Guide to developing health and social care staff
Despite heavy regulation, there is very little workforce development guidance for health and social care providers in the UK. Whenever legislation and regulations are changed or updated, many organisations frantically try to update their systems to comply and maintain their business operations.
In this article, Dr Richard Dune discusses the impact of the legislative and regulatory framework on care providers. He also provides guidance on how health and social care organisations can develop their workforce to improve their operations and service user outcomes while meeting compliance requirements.
Why is staff development important?
Learning and development programmes help health and social care workers remain up-to-date with legislative and regulatory requirements. There are many ways to deliver effective training and development without breaking the bank.
The new CQC single assessment framework and quality statements require employers to evidence how they ensure that staff have the skills, knowledge and experience to deliver safe and effective services.
There are many benefits of investing in staff learning and development programmes, including:
- Increasing awareness of key legislation and regulations
- Enabling staff to deliver outstanding care
- Improving productivity and competencies
- Inspiring and developing future leaders
- Improving staff recruitment and retention.
Our learning and development teams develop impactful guidance to help you plan, deliver and evaluate training and development programmes for your staff.
Health and social care staff development
A good learning and development programme should include the following elements:
- Planning for training and development
- Core statutory and mandatory training
- Covering minimum standards
- Identifying staff development methods
- Choosing a learning provider
- Evaluating learning.
Below, we will expand on these workforce development elements and how they can be applied in your organisation.
Planning for training and development
Health and social care managers are responsible for planning and delivering appropriate training to their staff. This responsibility extends to understanding the learning and development needs of individual employees, their whole workforce and the services they provide.
Detailed workforce planning takes time but has long-term benefits, including effective use of resources, improved quality care and better outcomes for service users. Outstanding health and social care providers succeed because they invest in their staff through learning and development programmes. Effective training and development empowers their staff to deliver excellent care services and drive organisational improvement.
Core statutory and mandatory training
Statutory and mandatory training helps health and social care organisations to refresh their knowledge of various legislation and statutory guidance, national guidelines and professional standards.
The core mandatory and statutory training modules are often treated as a tick-box exercise to reconfirm or repeat prior learning. However, health and social care managers should consider the following reasons for refresher updates:
- Updating staff knowledge when new legislation or best practice recommendations are introduced
- Managing new risks to job roles, introducing new equipment or changes in the work environment
- Meeting legislative and regulatory requirements to deliver training at specific intervals
- Updating employee competencies based on risk mitigation efforts and demonstrating specific skills needed for their job roles.
Covering minimum standards
There is specific guidance for health and social care professionals from professional bodies, such as the General Medical Council (GMC), Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the General Dental Council (GDC). These organisations set out the minimum standards that registrants must meet in their codes of conduct.
All adult social care workers not registered with professionals are expected to meet the standards set out in the Care Certificate and Skills for Care’s code of conduct. The code outlines the expected attitudes and behaviours of all staff when they engage with service users and within their workplaces.
Identifying staff development methods
Following the loosening of guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic, health and social care providers have adopted various learning and development methods. Many of these opportunities were developed out of necessity but have proven to be cost-effective while also delivering excellent results. The following methods are available to service providers:
- On-the-job learning, including action learning and apprenticeships
- Multi-reality solutions
- Social learning, including conferences, flipped learning, webinars and informal development
- Off-the-job learning, including e-learning, learning apps, massive open online courses (MOOCs) and qualifications.
Choosing a learning provider
Choosing a learning provider can be a daunting task for many health and social care providers. The lack of meaningful guidance makes the important decision much more difficult to make.
Good learning providers have the following characteristics:
- Ability to monitor, review and evaluate learning
- Offer learning that meets staff needs in a safe and flexible manner
- Have suitably qualified and experienced trainers and assessors
- Provide support that helps managers to make informed decisions about the most appropriate learning and development methods
- Provide ongoing support and assessment for learners.
It is essential for health and social care organisations to evaluate the effectiveness of learning and development programmes after they have been delivered. Evaluations should ideally be done on an individual basis during supervision.
Evaluations help to assess the effectiveness of each piece of learning and help to guide future planning cycles.
Delivering appropriate training and development is critical to health and social care compliance. Organisations are expected to carry out appropriate training and organisational needs analyses and deliver learning to mitigate the identified risks.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many ways to deliver training effectively without investing huge amounts. Whether it is delivered internally or by external providers, training must be aligned with the legislative and regulatory framework. It must also be evaluated to ensure that it is helping the organisation to deliver on its promise and improve service user outcomes.
Click here to see online health and social care courses and resources to help you and your organisation comply with your statutory and mandatory training requirements.
About the Mandatory Training Group
The Mandatory Training Group is one of the leading UK providers of CPDUK-accredited statutory and mandatory training, continuing professional development (CPD) courses, eLearning software and workforce development solutions for all sectors.
By making things simple and designing interactive e-learning content, we can provide meaningful training programs at all levels and enhance the capacity and resilience of individuals and organisations.
Click here to see our wide range of accredited statutory and mandatory health and social care courses and training programmes.
About Dr Richard Dune
Dr Richard Dune is a leading health and social care governance expert. Throughout his career, he has worked in various settings across the UK, including NHS Trusts, research and development, academic institutions, and private companies.
His work primarily focuses on developing, deploying and evaluating technologies, such as clinical decision support systems, educational technologies, workforce development and regulatory compliance solutions.
Dr Dune regularly writes about topical issues affecting the UK's health and social care sectors. Additionally, he speaks at conferences, stakeholder workshops, and professional forums. Dr Dune is also a research fellow at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire in the Research, Development and Innovation department. His other passions include content development, education, and coaching. Click here to read more articles by Dr Dune.
Related blog articles
Click on the links below to read more articles from our team:
- Importance of mandatory training in health and social care
- Employee statutory and mandatory training requirements
- Mandatory training requirements for general practice
- What is mandatory training in health and social care?
- What is statutory training in health and social care?
- What is the difference between statutory and mandatory training?
- What is the guidance on statutory and mandatory training?
References and resources
Care Quality Commission (2022) - Our new single assessment framework.
General Dental Council (2023) - Working with the dental team for public safety and confidence.
General Medical Council (2023) - General Medical Council (GMC).
Health and Care Professions Council (2023) - How we protect the public.
Nursing and Midwifery Council (2023) - Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
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