Dignity must be at the heart of all care and support services and influence how we communicate and we listen. Using the resources in this document, in conjunction with the common core principles to support dignity, will help to promote a culture of care and support that upholds the dignity of all.

Common core principles

The common core principles to support dignity are part of an existing suite of common core principles developed by the sector skills councils for social care and health to support workforce development in a range of care services.

Common core principles and competences for end of life

These documents are frameworks for ensuring care and support workers have opportunities for learning and development as well as the support they need and deserve when supporting individuals at the end of their life. They use practice examples to highlight practical application of the competences and principles.

Dignity is at the centre of high quality end of life care and the common core principles to support dignity can enable care and support workers to focus on the elements necessary to achieve this.


Common core principles to support self care

These principles look at how care and support workers can support individuals with self care and to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. The purpose of the principles is to enable organisations and all those who work in health and social care, whether as commissioners, service providers or educators, to make personalised services a reality. By supporting and promoting self-care within care and support services the dignity, independence and respect of individuals is maximised. The common core principles to support dignity are useful in supporting workers to achieve these personalised services.

On the Skills for Care website you will find a self care learning manual which contains worksheets and presentations to help you support the workforce to understand this concept further.


Common core principles for supporting people with dementia

These principles specifically look at how the workforce can respond confidently to a person who has dementia and support the life they want to lead. They help to form a basis for a general understanding of dementia.

The common core principles to support dignity will help care and support workers who support people with dementia to take into account individual needs, preferences and wishes and to deliver care and support with dignity, patience and respect at all times.


Common core principles for working with carers

These principles help to set a solid foundation for good practice when working with carers, and aim to encourage organisations and individuals who work with carers to reflect on their practices and ensure carers are well supported.

The common core principles to support dignity will help those individuals and organisations who work with carers to ensure that all carers are treated with dignity and respect and that this is embedded into a positive culture that extends beyond organisations to the wider society.


Common Induction Standards (CIS)

The CIS are a mandatory part of any new workers induction, and are designed for use with people entering employment in social care for the first time and those changing roles or employers within social care.

Designed to be met within a 12 week period, the revised 2012 CIS map across to the mandatory units of the health and social care diploma to ensure there is consistency of approach for the workforce. The standards recognise the values and importance of equality and inclusion and providing support that respects an individual’s beliefs, cultures, values and preferences and specifically address the centrality of dignity in care services. The common core principles for dignity can be used to help inform a new worker’s wider induction into the workplace, ensuring that they understand, from their first day, the centrality of dignity within social care and support services.


Manager Induction Standards (MIS)

The refreshed MIS (2012) set out clearly what a new manager needs to know and understand. Although these MIS are not mandatory in the same way as the CIS, they are a measure of good practice and it is highly recommended that new managers should normally have demonstrated all the knowledge requirements of the recommended core standards within six months of taking up a management role.

The standards require managers to demonstrate understanding of how to lead and support others in equality and diversity issues. For instance, standard 7 of the MIS focuses on Equality, diversion and inclusion. It asks managers to demonstrate understanding of how to lead and support others in equality and diversity issues. This standard explains that managers will need to understand their role in developing and maintaining an environment where others understand and appreciate the importance of dignity, equality and diversity issues and feel able to challenge discriminatory practice. The common core principles for dignity will support managers working to achieve the standards to consider the centrality of dignity in all aspects of care service delivery.



There are three levels of social care Apprenticeships available: Intermediate (level 2), Advanced (level 3) and Higher (level 5). Apprenticeships are a combination of off and on the job training and learning. Skills for Care has a range of resources available for every Apprenticeship level and for employers, apprentices and supply side.

The common core principles to support dignity will support those undertaking an Apprenticeship at any level to explore and consider in greater depth the importance of dignity within services and the care and support workers’ role in upholding the dignity of those they support.



Adult social care qualifications have been developed by Skills for Care in partnership with employers and awarding organisations and provide a flexible 'mix and match' approach to meeting the different development needs of the workforce. These qualifications now sit on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). There is a wide range of units that reflect what workers should 'know' and 'do' that make up a number of different qualifications. The units ensure that the workforce have the skills and knowledge to underpin their work to allow them to always act in a way that promotes dignity.

The common core principles to support dignity will support learners to explore and consider the importance of dignity in greater depth, particularly in units which focus on communication, person centred care, building positive cultures and team effectiveness.

For example:

  • SHC 21 Level 2 Introduction to communication in health, social care or children’s and young people’s settings.

  • HSC 036 Level 3 Promote person-centred approaches in health and social care.

  • LM1c Level 5 Lead and manage a team within a health and social care or children and young people’s setting.

To support leaners and employers with building personalised qualifications, Skills for Care has developed a Skill Selector. The Skill Selector is a simple step-by-step tool for building adult social care qualifications and identifying learning opportunities that are right for the worker and/or the organisation. Skill Selector is designed to help those working in the care sector get to grips with the units and qualifications available that recognise what people know (knowledge) and what people do (competence). The tool can be used by learners, employers and learning providers.


Please also check Skills for Care’s website for any new or updated resources: