Maximising the potential of reablement

Workforce development


Some councils set the Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care as the minimum qualification for reablement care workers. For information, the Diplomas in Health and Social Care are part of the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF), which replaced NVQs in January 2011. The Level 2 and 3 Diplomas in Health and Social Care replace the Health and Social Care NVQs at Level 2 and 3. It is important to note that NVQs awarded (or registered for) before January 2011 are still recognised as legitimate qualifications of competency.

There is however, consensus that reablement is not effective unless care workers undergo specific training to understand the principles of delivering a reablement service.

In addition to their care qualifications, reablement workers will benefit from specific reablement training.


  • Training should be ongoing and feature in a care worker’s continuing professional development (CPD).
  • Reablement training should include, but not be limited to:
    • an understanding of the concept and ethos of reablement and the knowledge needed as a starting point in the ‘reabling’ process
    • an explanation of the distinction between the social and medical models of disability
    • a thorough grasp of tools for identifying, agreeing, monitoring and recording person-centred outcomes.
  • Reablement staff need training to be sensitive to small changes and incorporate these into reassessment if they are to maximise the appropriateness and effectiveness of the support being provided. They should also be trained to work in partnership with people using reablement and their families in order to help them come to terms with loss or impairment of skills.

There is no single, accredited training programme for reablement and since it is a developing practice there are currently no specific units on reablement within the QCF. There are however, a range of units relevant to reablement which can be packaged into the Diploma in Health and Social Care.

Training and consultancy services are also available and although SCIE does not specifically endorse them, they include companies such as Reablement UK and Bespoke Training Services UK Ltd. The College of Occupational Therapists (COT) consultancy service also provides bespoke training courses on reablement.

Individual councils have developed training manuals and programmes, which they may be willing to share. In addition, the North East Improvement and Efficiency Partnership (NEIEP) has published a guide to reablement for frontline staff.

SCIE has produced two e-learning modules for reablement providers. One is targeted at managers of reablement services (or home care managers wanting to deliver support in a more ‘reabling’ way) and the other is aimed at frontline reablement care workers. The e-learning modules are underpinned by evidence from research and practice. They are available for use free of charge.

Further resources


All SCIE resources are free to download, however to access the following download you will need a free MySCIE account:

Available downloads:

  • Maximising the potential of reablement