Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
About the Training Curriculum
1. What is iCare Life Service Standard?
The key reasons for the low quality of services provided by the Caregivers are the lack of defined service standards coupled with the unavailability of open training and evaluation programs at an affordable price. iCare Life has invested in creating well-researched Service Standards drawing the references from various benchmarks across the globe, including Singapore and India. The iCare Life’s Service Standard is divided into six heads as follows:
2. Please describe the Training for the Professional Caregivers?
iCare Life’s training methodology is built around the philosophy of 'self-paced learning' with minimum facilitator intervention. The content can be absorbed by the learners at their pace, while the facilitator is always around for any assistance. The participants watch and listen to the animated Information Communication Technology (ICT) content that is instructional-design on individual hand-held devices in a non-threatening environment. Each module is preceded by the learning objectives and followed up with a summary in agreement with learning at the end of each module. The voice-over in the videos is available in several languages, with close captioning. The learner can choose their preferred language individually in the class. Technical words and standard terminologies are in English, which are duly explained. The learning process is deeply engaging as it is free from distractions, and learning can be easily assimilated in a classroom or even in a noisy environment.
The programs assess the current level of competence, if any of the Caregivers and train them as per iCare Life’s Service Standard. The programs improve their competencies resulting in better service and increased employ-ability potential. Also, their expected remuneration is linked to their skill, the concept of ‘Learn and Earn.’ These endeavors will impact our societies in creating a ‘sharing and caring’ community.
3. Can you briefly explain Competency Curriculum?
The Competency courses are competency-based education (CBE) program that includes a number of 12 competencies for Eldercare and 9 Competencies for Baby/Child Care. These Competencies are subdivided into Nano-Courses, and each Nano-Course again contains several modules. For example, the Competency called Activities of Daily Living (ADL) for an Elder comprises of daily personal care, grooming for the bedridden elder, handling immobility issues, safety and fall prevention, medication, etc.
4. What kind of accreditation have you received for your Training Curriculum?
In India, Healthcare Sector Skill Council (HSSC), Government of India, who has developed a national occupational standard for the healthcare sector in India, has approved our training curriculum for Home Health Care Assistant (HHA) and General Duty Assistant (GDA) category. Besides, we have several short courses run in Singapore and Myanmar using our animated content. Our training curriculum, Activities of Daily Living (ADL) for an Elder for home Caregivers and Psycho-social Wellness online curriculum are used for training caregivers as per standards of Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), Singapore and appropriate authority of Kenya.
5. Are the Professional Caregivers Certified? And, if so who certifies them?
The Professional Caregivers are certified by iCare Life, Singapore as per iCare Life Singapore Standard. Besides, in India, the trainees can also appear for national level certification under National Skill Development Council (NSDC), Government of India or HSSC after completion of training and upon payment of necessary fees.
6. What is the Certification Process of iCare Life?
The essential steps of iCare Life certification process is described below:
Interim Assessments during the training program:
Regular knowledge and skill assessments that are incorporated into the program through the course duration and, these could be written assessments or practical/demonstration, and
Regular viva test conducted at the end of each term.
End of the program assessments comprising of Knowledge assessment – typically written test and viva, and
Skill assessment at the iCare Life Skill Laboratory and report for the hospital and nursing home on the hands-on training.
The trainees have to qualify in each assessment individually as well as collectively by the iCare Life’s criteria to be eligible for certification.
7. Can the Professional Caregivers also take care of the house chores for the care recipient or of the other family members?
Our Caregivers are professionals who are trained to focus on healthcare. They are committed to performing their defined role as Caregivers as such; they are unable to take care of the daily chores of the family as a maid or cook or do any errand job. However, Professional Caregivers are trained to do all the key household task as needed to take care of the care recipient under their care. For example, giving a bath, sponge, shaving and other personal care, preparing their meals, doing their laundry, changing their bed linens, organizing their closet, cleaning their bathroom or living room for safety and hygiene, etc.
However, for the case specific need for such household chores that might be required to be accomplished by the Caregiver may be discussed upfront, both with the Caregiver in the presence of our representative at the time of interview and engagement. Should the Caregiver agree to do such tasks, the same will be noted by iCare Life.
8. Can the Professional Caregivers give a medical care?
No. Our Caregivers are not certified, nurses. They are trained to take care of non-medical care.
In general, a nurse having the required qualification are registered in their home country are only allowed to work as a professional nurse to take care of patient’s need for any medical care in that country. A nurse fully trained and registered in one country cannot practice nursing in another country. However, to meet the challenge of significant demand due to an aging population, many countries are now opening up for entry of foreign trained nurses and caregivers subject to several compliance conditions.
About the Profession and Professionals
1. Who is a Caregiver?
A Caregiver is an adult person who cares for someone who is disabled and needs help or became physically challenged temporarily or permanently due to age or any other reason; or the person who cares for babies or children.
A Caregiver could either be a professional, such as a physician or nurse, who assists in the identification, prevention or treatment of an illness or disability; or a social worker, a family member or guardian, who takes care of babies, children or dependent adults. In most parts of the world, the term Family Caregiver is also used to refer to a family member who takes care of the loved ones, while the term Caregiver is used to describe the other types of Caregivers who provide paid services to their clients.
When do we need a Caregiver?
Except for an emergency situation or for the less fortunate ones, who are born with some disability or special need, we need help and care at the very early stage of our life or a much later stage when we become old and depend on others for our daily activities.
We can take care of our loved ones ourselves better, as we understand their emotion, need and wants better. It is indeed a blissful activity to bring up the babies and children and help them grow. Unfortunately, in our modern family structure, we are unable to provide such care to them due to a variety of reasons. And, for most elderly loved ones caregiving starts out with a tenet of respect, though, it often gets into expensive obligation or financial responsibility for the family, if the Caregivers, are to quit their jobs to provide care to them. As such, we often end up depending on Caregivers who provide paid services to their clients.
Who are Professional Caregivers? Is there a Category?
Care for the elderly emergency medical care or post-operative care and special situation care are provided by professionals, such as a physician, nurse or medical care professionals. Mostly, daily care for babies or children or care for Activities of Daily Living (ADL) for an elderly person is provided by non-medical Caregivers such as close relatives, social workers or a paid Caregivers. In several countries, there exists curriculum designed and approved, usually by the government authorities for this category of Caregivers who are known as a nursing assistant, nursing aides, home health care assistant, bedside attendant, non-medical caregiver, and general duty assistant, etc. However, due to a variety of reasons de-facto, the needs for this category of care are often fulfilled by domestic help or maids, who are untrained or at best poorly trained to provide the desired services.
iCare Life has identified the felt need for creating a Category of Professional Caregiver for non-medical caregiving services by imparting training to them and certifying them.
Could you define this Category of Professional Caregivers?
Professional Caregivers are neither the expensive nurses nor are they untrained domestic help or maids. They are meticulously trained as per iCare Life’s Singapore Service Standards. They are trained on competency-based learning curriculum to impart knowledge and skills through a blended pedagogy – both classroom based and using online course material. ICare Life certifies them, and they are not registered, nurses.
What is the qualification of a Professional Caregivers?
Educational qualifications of a Professional Caregiver may vary from Junior School to High School passed or even graduates. Depending upon their academic qualification iCare Life inducts them into the suitable curriculum; with minimum acceptable qualification being 8th standard passed. More importantly, they are trained on various competencies required as per Service Standard of iCare Life Singapore for caregiving, and they also undergo practical hands-on training in a hospital environment.
Where from do the Caregivers trainees come?
iCare Life engages itself with various activities to mobilize the trainees from different strata of society including through governmental agencies, non-governmental agencies (NGOs), Trusts, Foundations, etc. after examining their background, assessment of learning capability and suitability. Our selection process is unbiased. However, traditionally women prefer becoming a caregiver, and as such male caregivers are in short supply. The mobilization programs operate at multiple levels involving different communities, and in several countries. Our screening and selection process ensure our quality of standard.
How do you screen and select the trainees?
iCare Life follows a rigorous process for screening and selection for trainees. The three-stage selection process is followed, as described below:
At the first stage of screening all document, a check is done for verification of age, education, professional qualification, and experience, etc., if any.
A short written assessment test is conducted to assess the level of technical knowledge and general learning capability.
Face to face interview is conducted for each trainee, where the following attributes are assessed:
Communication Skills: Ability to articulate, understand and communicate in any local language;
Aptitude: Adaptability for the desired trade;
Attitude: Customer service orientation, caring and helping attitude; and
Flexibility: Regarding working hours, commuting to work place, the inclination to relocate, etc.