Information for employers

First Steps was originally developed by the RCN in 2011 for HCAs to support their induction, either through self-learning or to supplement organisational training programmes. It is reviewed annually and in 2013 First Steps version 2 was developed. In 2015 it has undergone a second major review.  Version 3 has been mapped to

National Occupational Standards
Codes of Conduct for health care support workers
UK HCSW standards mapping document 2016

As an employer or education provider you will find that the resource will be useful in supplementing your induction training for HCSWs.
The First Steps Competency Checklist contains the performance criteria from a range of National Occupational Standards (NOS) that are relevant for HCSWs across the UK.

These checklists have been mapped to the Knowledge and Skills Framework and the National Occupational Standards they refer to are indicated on the checklist forms. For the full National Occupational Standards including the “knowledge and understanding” criteria for each please refer to Skills for Health.

sfh_logo  care_certificate

First Steps is also supported by The National Skills Academy for Health.


At the end of each section we recommend that learners complete a reflective diary and we recommend that they use this to build a portfolio of evidence of learning. As with all of the resource’s many useful features, this is not compulsory and we advise that if your organisation uses a different format that you encourage your learners to use that. If you have any feedback on the resource please email