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 Award.

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. Your work can be sent back to your course tutor by email or by post.


ABC AwardsOn successful completion of this course students will receive an Understanding MRSA Certificate of Achievement by ABC Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units you have completed as part of your course).

The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future. The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. 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 difficulty involved in successful completion by the learner.

Further information about Ofqual's Qualification & Credit Framework level descriptors can be found at

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards' Quality Licence Scheme. ABC Awards' endorsement involves a robust and rigorous quality audit by external inspectors to ensure quality is consistently met. A regular review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process. This means that the course developers (NCC) have undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria.

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