Are there recognized professional training and qualification systems for the long-term care workforce? | Brazil Are there recognized professional training and qualification systems for the long-term care workforce? | Brazil

31 Mar 2022

According to the Brazilian Classification of Occupations (Classificação Brasileira de Ocupações, CBO) (CBO 5162-10 Cuidador de Idosos), the carer occupation can be performed by anyone. There are many private skill training courses being offered for people who want to get trained to work as carer, which are provided online or face-to-face, freely or paid for by the individual, the older person’s family, or by a care agency, or other health service. Here is an example of such courses.

‘Formal caregiving’ has been recognized as an occupation since 2002 by the Brazilian Classification of Occupations (Classificação Brasileira de Ocupações, CBO), but not as a profession (for that it would be necessary a law regulating its activities). Changing the status from occupation to profession had been approved by the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate House. However, the president of Brazil later denied this recognition justifying that the proposal had incurred conditions which restricted the free professional work. This project of law (PLC11/2016) stated that informal care workers should have completed basic education attainment (8 years or more), at least 160h of relevant training, to be aged 18 and above, to have no criminal records, and attested physical and mental capabilities. This would have been a landmark on improving the quality of the care provided for older people.

Due to the absence of a formalization of such profession, informal care workers do not have regulated set of training skills or basic professional rights. Even though the President has denied the recognition of the occupation as a profession, there is still a chance of this recognition to happen as deputies and senators plan to further discuss this in the near future (Conselho Federal de Enfermagem, 2019b). In addition, state and municipal laws have been proposed to try and systematise the care provided to older people locally, such as in Rio de Janeiro state (ALERJ, 2016). This state law states:

Art. 5º: The regular qualification, preparation, and qualification courses for Carers of Older People must have, at least, the duration of 160h (one hundred and sixty hours) of in-class training, with theoretical and practical content, being 25% (twenty-five percent) of the total number of hours dedicated to practical activities involving monitoring and supervision, and the course provider must involve professionals from professions related to the field of gerontology, such as: geriatricians, nurses, nutritionists, physiotherapists, psychologists, occupational therapists, and social workers.

Other professionals who are part of the Brazilian LTC workforce are regulated by their professional bodies, such as the Nursing Council for nurses and health assistants, Medical Council for physicians, and Physiotherapy Council for physiotherapists. However, none of these professionals need to be specialised in LTC beyond their generalist training in order to provide LTC for older people. It would depend on the employer to require such training.


ALERJ. (2016). Lei Ordinária 7332.

Conselho Federal de Enfermagem. (2019b). Projeto de Lei do Cuidador é vetado Conselho Federal de Enfermagem—Brasil. http://www.cofen.gov.br/projeto-de-lei-do-cuidador-e-vetado_72314.html