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New Qualification


Welcome to the Level 3 Diploma for Health Screeners qualification page. The intention is to provide you with information about the qualification structure, assessment, approved/awarding centre and learner registration processes.


1. Background

When the NHS screening programmes moved into Public Health England the arrangements for training of screeners was reviewed to ensure provision was equitable, accessible and sustainable. In collaboration with Health Education England and Skills for Health a national screener qualification has been developed as the way forward, to ensure an accessible, work based training programme with a nationally recognised qualification and a pathway for screeners which supports career progression and opportunities in health care.

The qualification is for non-professionally regulated screening staff delivering the NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme (NDESP), NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Programme (NAAASP) and NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP).

The qualification has been designed to reflect work based learning and compliment previous methods of training. Learners are expected to provide further evidence and formalisation of additional learning outcomes for units that cover the competencies required to work within a health care setting. Click here to access The Cavendish Review 2013, an Independent Review into Healthcare Assistants and Support Workers in the NHS and social care settings. 


2. The Qualification

Successful completion will provide a nationally recognised qualification and evidence of transferable skills that support personal and academic development. It on the Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF), regulated by Ofqual, with the following titles:

  • Level 3 Diploma for Health screeners (Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm)
  • Level 3 Diploma for Health screeners (Newborn Hearing)
  • Level 3 Diploma for Health screeners (Diabetic Eye)

Skills for Health (SfH) have produced an FAQ document regarding the new qualification - click here to download 

Qualification Structure

The qualification content has been developed by PHE screening, in collaboration with the awarding organisations and clinical specialists.

It is made up of 13 mandatory units, taken from the Health Care Certificate, which cover the basic knowledge and skills required to work within a healthcare setting. To a large extent these mandatory units encompass content covered in the induction and training of new staff in local programmes and trusts.

The different screening programmes will then have a number of core screening and programme specific units that must be undertaken.

Click here for full details of the qualification structure.


3. Awarding Organisations

The new qualification is being provided by 4 awarding organisations in England. No other awarding organisations are able to provide this qualification.

The awarding organisations are:

Awarding organisations are companies that provide the qualification in England to PHE requirements. Having more than one awarding organisation provides local screening programmes the opportunity to determine which one is best suited to provide the qualification from a local perspective.

There is no difference in the content of the qualification between the awarding organisations.


4. Approved/Awarding Centres

 Approved/Awarding centres (ACs) are the administrative hubs for the qualification and they are responsible for the oversight, administration and registration of the assessors and learners. They are also responsible for the quality assurance of the provision of the qualification in local screening programmes.

Approved/Awarding centres can offer the qualification for one or any combination of the screening programmes that need to undertake the Diploma for Health Screeners.

Local screening programmes need to know how to register their new learners on the qualification. There are 2 options; local programmes will need to decide which option best suits their programme.

Option 1: register as an approved/awarding centre

You can register with 1 of the 4 awarding organisations. This means you can then provide the qualification for your staff and also offer it to other local screening programmes across the country.

Approved/Awarding centres determine the cost it charges to local screening programmes to cover the associated costs of providing the qualification.

Registered approved/awarding centres must have appropriate administrative capacity and associated quality control processes to provide the qualification.

If you want to choose this option you should first contact your learning and development department and ask the following questions to find out if your trust / private provider is currently an awarding centre:

  1. Do we offer qualifications e.g. NVQs or do we work with a college or training provider to offer qualifications?
  2. What qualifications do we offer; Healthcare, Science?
  3. If we offer qualifications, which awarding organisation do we work with?

If you don't currently work with one of the four awarding organisations (AOs), but work with someone else e.g. City and Guilds' the process is simple to get approval with one of the four AOs. Contact the awarding organisations directly:

Contact details for named individuals able to help with regard to becoming an approved/awarding centre:

Option 2: register with an existing approved/awarding centre

Registered approved/awarding centres can offer the qualification for 1 or more of the 3 national programmes that need to undertake the Level 3 Diploma.

A list of registered approved/awarding centres providing the qualification in England is available from the PHE Screening helpdesk.

You then decide which awarding centre to register with and contact them directly. New learners and assessors need to register with the chosen approved/awarding centre.

See the information and flow chart below to help you decide the best option for your programme.


5. Undertaking the Qualification

New learners and their assessors will need to be registered with an approved awarding centre for one of the awarding organisations.

Click here to read the 'How to register a new learner' blog

Learners will progress through the different units required with support from their local screening programmes.

Each unit is broken down into a number of learning outcomes. Each learning outcome is then further broken down into a number of assessment criteria. These assessment criteria list in further detail what the learner must cover as part of the unit.

Learners will be provided with the unit content and learning outcomes by the awarding centre when they register with them for the qualification.

Assessors for the unit will be provided with the indicative content required. This outlines in further detail specifically what the learner must cover as part of the assessment for the unit. Learners should not see the indicative content for the units; it is intended as a guide to assist assessors in how much content the learner must cover to successfully complete the unit.

As this is a level 3 diploma it is foreseen that it will take between 9-12 months (for  full-time staff) to successfully complete and evidence the units to gain the qualification.


6. Costs and funding

Health Education England (HEE) has provided a limited amount of funding for new screeners to undertake the qualification up to autumn 2017. PHE will be administering these funds on behalf of HEE.

The criteria for funding are:

  • Screeners must be new in post from 1st April 2016
  • A maximum of 2 new screeners from each local programme
  • The new screeners are not as a result of a change in programme delivery model

Click here for details of how to apply for funding.


Further information

Skills for Health has produced a frequently asked questions document and also a leaflet for employers.

To keep up-to-date please sign up to the PHE blog

For queries please contact PHE helpdesk


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E-learning for the NHS Screening Programmes moved to Health Education England's e-learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) website on 3 April 2017.

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