Healthcare Support Worker Development

Three health workers standing, two male, one female masked. One male shakes hands with female patient sitting.

Kickstart your Healthcare career

The Healthcare Support Worker Development (HCSWD) programme provides a unique opportunity to begin your healthcare career with the NHS by providing you with all the training, support, and supervision you need to become a Healthcare Support Worker (HCSW) or more commonly known as a Healthcare Assistant (HCA).

Healthcare Support Workers are a vital part of how the NHS looks after people. They spend time with patients, supporting personal care and undertake technical tasks such as taking a patient’s temperature.


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What the programme involves

During our programme, you will work through the 15 Standards of the Care Certificate, learning how to meet the daily living needs of your patients, supporting with infection control, as well as being a part of the NHS healthcare team. This includes supporting Registered Nurses and other healthcare practitioners in providing patient care, from hygiene to personal and physical comfort.

Throughout this period, you will be registered with NHS Professionals as a Junior HCSW, working at least 30 hours a week across earlies, lates and nights.

Discover the programme

As a HCSW you can work in different places and services across the NHS. In recognition of this, we have different programmes focusing on specialities you can explore, including Acute Care, Mental Health, Community Care, Paediatrics, and Patient Safety. Explore more information on the various healthcare areas.

For the programme, we look for candidates who have a passion for care as well as following the six enduring values that underpin ‘compassion in practice’. These values are defined as:

  • Care
  • Compassion
  • Competence
  • Communication
  • Courage, and
  • Commitment.

We have 3-month or 6-month paid supervised programmes available, with the following requirements:

  • No previous experience
    Our 6-month programme requires no previous experience or qualifications in healthcare.

  • At least 3 months experience
    Our 3-month programme requires at least 3 months of experience in healthcare.

Before placement, we will provide you with 3 to 4 days of classroom training on essential skills including basic life support as well as introducing to the Care Certificate standards. This is followed by an induction week of 37.5 hours of ward-based, supervised practice before you begin your placement.

By joining the programme, you can receive some exciting benefits:

  • Career progression
    – Achieve a Care Certificate and begin your journey with the NHS.
  • Weekly pay
    – Work this week, and get paid next week.
  • Paid annual leave
    – Build holiday allowance.
  • Provide patient care
    – Provide care, safety, and welfare for patients.
  • Join the NHS family
    – Become part of a healthcare team.
  • Dedicated training and supervised shifts
    – Support from your ward or area, and skilled mentors.

Healthcare Support Worker Development programme training route.

Once you have completed your placement and the Care Certificate 15 Standards, you can work as an HCSW for the Trust or at any of our client Trusts across England, through the NHSP staff bank. Working for our staff bank has many of its own great benefits including a stakeholder pension scheme, the first choice of shifts before the agency, and more.

As your first step in healthcare with the NHS, this could provide you with the opportunity to progress your career by accessing further training outside of the programme. In time, you could become a Senior Healthcare Assistant. After that, you could then apply to train as an Assistant Practitioner or Nursing Associate, enabling further career avenues such as a Nurse, Podiatrist, or Midwife.

Here at NHS Professionals, we run England’s largest staff bank and are experts at putting people in places to care. Every year we help thousands of dedicated NHS workers enjoy better career opportunities, more flexible shifts, and a healthier work-life balance across our partnered Trusts.

Register today

We regularly run our HCSWD programmes throughout the year at a number of our client Trusts. If you are interested in registering to one of our programmes, simply submit your interest today.


Register your interest


Contact us

We have a dedicated team that are here to help.

Call: 0300 303 3875
Monday – Friday 08:00 – 17:00