Steps on the A-Z):

Impact Evaluation

Listen below to an audio clip of RCN Professional Lead for Health Care Assistants and Assistant Practitioners, Tanis Hand, introducing the First Steps resource.


Care certificate guidance and materials have been launched

The care certificate is now live in England. It is intended to be one part of the induction for staff who are employed as Health Care Assistants, Assistant Practitioners, Care Support Workers and those giving support to clinical roles in the NHS where there is any direct contact with patients.

Further information is available on the following sites:

Health Education England 
Skills for Health
Skills for Care

New Health Education England strategies for development of the NHS support workforce

Two important strategies for the development of the NHS support workforce were launched recently by Health Education England:

• Talent for Care
• Widening Participation: It matters.

Employers are recognised as playing an important part in achieving the goals set out in these documents. They are being asked to make commitments and pledges to offer a more diverse, representative range of people to access education, employment and development opportunities in the NHS.

To find out more about the strategies, visit Talent for Care and Widening Participation.

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Not already a member?

Health care support workers can join the RCN in our health practitioner membership category, and enjoy the huge range of benefits on offer. Find out more and urge your colleagues to join today.


First steps

Accountability, delegation and professional issues

Working in health care support

Events and conferences

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