Posted: 26 August 2019
Having the opportunity to learn and develop is fundamental in delivering high-quality care. There are lots of different ways to learn and develop within adult social care and different ways suit different people. If you’re responsible for ensuring your workforce has the right skills it’s important to have a good understanding of what's available, to make the best choice for your service and staff.
Maxine Shacklady, Training Manager at Bridgewater Home Care shares some insight into the benefits of using different types of learning and development.
How did you become a training manager?
I started working for Bridgewater Home Care six years ago as a carer and progressed through the organisation to the position of senior care coordinator. It was in this role that I became involved in induction training and went on a ‘train the trainer’ course before moving into the role of training manager.
Although there’s no legal requirement to be qualified to deliver training you must have subject knowledge. I believe that my experience as a carer, is one of the key benefits I bring to my current role and to support this I’ve also achieved my Level 3 in education and training to ensure a higher level of training is delivered.
There are no requirements for trainers to have experience in the health and social care sector but I believe that my experience as a carer, and the demands of the role, is one of the key benefits I bring to my current role.
How do you develop your workforce?
We use lots of different types of learning and development opportunities within our service. When a new member of staff joins the team, they complete a five-day induction. The induction process is classroom-based and the Care Certificate is achieved through eLearning after they leave the classroom.
Our workers can access the Level 2 Diploma in Care and the Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care which is often viewed a more traditional form of learning.
To complement the accredited learning we use NCFE short courses which offer a wide range of additional learning in many subjects, for example dementia, end of life care and autism. The delivery of the courses can be tailored to the learner, providing workbook or eLearning options.
We utilise NHS training to meet the needs of clients with complex needs, for example epilepsy training. The free courses help address specific service needs and, upon successful completion of the training, the learner is sign-off as competent.
What are the benefits of using different types of learning?
Different learning suits different needs whether that’s the needs of the learner or the subject area. Sometimes the classroom environment can be intimidating to some learners, especially if they’ve been out of this environment for a long time, for others this is where they excel. Some learners are put off by technology whereas others become more proactive in their approach to learning.
I spend a lot of time researching new learning and development opportunities. From researching new content that I’ll deliver myself or looking for free or funded short courses that will develop the workforce and compliment our existing skill-set.
How do you identify different learning opportunities?
This is driven by the individual learning needs. In supervision sessions we give the care worker the opportunity to identify areas they would like to develop. We regularly monitor and review what’s going on in the service and quickly address any issues. For example if care records aren’t being completed properly we can address and deliver training as required.
It’s also important to consider the wider needs in the sector. As part of my role I’ll research certain topic areas and deliver training. This helps to raise awareness of ‘hot’ topics in the sector and provides the staff with the knowledge they need to confidently carry out their role.
Learning and development is a passion of mine. I’m lucky enough for my passion to become award-winning having won various awards for the quality training we deliver. Through learning and development we give our workforce the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to achieve the high standards we expect and deliver high-quality care to the people who need our support.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the different ways there are to develop your staff take a look at the ‘Different ways to develop your staff’ in our ‘Guide to developing your staff’.