Carer FAQs

If you’d like to become a carer for Corinium Care, please take the time to read through the information contained in the questions and answers below.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call the Corinium Recruitment Team on +44 (0)1453 839731.

You can also download a hard copy of these FAQs.

Why Corinium Care?

Corinium Care is recognised as one of the most professional live-in care agencies in the country, as reflected in our numerous awards and many testimonials.
Our training is first class and we pride ourselves on our high standards and attention to detail.

All successful applicants attend a free introduction-to-caring training programme before being registered with our agency. This ensures that all new applicants are adequately prepared for their role as live-in carers and feel confident working with our clients. We then provide ongoing training for all our registered carers.

We employ our carers directly, ensuring that you have paid holidays, full protection and excellent terms and conditions.

We pride ourselves in personally assessing both our clients and carers which enables us to match the individual needs of the clients with the particular skills of the carers. In addition, we have a 24-hour support system in place should an emergency arise.

Most importantly, we look after our carers, as well as our clients, recognising that the wellbeing of both is essential and mutually dependent.

What documentation do I need to include with my application?

Please include a full and up-to-date CV with your application and ensure you complete the Data Protection and Home Office disclaimer. You will then be contacted by a member of our recruitment team to discuss your application further.

How do I apply for a work permit?

British and EU passport holders are able to work in the UK without restrictions. If you are applying from outside these countries you will require a work permit. If you are a Commonwealth citizen and have a grandparent born in the UK you are entitled to an ancestral visa.

We recommend that you approach your local British consulate who will be able to advise on the type of visa you require. You will then need to send all the relevant forms and documents to the British consulate office in your home country. This can take some time so please allow for delay.

We also accept applications from those who are married to a member of an EEA national (spousal visa), have Indefinite Leave to Remain, Right to Abode, have been granted asylum, or have qualified for a visa on the UK points-based system.

Please note that we will need to see all original relevant work permits and Home Office letters before you are able to register with Corinium Care.

Do I need police clearance?

All carers are legally required to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) with the Disclosure and Barring Service including a DBS Adult First check.

If your application is successful you will be provided with all the necessary forms and further information will be provided on the documents we will need to see in order to send it off. The current fee that the UKHCA requires for the check is £63.20. This will be refunded if you work for 12 weeks with us.

The DBS now offers the option to join an update service which allows certificates to be kept up-to-date and transferred to different agencies/employers via an online system. The fee for this service is £13 per year and can currently only be applied for online at www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service

Can I apply to Corinium Care if I have a past criminal conviction?

If you have committed an offence your suitability to be a live-in carer will be evaluated against the type of offence, whether it is ‘spent’ or ‘unspent’, when it was committed, and whether Corinium Care feels it would have any influence on your ability to be a safe and effective carer without putting anyone at risk. If you would like further information on your rights, please see the DBS’s code of practice found at www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service

Do I need an international driving licence?

It is not essential but preferable. Depending on your home country you can usually drive on your current driving licence for a year without applying for an international driver’s licence. An international driver’s licence is obtainable through either the AA or RAC. Some insurance or hire companies can require you to have an international licence, so it is best to look into acquiring one.
http://www.theaa.com/
http://www.rac.co.uk/

Can I drive on my licence even if it is not a UK licence?

You are eligible to drive on your original driver’s licence for up to a year from the last date of entry into the UK. If you remain in the UK after that year has ceased you MUST apply for a British driver’s licence.

What insurance do I need if using my own car at work?

If you use your own car to drive the client or use your car during your stay, please ensure your insurance policy covers you for business use. Contact your own insurance company to check.

If you intend to use your own car we MUST annually have a copy of your driving licence, insurance policy and MOT certificate for your file before you can work with a client who requires a driver.

How is my application processed?

On receipt of your completed application form and the relevant documentation we will contact you to discuss your application, letting you know if further information or documents are required. Before we can process your application we require three satisfactory responses from your referees. It is advisable to provide email addresses or fax numbers to speed up the process. Then we will conduct a telephone or Skype interview.

If we receive suitable responses and approve your application, we invite you to attend our induction and training course .This is a five-day course generally held once a month at our offices in Gloucestershire. Please bear in mind that we cannot book you on to the training programme until we have completed all your paperwork. You will only be registered on our list of carers if you successfully complete the five days of interview, induction, training and assessment.

What does the Corinium Care induction and training involve?

Our induction and training course and assessment is held over five days and is an introduction to Corinium Care, how we work and preparation for work with our clients.

Applicants are required to complete a number of questionnaires, practical assessments and scenario tests to assist the Corinium Care team in understanding more about your approach to the caring process. It is an intensive course and homework is supplied on most evenings.

Our courses are generally held one week per month, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, and we recommend you secure your place on a training course before making your travel arrangements.

Included in the Corinium Care training and assessment course are Moving and Handling and First Aid, which are both very physical, so you need to be fit. Practical tasks include kneeling on the floor and getting back on your feet so you must feel confident in your ability to do this.

You are required to sign a disclaimer stating that you have no serious back or neck problems and that you are not pregnant. These are both essential sections of the course, and failure of one or both of these modules will result in a carer not being put forward for work.

We also use the training week to complete any paperwork.

Please note: we are required to see originals of at least three of the following documents: passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate, driving licence (UK), utility bill or bank/landline phone statement. We provide further guidance on what you need to provide if you are invited on to a training course. Certified copies are acceptable pre-course, but the originals must be brought to the course.

Where will I stay during the training course?

Accommodation is on a first-come first-served basis and we work with a number of local B&Bs which offer reasonable rates to our carers. Prices vary from about £30-£50 per night which includes breakfast each day and transport to and from the office (if located outside Nailsworth).

Once your application has been approved we will send you our accommodation preferred-supplier list so that you are able to book accommodation for the course if required.

We recommend you arrive at your allocated B&B on the Sunday night. Alternatively, if you have friends or family who live nearby and choose to stay with them, by all means do, but please note you will need to organise your own transport to and from the office each day.

Training starts at 9am (8.45am Friday) each day and finishes at 5pm. Bus numbers 63/63A/69 travel hourly from Stroud to Nailsworth. Please see http://www.stagecoachbus.com  for specific timetables.

Do I need any qualifications to become a carer?

You do not need any specific qualifications to become a carer. Caring relies on your attitude and ability to be compassionate, patient and understanding. Certain qualities make a better carer, ie, flexibility, cheerfulness, a good sense of humour and excellent housekeeping skills.

Our preferred criteria are for carers to be a driver, non-smoker, have good housekeeping skills and be good with household pets. Experience can be a major advantage but is not essential and can be gained on the job.

Is there anything I need to do before attending the training course?

We do suggest that overseas carers try to allow a few days after arriving in the country to organise bank accounts, mobile phones, sim cards and travel arrangements, etc. Although Nailsworth, where Corinium Care is based, has most amenities, shops and businesses are only open between 9am and 5pm which is when the course is taking place.

If you want to start work with the minimum delay we recommend that you sort out the above before the course begins.

When should I arrive in the UK?

When arriving in the UK, please book your ticket to arrive a few days before the course.

Do I need to pay for anything?

During the training week, you will need to pay for the following: transport to your B&B the day before the course starts; accommodation priced at £30-£50 per night (subject to change); DBS fee, £63.20 and evening meals/drinks.

We provide a free lunch each day and your B&B offers a breakfast each morning.

Your DBS fee of £63.20 will be refunded to you following successful completion of 12 weeks work with Corinium Care.

How do I get a National Insurance number?

To apply for a National Insurance number you will need to contact Jobcentreplus on 0345 600 0643.
If you are aged over state pension age then you need to apply for a National Insurance number but you will also need to ask for an exemption certificate, as you will not have to pay National Insurance.
We advise that you look into doing this before coming to the training: taking a day off whilst working could mean that you will need to take a whole week off.

 

How do I arrange local travel?

Public transport in the UK is on the whole very reliable and stress free. Information is available online and at local Tourist Information centres.

All bus and train stations supply free timetables and information. Alternatively the website addresses and telephone numbers below should assist you in making travel arrangements.

With regards to travel costs, if you can plan more than a week in advance you will find the fares considerably reduced.

National Express coaches: 0871 781 8178 www.nationalexpress.com
Rail enquiries: 03457 48 49 50 www.nationalrail.co.uk
Traveline:  0871 200 22 33 www.traveline.org.uk

The clients pay travel expenses to a placement up to a certain amount, but they are not expected to pay homeward travel.

For new carers travelling from South Africa and Zimbabwe, you will probably arrive at Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5. Please see our ‘Arriving in London information‘ on this website.

If you are coming directly to us in Gloucestershire for a training course there are a couple of travel options from Heathrow airport www.baa.co.uk/:

  • by train: take the shuttle from the airport to Paddington Railway Station. Trains go directly from Paddington to Stroud;
  • by bus: take the X25 bus from Heathrow Central bus station (stop 11) to Reading train station, then catch a train to Stroud.
  • When you reach Stroud, catch the bus to Nailsworth. Buses number 63/63A/69 travel hourly from Stroud to Nailsworth. Please see http://www.stagecoachbus.com/  for specific timetables.

Do I need a mobile phone?

A mobile phone is something we would highly recommend because carers are not always based in the same place. Having a mobile (cell) phone means that both Corinium Care staff and your family will always be able to contact you. It can also severely reduce stress on handover days when delays can cause problems and good communication is of the essence.
Carers from abroad will need to buy a new sim card for their phone and possibly a new phone. The Co-Op shop in Nailsworth sells Sim cards. Or you could try a pay-as-you-go arrangement with the following companies:
http://shop.ee.co.uk/
http://store.virginmedia.com/
http://www.tescomobile.com/
http://www.vodafone.co.uk/

 

What do I need to bring?

Although most international carers come to the UK for a few months at a time please remember that you will be travelling around the country, probably on public transport. It is best to travel light and only bring essentials. You will have full access to the washing facilities at all clients’ homes.
It is vital that you bring a number of documents (we will specify nearer the time of training) that identify you, such as passport, driving licence, and utility bills if resident in the UK, etc.  You will not be able to continue with the training if you have not brought the correct documents with you.

Can you guarantee me work?

As an agency we cannot guarantee work to anyone. Due to the nature of live-in care work our situation can change from day to day, eg, clients may go into hospital unexpectedly, etc. However, we work very hard to match your caring skills with the client’s needs.

We advise that it is essential to have enough funds to cover your own accommodation and living expenses for at least 1-2 weeks during and after the interview and training process.

We work hard to ensure our clients and carers are well matched which limits stress and upset to all parties. For this very reason, however, it may not be possible to place you immediately after the training course.

What do I do if I want a week off?

As a care worker you choose your own work pattern, but please try and give the Corinium Care bookings team as much notice as possible if you decide to take time off, the more notice you give us the better.

How many weeks am I expected to work?

Carers are placed for a week at a time. However, we like our carers to commit to a work period lasting several weeks or months. Most of our carers work for three to six months before taking a break. This allows our clients greater consistency of care and our carers a more settled work environment.

What if I only want a couple of days off?

Our working week generally runs from Wednesday to Wednesday and the minimum placements are usually for one week or longer. That means that if you want a couple of days off you need to take a full week off. We will happily put you on the standby list for emergency work if you find yourself available for a few spare days.

How soon can I start work?

A carer’s working week runs from Wednesday to Wednesday. As care workers, you tell us when you want to work and you decide how many weeks you want to work for. If you would like work as soon as possible and we have all the appropriate paperwork we will endeavour to look for work for you from the first Wednesday following your interview and training. However, we prefer to place you with the right client from the start, rather than rush you into an unsuitable assignment.

How are carers paid?

You are paid directly by Corinium Care, 4 weekly in arrears directly into your nominated bank account.

What do I need to open a bank account?

We recommend that you consult your bank in your home country about operating a bank account in the UK. Your local bank may have a special relationship with a bank in the UK and be able to assist in setting up an account over here.

Those coming from abroad may find it tricky setting up a bank account in the UK as each bank has a different policy and applies different conditions.  You must assume that it will take at least 2-3 weeks to open an account and make provisions for your finances in the interim.

We recommend you open an account in a branch close to your base address in the UK. It is also useful to bring a letter of reference from your own bank stating how long you have banked with them, what accounts you operate and credit rating. Bank statements for at least the last three months are also helpful.

There are companies which help organise bank accounts but these can be expensive. We encourage all carers to try and arrange a bank account before coming to the training.

Most banks will need proof of a UK address in the form of a utility bill or official letters from different sources. If you cannot supply this they will write to your bank at home for confirmation. This can take 4 to 6 weeks. You must have your current home bank account details when visiting the UK bank. Please note that we cannot provide you with a letter until you have successfully completed our training and assessment course.

Do I need a base address in the UK?

Yes, it is absolutely essential that you have a base address in the UK. This is for two reasons. First, work is never guaranteed and we cannot promise that there will not be weeks where work is not available and you will need somewhere to stay. Second, it is easier to obtain a UK bank account when you have a UK address.

How can I receive mail?

Having a base address is the easiest option for receiving mail. Never give out a client’s address to friends, family and/or business organisations such as mail order catalogue companies, because all client information is strictly confidential.

If you have an important letter which it is essential to receive, we are happy for it to be sent to the Corinium Care office and we will forward it onto you, wherever you might be based. We do ask, however, that this service is not abused. As you can imagine, with many of our carers coming from abroad, it would be an enormous task to forward personal mail to everyone.

What geographical area does Corinium Care cover?

We are a nationwide company but the majority of our clients are based in the south of the UK. The company is growing all the time, as is the area we cover.

What can I earn?

You can earn between about £525 to £630 per week. The rates are based on your experience and the level of care you can provide. You will also receive a travel allowance of up to £40 per week.

What are the dialling codes to the UK?

To call Zimbabwe: +263 + city area code + number you wish to call
To call South Africa: +27 + number you wish to call
To call in/out United Kingdom: +44 to dial in, and +00 to dial out
If you are calling the UK, don’t forget to drop the 0 off the area code, eg. +44 (0)1453 839290