A group of medical students sitting down and listening to their teacher during a seminar.

Home care provider Caring Senior Service is responding to calls for better training and certification by tackling the problem itself. The San Antonio-based firm is launching GreatCare, a branded certification program that will provide educational and professional development to staff in 50 locations across the U.S.

The program is available to caregivers, office staff and franchise owners and lets them achieve milestones in providing quality care to seniors. Caring Senior Service founder and CEO Jeff Salter said better education and training are the foundation for helping employees better understand their performance on the job.

“By developing this catalog of tools, training and processes that support our GreatCare methodology, we hope to encourage owners and staff to better understand their roles, improve their leadership abilities and provide the GreatCare that Caring Senior Service has developed over the past 30 years,” Salter said in a statement.

The program has separate tracks for franchise agency directors, care managers and homecare consultants. To achieve the GreatCare master certification, participants must complete  a program that progresses through a series of levels that ends with the master level. Team members who have more than two years of experience can also achieve a master certification through an accelerated program through their local office.

Caring Senior Services launched the program in an effort to provide tools to franchise owners to help them measure how well their teams understand their roles. Staff who finish the program receive recognition, merit raises and the chance to attend a national GreatCare Master Conference.

Training and certification are becoming increasingly important in attracting and retaining caregivers. In a survey released earlier this year by healthcare technology firm Axxess and healthcare consulting firm SimiTree, 1,800 caregivers ranked education and training over financial incentives as incentives they would live to see agencies offer. States, such as New York and Tennessee are also investing in training programs as a way to attract more workers into the home care industry.