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Qualification and training


In some countries, like Cyprus and Ireland, it is stated that all staff, including care assistants or care workers, should have the competencies to manage and deliver services to all residents. In other countries, specific requirements in regards to the minimum qualifications that care assistant should hold exist, for example:

  • Croatia: 500 hours of basic education over a 6-month period for care assistants (this training is not dementia specific).
  • —Czech Republic: basic education and a 150 hours expert course.
  • —Germany: completed training.
  • —Greece (private facilities): license to practice if required and health certificate[55].
  • —Ireland: all nursing staff are, where possible, facilitated to undertake a relevant post-registration qualification in the nursing and care of older people. All newly recruited care staff and those in post less than one year should commence training to FETAC (Further Education and Training Awards Council) Level 5 or equivalent within 2 years of taking up employment. Long-standing care staff should have their competency and skills assessed to determine their need for further training and suitable arrangements should be put in place to meet their identified training needs.
  • —Malta: at least training at MQC (Malta Qualifications Framework) level 3 and a recognised “care of the elderly” certificate.
  • —Poland: secondary education and 2-year vocational training.
  • —Slovakia: accredited course of 220 hours.
  • —Spain: professional qualification on health and social care for dependent people in welfare institutions (Decree  1368/2007).
  • Turkey: qualified as technicians for the care of older people or training in the care of older people certified by the Ministry of Education.
  • —UK (England): care certificate.

Also, in some cases, it is specified the minimum percentage of care staff members who should have completed a particular qualification:

  • Hungary: at least 80% of the care staff has a relevant qualification.
  • —Romania: specialised personnel represent 60% of the total staff.
  • —UK (Wales): at least 50% of the care staff hold NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) level 2
  • —UK (Scotland): at least 50% of the care staff hold SVQ (Scottish Vocational Qualification) level 2.

In relation to the training, in the majority of the cases it is required that staff receive training which often can be in-house or provided externally. In some cases, there is a minimum number of hours of training that staff need to complete. For example, in Belgium (Flanders), full-time members of staff[56] should complete 20 hours of training over a period of two years. In the Czech Republic, staff should receive a total of 24 hours, and in Portugal 35 hours of training per year. In Malta, staff are entitled to three paid days of training and in the UK (Wales) to five paid days per year. Belgium (Flanders), Germany, and the UK (England and Scotland) offer training in dementia care, however this training is not mandatory. According to the National Standards for Nursing Homes, in the UK (Northern Ireland) staff induction should include training on communication and engagement with people with dementia.


55  According to the new requirements for hospices (currently under consultation), medical personnel will need to have work experience in the field of dementia, psychogeriatric and behavioural neurology.

56    This does not apply to domestic staff.






Last Updated: Friday 31 January 2020


  • Acknowledgements

    This Dementia in Europe Yearbook received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020). The content of the Yearbook represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.
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