Achieving appropriate levels of literacy, numeracy and communication skills necessary to carry out role

In Social Care both yourself and the Company are accountable for our actions.

All Social Care workers need to be able to communicate effectively with clients, informal carers, colleagues Manager and other professionals. They need to be able to do this verbally face to face and over the telephone or in written form by keeping accurate, factual records.

Examples of Skills required in your role include:


  • Making accurate and up-to-date records in case notes, care plans etc.
  • Completing forms, accident records, and official paperwork.
  • Reading and writing e-mails, letters, and policy documents.
  • Following written instructions given by others
  • Assisting service users to complete forms or to write letters.
  • Using clear handwriting or computers to ensure that what is written is presentable and can be clearly read.
  • Using plain English and avoiding jargon.Knowing how to have information translated or converted into other formats.



  • Understanding documentation with statistics, prices and figures.
  • Keeping accounts such as petty cash, returning people’s change and receipts after engaging in shopping with them if unable to do this for themselves.
  • Understanding, using and making entries where appropriate on spreadsheets.
  • Enabling people to compare prices when considering different ways of meeting their needs or budgeting.
  • Understanding the value of people’s personalised budgets or direct payments, welfare benefits and knowing how much their income has an impact on the quality of their life.
  • Understanding the importance of accurate doses and recommended times to take medication.
  • Knowing how to take someone’s temperature and its significance to their health.
  • Knowing how to weigh things and people accurately, e.g. when assisting people to cook or to address a specific diet.
  • Being able to understand the significance of weight gain or loss and to detect it, act upon it and to report it.
  • Understanding numeracy-based terms such as Body Mass Index, and the difference between Centigrade and Fahrenheit, the difference between micrograms and grams and how to convert imperial measures into metric ones e.g. pounds and ounces into grams and kilograms etc.

Use to answer question 2.2a of the Care Certificate


Communication (verbal and non-verbal)

  • Being aware of the combined impact of non-verbal and verbal communication. E.g. body language, tone of voice and meaning of gestures as well as verbal language when engaged in face-to-face conversations with service users, colleagues, managers etc.
  • Engaging in one-to-one conversations.
  • Participating in group discussions at meetings and on courses.
  • Delivering verbal presentations or giving verbal evidence at Adult Safeguarding meetings.
  • Some participants may be required to use a particular specialist language skill or form of communication such as British Sign Language or a spoken language other than English.
  • Enabling service users and others to use other systems to aid communication such as symbols, pictures, Makaton, lip-reading.
  • Knowing how to use and work through interpreters and advocates.
  • Learning to understand people’s individual ways of communication e.g. for those who cannot express themselves by using spoken or formal language if they have a learning disability.
  • Following verbal instructions given by service users, managers and others.
  • Using plain, clear speech and avoiding jargon.


ICT and Communication Technology

  • Knowing how to use a telephone effectively and when it is appropriate and inappropriate to communicate using this and other methods such as faxes and computers.
  • Knowing how to maximise its privacy e.g. with regards to the storage of information on systems such as mobile telephones, answering machines and computers.
  • Having computer skills in word processing, spread-sheets and use of the Internet and e-mails.
  • Taking responsibility to learn how to use technical equipment which enable others to communicate effectively e.g. speech boards and understanding the importance of enabling people who need them to have full access to them.

Use to answer question 2.2a of the Care Certificate

How to check your current literacy, numeracy and communications skills:

You can check your current skills on the Care Skillsbase and record the results in the evidence booklet.

The Care Skillsbase can be found on:


and there are links to Care Skills Checks. These are on:


  • 15 different ones for communication
  • 17 for literacy
  • 6 for numeracy

There is a link to particular job roles.


(Office workers, ancillary workers, care /support workers, senior care/support workers and personal assistants).

There are resources for supporting people with dyslexia and for people for whom English is not their first language.


You need to know that when writing any type of record (including inputting into official forms) you will find asking yourselves the following four questions helpful:

  • Have I read and checked what I have written to make sure it is legible, presentable and does not have spelling and grammatical errors?
  • Does it say what I needed to say?
  • Is it accurate?
  • Will someone else who needs to read it, understand it and receive the intended message?


Use to answer question 2.2b of the Care Certificate

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