Carers’ qualifications in Sweden
A presentation by Octavian Dumitriu for the MECED project
OD for project MECED Carers' qualifications - basic level 1
• This description of qualifications is intended for staff working in social
services and health care, irrespective of branch or operational form
• Purpose (1): to aid the development of quality in the nursing and care
services by explaining what professional qualifications
nursing and care assistants should have
• Purpose (2): to contribute towards a clearer professional identity for
nursing and care assistants.
• Useful for:
the development of learning processes in the formal education system and
in working life, as well as for the framing of statutes in professional training;
the development of validation methodology and instruments for validating
the development of forms for the recognition of professional competence;
the development of local descriptions of professional qualifications, as well
as for recruitment and staff development programmes; and for
reference in quality and development work, as well as for the following up of
OD for project MECED Carers' qualifications - basic level 2
• Legal basis: the quality requirements in the social services and
health care is embodied in the law
1. Social Services Act (SoL in Swedish)
2. The Act concerning Support and services for Persons with
Certain Functional Impairments (LSS)
3. The Health and Medical Services Act (HSL)
• In municipal nursing, carers’ work is by far the largest share among
• The quality of care is determined in the encounters between staff and
users carers are a very important factor for the quality achieved in the
• The work done within nursing and care should be firmly based on science
and tested experience.
• In 2004, 385 000 persons were employed as carers by municipalities and
OD for project MECED Carers' qualifications - basic level 3
• Professional competence is not achieved only through formal training,
experience-based learning in the workplace is also very significant
• Real competence = the actual competence that an individual possesses,
irrespective of how this has been achieved (i.e. “the prerequisites for
performing the task”).
• Description base:
1. Current legislation and other applicable regulations.
2. Knowledge about the work that nursing and care assistants do, how staff
perceive their work, and how they believe they should act.
3. The opinions of users and their kin.
4. General knowledge about working life and professional qualifications.
5. Locally produced materials and results of development projects and research
dealing with professional competence and qualifications requirements.
6. Material from neighbouring Nordic countries which has been produced in
connection with the drafting of course syllabuses and validation methods for the
OD for project MECED Carers' qualifications - basic level 4
Carers’ professional qualifications
• Divided into two main skills categories:
– skills which are very important for the nursing and care assistant’s
ability to perform the tasks at hand with quality
– include key competences and job-specific competences
– skills related to the most common tasks performed by nursing and care
• The two categories complement each other and together describe
the full basic qualifications requirements for this occupational
OD for project MECED Carers' qualifications - basic level 5
General skills (1)
1. Professional conduct
– the ability to apply an ethics-based code of conduct
2. Attitudes and ideologies
– the ability to pay attention to and respect the importance of attitudes, norms
and ideologies in nursing and care
– use a holistic perspective
– work in a group
– participate in the resolution of crises and conflict situations.
4. Plan and develop work
– identify and contribute to solving problems in daily work;
– individually plan, prioritise and perform his or her work in a target-oriented
– report and document;
– participate in quality development programmes;
– contribute to the development of work content and methodology
– participate in skills development programmes
OD for project MECED Carers' qualifications - basic level 6
General skills (2)
5. Techniques and products
– the ability to use the right products and techniques in his or her work, and to
work in an ergonomically and hygienically correct way
6. The importance of the environment
– the ability to consider the importance of the environment to health and quality
of life in nursing and care work.
7. Systems and policies
– the ability, with the support of the management, to act in a target-oriented way
to realise the users’ individual plans
OD for project MECED Carers' qualifications - basic level 7
8. Support for personal care
– the ability to support the user’s/patient’s own capacity to perform tasks, and to
compensate when the user/patient lacks the capacity to do such things
9. Home support
– the ability to support the user’s/patient’s own capacity to perform tasks and to
compensate personally for any limitations in the user’s/patient’s ability.
10. Support the user’s/patient’s health and functional ability
– The ability to observe changes to the state of the user’s/patient’s health and
functional ability, asses the user’s/patient’s needs and take appropriate
11. Support the user’s/patient’s relationships
– the ability, to support the user/patient in his or her relationships in important
areas of life
12. Support the user’s/patient’s participation
– the ability to understand and support the user’s/patient’s participation in social
and civic life, based on the user’s/patient’s own wishes, and to heed human
OD for project MECED Carers' qualifications - basic level 8
• Knowledge of the Swedish language = a prerequisite for carers to fully apply
his or her interaction with the user/patient
• Necessary to have the ability to understand, speak, read and write Swedish
as well as to document his or her work and, in other respects, for the
fulfilment of the role as professional and employee within nursing and care.
• The general and task-related skills = two dimensions of professional
qualifications which could be described in terms of a matrix: they overlap
and complement each other.
• Taken together, these skills form the basic professional qualifications that all
nursing and care assistants should have.
• The learning processes to acquire the skills described here are designed to
suit each individual.
OD for project MECED Carers' qualifications - basic level 9