The Understanding MRSA – Level 2 Course is designed to give an overview of this important subject and will explore a range of aspects regarding the agents of infection, the transmission of pathogens, infection and control, and much more.

This growing media reporting of MRSA led to the Government setting targets for reducing the number of deaths arising from these infections. Due to these goals it is necessary for all NHS staff working in Hospital Trusts, Primary Care Trusts, nursing and social care settings to be trained to understand these infections, what they are, how they can infect patients and, importantly, the measures that can be used to control cross infection.

This distance learning course provides training for staff working in appropriate settings and are designed to support workshop style delivery or as a flexible learning package, which you can work through at your own pace.

Each Unit in the course will ask students to complete a number of structured questions to show they have the required knowledge and confirm that learning has taken place. There are also vocational based assignments, which are completed to show applied learning directly to work place practices which can be adapted to the organisations current policies and procedures.

Please Note: You are required to be in a position of employment to enrol on and successfully complete this course, as assignments will relate to workplace scenarios.

On successful completion of this course students will receive an accredited Level 2 Certificate of Achievement.

Special Offer: Students will receive both the Paper-Based and Online versions of this course, giving you flexibility in how you study. Students can use the online portal to submit assignments and to log tutor support questions.

The course includes the following units:

  • Unit 1 - Agents of Infection

At the end of this module, you should be able to: Describe the typical structure of bacteria; Explain how bacteria and viruses differ; Understand the conditions needed for the growth of bacteria and viruses; Define what is meant by the term pathogen; Provide examples of common bacterial illnesses and infections; Provide examples of common viral illnesses and infections; Provide examples of other types of pathogens and the illnesses that they may cause; and Understand and explain the terms evolution and mutation in general and with particular reference to MRSA.

  • Unit 2 - Transmission of Pathogens, Infection and Control

At the end of this module, you should be able to: Describe the different ways that a pathogen may be transmitted; Understand the ways in which pathogens may enter and exit the body; Identify some contagious infections that may be transmitted from animals to humans; Explain how good hand hygiene procedures reduce the risk of infection; Demonstrate the correct six-stage hand wash procedure; Provide examples of when healthcare workers should wash their hands effectively; Describe the personal protective equipment needed to reduce the risk of infection and when it should be used; Describe safe waste handling and disposal procedures that operate within a healthcare organisation; Understand how keeping the environment clean can reduce the risk of infection; List the groups of people that are particularly vulnerable to infection; Identify the person responsible for infection control within your organisation; Understand the infection control policies and procedures within your organisation; and Describe the correct infection control procedures to be followed in the event of the death of a patient.

  • Unit 3 - Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)

At the end of this module, you should be able to: Understand and describe what MRSA is; Understand what is meant by reservoirs and how these are used by the MRSA bacteria; Describe why MRSA has occurred; Define the term colonisation and how this may lead to clinical infection with MRSA; Explain how to identify the signs of an MRSA infection; Understand why MRSA is a particular problem within healthcare environments; Explain the infection control measures that should be followed in cases of MRSA; State your responsibilities as an employee when dealing with clients/patients with MRSA; Describe how cases of MRSA are identified and reported to the Department of Health.


There is no prior learning knowledge or experience required to take this course, although students do need to be employed within a work environment in order to complete this course.

Course Duration & Support:

Students may register at any time and have a full year to complete their studies. As the course is self study you can complete in as little or as long a time as you prefer. You also have access to a personal tutor by mail or email for a 12 month period and our student support team are also available for any other queries that you may have whilst completing your course.


You will be assessed on coursework which is detailed in the course materials. Students will need to complete a portfolio of evidence.

Course Assignments can be returned by uploading to the online portal, by email or by post. We recommend that assignments are completed and returned as word-processed documents through the online portal. Handwritten documents can be accepted but need to be clear and legible and may be subject to a longer marking time.


At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement from ABC Awards and Certa Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the components the learner has completed as part of the course).

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards and Certa Awards Quality Licence Scheme. This means that NCC has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet defined quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to a regulated qualification* but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills gained.

The Learner Unit Summary may be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this subject. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 2 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

Information on level descriptors can be found on the Ofqual's level descriptors page.

The course itself has been designed by NCC to meet specific learners’ and/or employers’ requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards & Certa Awards endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

ABC Awards and Certa Awards have long-established reputations for providing high quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries. ABC Awards and Certa Awards combine over 180 years of expertise combined with a responsive, flexible and innovative approach to the needs of our customers.

Renowned for excellent customer service, and quality standards, ABC Awards and Certa Awards also offer regulated qualifications for all ages and abilities post-14; all are developed with the support of relevant stakeholders to ensure that they meet the needs and standards of employers across the UK.

*Regulated qualification refers to those qualifications that are regulated by Ofqual / CCEA / Qualification Wales

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