Frequently Asked Questions about the Level 4 Certificate in Higher Education: Healthcare Practice (HCP)
Who can apply for the course?
The Higher Education Certificate in Healthcare Practice course (HCP) develops and upskills Healthcare Support Workers to level 4, who are working or willing and able to take on placement within an NHS trust or an alternatively suitable clinically approved employer.
What qualifications do I need to do this course?
Entry criteria are usually an L3 vocational qualification or your workplace’s equivalent requirements. We embed Literacy and Numeracy alongside the course so there are no formal other qualification requirements for entry. You will also need to be either working or have exposure to, and support in appropriate clinical practice. In some cases, we can support this.
Am I in the right role to do this course?
If you are interested in developing your healthcare support worker career further. This course, in a supportive environment, aims to increase clinical competencies and develop transferable skills such as self-awareness, and self-directed learning through reflection, empathy and research. The course provides learning opportunities for those working in healthcare settings by enabling critical reflection and analysis in practice, developing evidence-based practice, and opportunities for dissemination of good practice.
How do I apply for the course?
Health Board staff are to apply through their Health Board Training Department. GP practice staff that work within a BCUHB-managed practice should also apply through the Health Board. Staff within the health and social care sector that do not work for the Health Board, but meet the entry requirements, can apply directly to the college.
How much does the course cost?
The course fee is fully funded by Health Education Improvement Wales (HEIW). There is no charge for students or their employers directly. There are costs associated with the course such as travel and possible release from work that HEIW or the college does not meet.
When does the course start and on what days does the course run?
The programme is delivered across 1 full year with intakes in both September and February of each academic year. Students will need to access the programme 1 day a week, each week, during academic weeks. We have hybrid delivery courses running from Rhos-on-Sea and Wrexham and we also offer an online-only distance learning route.
What can I do after the course?
This programme allows for progression for all routes of Nursing to a range of Universities across Wales and beyond. In particular, the programme is fully mapped against the first year of the BN (Hons) Adult Nursing Degree at both Bangor University and Wrexham University. This means successful learners have the possibility to progress directly onto Level 5, the second year of Nursing programmes to complete the programme and become registered nurses. Some employers allow for career progression, for example, to upskilled band 4 HCSW roles too.
How will I be assessed / what assignments do I need to do on the course?
A range of assessment methods are used during the course, ranging from the Practice Assessment Document to exams, essays, case studies, presentations and an academic poster.
Do I need anything to do the course?
For this programme there are additional entry requirements. Before starting the programme students require the support of an appropriately prepared Practice Supervisor and Practice Assessor who has undertaken a course with associated updates for this role. Assessors and Supervisors must be Registered Nurses on the appropriate part of the NMC Register to reflect the expertise of the care being delivered within the specified clinical placement area.
I’m not confident with ICT or computers, is that a problem?
No. We embed digital skills training as part of all of our learning programmes.