Posted: 12 August 2019
It’s no secret that a skilled and knowledgeable workforce is crucial to delivering high quality care and support. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) recognise the importance of good learning and development provision in creating such a workforce. Good and outstanding care providers are able to evidence the learning and development opportunities they provide for their staff and how this benefits those who need care and support.
Larger organisations are more likely to have learning and development teams whose role is to define the learning needs of their workforce but for smaller organisations we know that being able to plan learning and development efficiently can seem like a daunting task. But this needn’t be the case. Our new ‘Guide to developing your staff’ has been created to show you that it doesn’t need to be rocket science to plan good learning and development.
Understanding your service needs
Firstly, it’s important to think about the vision of your service and understand what your service needs. In the guide you’ll find a ‘strengths, opportunities, aspirations, results (SOAR) analysis’ template which will help you think about what your service is good at currently; where there might be opportunities to grow, expand or improve your service; and how you could measure the results.
The template includes questions you might want to think about when considering each aspect and it’s important during this stage to gather feedback from different colleagues, staff, people who access your services and other stakeholders as they’ll offer different insights that should be considered.
Identifying your learning needs
Once you know what you want to achieve, the next stage in the planning process is understanding the skills your workforce currently has and what it needs to meet the vision. There are several templates within the guide, such as the skills gap analysis template, which will help to highlight gaps in skills at an organisational level, or the supervision learning plan template, that will help you understand needs at an individual level. The templates include examples to help you.
It’s also important to consider the minimum standards of care and mandatory training requirements at this stage. Within the guide you’ll find the mandatory training requirements which highlight the minimum learning outcomes for each of the 19 topic area, which CQC Key Lines of Enquiry and fundamental standards each topic relates to and when training is required.
Populating your learning and development plan
Once you’ve collated your learning needs, it’s time to populate your learning and development plan. This might be a 12 month plan or a 6 month plan, whatever best suits the needs of your service. The plan will help you prioritise training and manage your budget effectively. You’ll find a template for this in the guide too!
Taking a longer-term approach to planning your learning and development can help you get more for your money; you could commission a package of learning and development from your learning provider which could improve the cost to you or this approach might enable you to connect with other services in the area increasing your buying-power with your training provider.
If you’re new to planning learning and development or looking for ideas in how to improve the efficiency of your training budget, our new ‘Guide to developing staff’ can help.
Click here to view the guide.