Choices Homecare Limited

Carolyn Burden 1st November 2017 Carolyn Burden, Administrator, Choices Homecare Limited

Are a privately owned care company established over 10 years ago. They help people from the age of 18 who, without a supporting people service, may not be able to live independently in their own home. They opened an NMDS-SC account ten years ago, primarily to access funding to help with their staff training requirements.

Carolyn Burden is the Administrator and has been in her role for 12 years supporting the business.  She’s maintained their NMDS-SC account since it was first opened.

How involved are you with completing NMDS-SC?

I am responsible for entering our workforce information onto the NMDS-SC system.  I have to keep the system up-to-date and ensure the quality of this information is of the best quality so that we can meet the funding requirements of our account.

How did you come to open an NMDS-SC account?

We originally attended regular group meetings which had been organised to help companies setting up an NMDS-SC account for their organisation.  Being involved from the beginning has made it so much easier.

Tell us about how you use the system in your organisation?

We use it primarily to help with our training and development.  Part of my job is to ensure all staff are up to date with all mandatory and online training, and the NMDS-SC gives me access to reports which allow me to check on what training is needed and any training that is due to expire.

Why do you continue to support NMDS-SC? 

We know that the NMDS-SC data helps provide Government departments with information about employers and individuals, which will hopefully improve the outcomes of people who use Adult Social Care Services.

What top 3 tips would you give to other employers considering opening an account?

  • Set aside plenty of time
  • Have all the information available before starting to input data
  • Ensure you keep all the information up to date regularly

Why is it important for organisations to be on NMDS-SC?

  • It provides an instant overview of the business from a staffing perspective
  • It provides access to management information/reports
  • It provides access to Workforce Development Funding

How do you support your organisation in making sure your account is up to date

I make sure that time is set aside to keep the system up to date of any new staff or changes within the organisation.

Judith Beaumont tells us about her experiences with NMDS-SC and how it’s helped her.

What are your main priorities as a business?

My main priority is that we have a stable workforce who are trained sufficiently to carry out the role they need to do. We are a very small company so the key thing for us is to make sure our account is accurate, up to date and of high quality, so that we can access valuable funding.

About training

The training and qualification landscape is a lot different to what it was 10 years ago – training was almost all voluntary and offering lots of training was above and beyond, whereas now, small businesses have a job just keeping up to date with the mandatory training.   NMDS-SC has reports which we can export to help us keep on top of this.

What does the funding mean for your business?

The funding allows us to compete.  It allows us to employ a well trained workforce which makes a huge difference to the service that we offer.  Training is expensive and any help we get makes a massive difference.

What do we need to improve?

I feel that the dashboards are quite complicated – I wish I could just quickly dip into the information more quickly and work out what it’s telling me.  You’ve got to really sit and look at the information and work out what it’s telling you. 

Overall though, I think NMDS-SC is a good thing and I’m glad that all funding claimants have to complete an NMDS-SC account, which makes it seem fairer.

Advice for opening an NMDS-SC account?

"My advice is to young smaller businesses and start-ups.  You’re much better opening an NMDS-SC account when you first set up your business and then your account will grow with you".