How are Curam different to a traditional care agency? Curam is an online platform for self-employed carers. We have harnessed technology to give you, as a carer, choice and control over who you care for and the hours you work. Care agencies typically send in different carers on a daily basis. With Curam, you have complete control and the opportunity for consistent clients of your choice. How do I become a self-employed carer? Register as a carer on the Curam platform and complete your profile. Take a look at the government’s guide on registering as self-employed. Then, you can request your Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number here. Once you have received this number and been approved onto the Curam platform, you can start looking for jobs as a self-employed carer. What are the benefits of being a self-employed carer? As a self-employed carer, you get to choose who you care for, when you work and where you work. We advertise your profile for you so that you can choose from different clients and different jobs. This choice ensures that you have full control over your career, lifestyle and helps you achieve a work-life balance. How do I register as a Curam carer? Click here to sign up to be a Curam carer. You can become an approved Curam carer after you complete these 3 simple steps: Step 1: Download the Curam Carer app and create an account. Step 2: Complete your profile. Step 3: Book your online approval meeting with one of our friendly recruitment team! What is involved in the approval meeting process? Every carer on the platform will attend an online approval meeting with one of our friendly recruitment team before joining Curam. They will check your DBS/PVG, your right to work in the UK and any qualifications mentioned on your profile (which will have to be backed up with certificates that you upload and we approve). How do I create my carer profile? Click here to sign up to create your Curam profile. You now have to upload the following: A recent profile photo A short bio paragraph detailing your personal qualities and care experience. A DBS/PVG/Access NI (dated within the last 3 years or on the Update Service) Proof you have the right to work in the UK Two references (one of which must be a UK resident. We prefer these to be care-related, but if you are new to care this is not a requirement) Can carers claim travel expenses? Your clients do not have to pay for your travel expenses, however, you may choose to ask clients if they would be willing to pay for your travel and negotiate this topic directly with them. Normal practice is that travel expenses are paid separately by the client. What is the rate for a carer? You, as a self-employed carer on the Curam platform, set your own rates. However, we insist that care workers do not earn less than the London Living Wage, currently £10.85 per hour, which means that your advertised rate must be a minimum £12.80. To give you a rough guide - the average rate charged on the platform is £16 an hour for hourly visits, £120 for overnight shifts and £880 a week for live-in weekly. Should I download the Curam app? Yes - you have to download the Curam Carer app to be approved as a self-employed carer on our platform. When you download the Curam Carer app and when your profile is live on the platform you will have full access to all of the features that Curam has to offer. You can apply for jobs via the jobs board and clients are able to message you. Please make sure that you update the app regularly – we are planning some new, exciting features and will be adding them in the future. How much does carer's insurance cost? We provide you with self-employed carer’s insurance once you start transacting with a client. This insurance is covered by Curam’s fees. The insurance is activated by a client’s approval of a service agreement you send them. Our insurance provider is Surewise. Do I need a driving license? You do not necessarily need a car or driving licence to work as a Curam carer. However, you may wish to use a vehicle to get to jobs in more rural areas. Can I choose my own hours? Yes, you are the captain of your own ship! You choose which hours you want to work. Can I choose who I care for? Yes, you choose whether you want to apply for a job or whether you want to accept a client’s care request. Even if you are unable to assist, please always respond to a client. Is there a minimum shift length? Yes, the minimum shift length is one hour. We believe that short 15- or 30-minute visits do not give you enough time to properly care for a client. Our minimum shift length ensures a better standard of care and a more meaningful relationship between the carer and client. Is there a minimum contract length? No, you can agree to be hired by a Curam client for as short or as long a period as they require. The length of service is decided between yourself and the client and clearly stated on the service agreement that you draw up together. However, there is a minimum shift length of one hour. How do I find care jobs? You can find jobs via the Curam platform by downloading the app, registering as self-employed, creating a profile and organising an online approval meeting. Once approved, your profile will go live on the platform and you can either sit back and wait for people who are looking for a carer in your area to get in touch with you, or you can apply for jobs via our jobs board. You can also find jobs through your Curam Micro Team. Members of your team may be looking for cover or looking to share shifts with you. Go to the Micro Teams section of the app to add members to your team. We will send you notifications of suitable jobs in your area to make the process even easier! How do I apply for care jobs? All you have to do is log in to the Curam Carer app, go to the ‘Find Jobs’ section, select the type of work you are looking for at the top of the page. If you find a job that matches what you’re looking for you can click ‘Apply for Job’. If you want to know more about how the jobs board works, please watch this short video. How do I get a DBS check? If you do not yet have a DBS, as a self-employed carer, you can apply for an Enhanced DBS via the National Association of Care and Support Workers (NACAS). NACAS Members get a discount on Enhanced DBS checks. Click here to find out more and apply for an enhanced DBS check. Curam carers also get a discount on NACAS membership, to which there are other benefits. Click here to apply. We prefer carers to have an Enhanced DBS but you can also apply for a Basic DBS check via the government website here. How do I get paid? Clients pay your invoices via their Curam account. Payments are processed by Mangopay – the secure payment processor we use. You will have to set up your own Mangopay account before you start contracting via the platform. To be paid on time you need to create your shift invoices in good time and ask the client to approve them before the shift begins. Payment is released to you two working days after the shift ends, if the client pays by card. If the client pays by BACS this could take a further 5 working days. When do I get paid? If the client pays by card, your payment should be released to you two working days after your shift ends. If the client pays by BACS this could take a further 5 working days. To be paid on time you need to create your shift invoices in good time and ask the client to approve them before the shift begins. Is there carer training available? Yes. We provide 11 free online carer training courses to all our approved Curam carers. Each course will earn you CPD (continuing professional development) points, and you can display the achievement on your Curam profile. Click here to find out more. What happens when I'm sick or on holidays? Curam encourages you to be part of a micro-team that can cover for you when you are sick or on holiday, if your client chooses this option. Members of your micro-team must be Curam carers. If you are ill and cannot cover a shift, make sure you inform your client as soon as possible and advise them of members of your micro-team. You should give as much notice as possible to a client if you are planning a holiday and you should try to introduce your micro-team to your clients ahead of your holidays. However, the choice of who covers your shift is always that of the client and they can choose a different carer to the one you suggest or include in your micro-team. How do I create a service agreement for a client? You can create a service agreement on the Curam Carer app. The template is ready for you to use, you simply have to go to 'Service Agreements', select the client and fill in the details. It will automatically be sent over to the client who will check that they agree with the terms. Do I need to be self-employed to work for Curam? Yes – to operate via the Curam platform you need to be self-employed and register as a sole trader, limited company or an LLP. Do I need care experience to become a carer? You do not have to have experience to become a Curam carer. However, you must have at least two years' experience if you want to be a Curam live-in carer. What if I am looking for work as a personal assistant? You can find work as a personal assistant with Curam Make sure you add this skill and any relevant experience to your profile and apply for personal assistant jobs accordingly. Can I carry on working for my existing employer, as well as being on your site? Yes, you can work via the Curam platform whilst keeping the job you already have. Just make sure that you still register as self-employed as this is how you will be working with Curam. How do I get a PVG/Access NI? (different process to DBS) You can get a PVG check by applying for one on the Scotland government website. This normally costs £25. You can apply for an Access NI via the Northern Irish government website. An enhanced check normally costs £33. How do I update my DBS? How does the Update Service work? Your DBS should be in date of 3 years or be on the Update Service. Make sure you register your Enhanced DBS on the Update Service within 30 days of getting it. It ensures your DBS is kept in date and works out cheaper than applying for a new DBS each time. What do I need to be accepted onto the Curam platform? To be a Curam carer, you will need: A recent profile photo A short bio paragraph detailing your personal qualities and care experience. A DBS/PVG/Access NI (dated within the last 3 years or on the Update Service) Proof you have the right to work in the UK Two references (one of which must be a UK resident. We prefer these to be care-related, but if you are new to care this is not a requirement) How do I upload documents and certificates to my account? During the carer sign-up process, you will be prompted to choose relevant files. Follow the instructions and choose the documents you want to upload. The simplest way to get your documents and certificates onto your account is to take a clear and legible photo of them with your phone and upload these photos directly to your profile via the app. Download carer app. Can I upload documents later on? You can save your application and come back to it. After registering, you can amend your profile at any time, but any changes will have to be verified by the Curam carer support team (other than minor ones, such as information about your hobbies/languages). I am having problems uploading documents If you encounter any problems when trying to upload documents, you can contact our carer support team at email@example.com. My qualifications are not showing on my profile In order for a qualification to show, you must have uploaded a clear and legible photo of your qualification certificate on your profile (see I am having problems uploading documents if you are having issues).Download carer app. What kind of photo do I need for my profile? The photo you upload to your profile should be a clear, well-lit headshot. Clients are more likely to click on your profile if you are smiling and look approachable. It should also be a recent, good quality photo of you. We therefore recommend that you update your picture on at least a yearly basis. Clients are more likely to read your profile if they see you have a new picture. Your profile photo should: Make you look friendly and smiley Have good lighting Be in focus Have a clear, uncluttered background How do I write a carer bio? Write your bio to show potential care clients why they should choose you as a carer. It should contain information on your personal qualities and your care experience. Our How to Write a Standout Carer Profile blog will help you to write the best carer bio possible. Which areas of the UK do you cover? We operate throughout the whole of the UK. Check the jobs board for current jobs in your area, and make your profile the best that it can be so that clients can message you directly via the platform. There are no jobs in my area Around 80% of clients actually decide to search and message carers directly instead of posting on the jobs board, so even if you cannot see any jobs near you, there still may be clients looking at your profile. Make sure you make your profile as good as it can be. Some of the ways you can improve your profile are: Update your profile photo to a clear, smiling headshot Make sure you have uploaded photo evidence of all your qualification certificates Keep the experience section of your bio up to date, including the skills you have learnt in your recent care jobs If you have the opportunity to carry out extra carer training, do it! Clients often look for well-qualified carers How do I invoice clients? Your initial invoice should be created immediately after you have created your service agreement. You can create an invoice on the Curam app. The template is already made and you just have to enter your rates and details. You can then send this invoice over to the client via the app. We recommend that invoices are created on a weekly basis. Failure to do so will mean you are not insured. Where can I get support as a Curam carer? We are here to help! If you have any questions or concerns about using the Curam platform, you can get in touch with our carer support team via email – firstname.lastname@example.org We work closely with NACAS (the National Association of Carers and Support Workers) who are able to provide access to other useful information and support. What are Curam's fees? Curam charges a fee of 12.5%+VAT on all shift invoices created on the platform. So, if you set a rate of £15 per hour, you will receive £12.75 per hour. This is one of the lowest fees in the sector. It covers advertising of your profile, marketing to thousands of clients across the UK, self-employed carer insurance, our secure payment system and support from our friendly team. Why are Curam’s fees lower than a traditional care agency’s fees? Traditional care agencies often take up to 50% of their carers’ wages in fees. Since we are a platform for self-employed carers, we have far fewer overheads and are able to pass that saving on to you as Curam carers. As a Curam carer, you will earn on average 25% more than with an agency. Can a client hire me directly (offsite) after meeting on the Curam platform? Off-platform and cash payments are not accepted. If your client would like to employ you directly and transact offsite, they will be liable to pay a recruitment fee of £2000+VAT. In addition, both you and the client will subsequently be removed from the Curam platform. Please see our terms and conditions for more information, specifically point 9.3. What happens if I cannot get on with my Curam client? Ultimately the relationship between the client and the carer is a working relationship. If the relationship is not functioning, then our advice is for you is to ask the client to find another carer from the Curam platform. We strongly recommend giving the client sufficient notice to find a replacement carer. A client or a carer can cancel their service agreement at any time, but we do ask them to give a 48-hour notice period as per our terms and conditions. Can I earn money if I refer other carers to Curam? Yes, our carer referral scheme encourages you to invite other carers you know to join the Curam platform as self-employed carers. For every carer that you recommend that signs up and is approved on the Curam platform, we will reward you with a £25 Amazon voucher. All you need to do is ask your friend to download the Curam app and follow the steps to complete their registration. They then provide your full name as a reference at their interview and if they are approved, you will be issued with the voucher. You can then search and add them to your micro-team in the app. You can also search for and message other existing Curam Carers to build up your micro-team. If you fall ill or have holidays booked, your client can then choose from members of your micro-team to cover you. What does the carer's insurance that you offer cover? Curam carers are insured with Mark Bates Limited. The cover includes (with no excess, nor hidden fees) : Public Liability Up to £1,000,000 covering claims against you if you have accidently damaged someone or their property. Legal Expenses If you ever need to go to court we can provide up to £25,000 to help with the cost. Personal Accident In the event you suffer an accident at work we can provide up to £10,000 to cover the cost. Personal Possessions If a personal possession is damaged or lost while at work we can provide £250 to cover the cost. Employers Possessions If an employer’s personal possession is damaged or lost while at work we can provide £250 to cover the cost. 24/7 Legal & Tax Helpline Provided by ILG Support our helpline is always here to help. No Excess We do not require any contribution to make a successful claim. Please contact one of our team at: email@example.com for more information or for a copy of the complete terms. Who are the clients on the Curam platform? Clients on the Curam platform are people in the UK who require some form of care for themselves or friends or family. Clients can also include Local Authorities/NHS trusts/care homes that wish to hire carers. Will I meet a client before I start caring for them? We advise that, dependent on coronavirus restrictions, all carers meet their clients to discuss the client’s care package, before agreeing to assist. If an in-person interview cannot happen, we recommend that at the very least you should Skype, WhatsApp or Facetime call a client, before agreeing to assist. For carer safeguarding, please notify the Curam carer team before meeting a client. What should I do if I feel ill or have coronavirus symptoms? If you or someone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus you must self-isolate immediately and book a test. You can do this by doing the following: Dial 119 if you're in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. Call 0300 303 2713 if you're in Scotland. Going online to https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test If you need to speak to a doctor and it is not an emergency, call the NHS helpline on 111. In an emergency always call 999 and inform the call handler if you have symptoms of Covid-19. You must keep your clients updated and, if necessary, they may need to arrange alternative care. Do I have to wear PPE? We expect every self-employed carer using our platform to adhere to the latest Government guidelines for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). As Curam carers are self-employed, it is your responsibility to source and wear the correct PPE. Do I have to have the Coronavirus vaccine? No. As you are a self-employed carer, it is your choice whether or not to have the coronavirus vaccine. However, if clients would prefer to have a carer that has been vaccinated, that is also their choice. If you have chosen to have the COVID-19 vaccine, you are able to show a badge on your profile with the date that you were vaccinated. How do I reply to a client? Go to the messages section of the app and you will find the message. Simply click on the chat and reply. Make sure your messages are friendly and make you seem approachable. Also, be careful about spelling mistakes and make messages as professional as possible so you can reassure clients you are the right person for the job. What information should I give the client? When replying to a prospective client, please be as clear and polite as possible. You may want to ask some of the following questions: What are your care requirements? How many hours do you require care? Where are you based? What is a service agreement for? As a Curam carer, you will create a service agreement to outline the care you and your client have agreed on. You should create a service agreement before commencing with a client. You must adhere to what you have agreed on in the service agreement. What is NACAS? How do I sign up? We work closely with NACAS (the National Association of Carers and Support Workers) who are able to provide access to other useful information and support. In fact, we have been working in partnership with NACAS to offer a discounted yearly membership to all approved Curam carers. This membership offers a multitude of benefits: Access to a range of over 100 health and social care online courses courtesy of the NHS Digital, e-LfH platform including the Care Certificate Discounted CPD Training- Continued Personal Development Health & Social Care Awards Levels 3,4 & 5 Discounted CPD Training- Continued Personal Development Health & Social Care Awards Levels 3,4 & 5 Free health and wellbeing support Mental Health Support Discounts at various retailers Essential sickness & unemployment insurance, don't rely on just SSP Free Confidential Reporting Support How do I set up a payments account? Here’s how to set up your payments account: From the Curam Carer App, please click the Menu button and click on your profile picture. Scroll down slightly and click “Add details for payments”. Ensure all the details are correct on the Personal Information page, click next. You are then required to upload a copy of your photographic ID (passport or driving licence). Please click the grey upload document box and either take a photo or upload the file from your phone. If your passport is from outside the UK, you will also need to upload proof of address in the UK. (Once uploaded click next.) Please enter your bank account details (note - these are not visible to us). Click complete and save. You will receive an email to advise whether your account has been set up correctly. Note: The name on your photographic ID must match the name on your Curam account. Also, please ensure your photo is clear and legible – it needs to be perfect or will not be accepted. If you encounter any issues, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Can I get paid in cash? No, you cannot accept payment in cash. Once you have created your service agreement and invoice, the client is able to pay you via the Curam platform. Off-platform and cash payments are not accepted and are liable to a placement fee of £2000+VAT, that the client will have to pay. In addition, both you and the client will subsequently be removed from the Curam platform. Please see our terms and conditions for more information, specifically point 9.3. If you have any concerns about payments, you can contact the carer support team via email – email@example.com.