How to improve statutory and mandatory training in the UK
The role of training and compliance professionals in UK health and social care workplaces is vital. They play a significant role in delivering workforce development programmes, including induction, and statutory and mandatory training, supporting continuous professional development (CPD), and advocating for staff needs. They also work towards improving staff well-being and the organisation's overall health.
In this article, Dr Richard Dune provides compliance and training managers tips to create a positive culture around statutory and mandatory training. Dr Dune also identifies and suggests ways to mitigate local barriers and challenges to statutory and mandatory training. He emphasises the importance of working collaboratively with managers and employers to improve staff engagement and compliance training provision.
Importance of statutory and mandatory training
Statutory and mandatory training is crucial to ensure safe, healthy, and effective workplaces. It equips employees with the knowledge and skills to identify hazards, assess and mitigate workplace risks, and protect themselves and others.
Various barriers exist to the design, implementation, and acceptance of statutory and mandatory training. Training and compliance professionals play a vital role in improving the organisation's acceptance of this training. Employers should empower compliance and training departments to listen to and support employees and management. Managers should have direct access to training and compliance teams, discuss their concerns, and provide feedback.
The role of training and compliance officers
Training and compliance officers are expected to apply a wide variety of their knowledge and skills. In particular, their role in ‘questioning and influencing’ is invaluable. They should be aware of the following:
- The definition of statutory and mandatory training
- The importance of statutory and mandatory training
- The consequences of not completing statutory and mandatory training
- The impact of mandatory and statutory training on agency and bank workers
- Barriers to engaging with statutory and mandatory training
- Their role in promoting positive learning cultures within organisations
- Their role in changing organisational culture towards statutory and mandatory training
- The main statutory and mandatory training frameworks.
Defining statutory and mandatory training
Statutory training is required by law, while mandatory training is deemed essential by the organisation for safe and efficient service delivery and personnel safety. Both types of training help reduce organisational risks and ensure compliance with policies, guidelines, and legal frameworks.
The subjects covered in mandatory training vary depending on the workforce's needs, the organisation's type of service, and the risks encountered in the workplace. Examples of mandatory and statutory training include fire safety, data protection, child safeguarding, and basic life support. Employers can set their protocols and policies on statutory and mandatory training, with staff contractually obliged to follow.
Statutory training comes from crucial legislation, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Data Protection Act 1998. Common terms in compliance training include ‘mandatory’, ‘statutory’, ‘essential’, and ‘compulsory’ training. Training and compliance departments must agree on common terminologies to ensure all training delivered meets local and national requirements. Effective training planning and implementation involves gathering the necessary information on the courses covered under statutory and mandatory training and logging and evaluating all training delivered within the organisation.
Click here to read about the differences between mandatory and statutory training.
Benefits of statutory and mandatory training
Statutory and mandatory training is essential for creating a safe, healthy, and effective workplace environment. It helps deliver safe and effective care, supports staff to meet professional standards, and promotes a positive workplace culture.
Employers must empower compliance and training departments to listen to and support employees and management. Training and compliance professionals must review the workplace's statutory and mandatory training subjects to create a safer working environment, improve service delivery and outcomes, and promote a better workplace culture.
The following are some benefits of statutory and mandatory training:
- Empower staff with the appropriate knowledge and skills to carry out their duties safely, minimising risks to themselves and others.
- It helps with the safe use of equipment and medical devices.
- It helps employers to meet their legislative and regulatory requirements, including the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which places duties on employers to protect their employees' health, safety, and well-being.
- Helps to prevent workplace conflicts and violence by offering training on complaint handling and conflict resolution.
- Supports staff in meeting professional standards, including those set out in the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), General Dental Council (GDC), Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), General Medical Council (GMC), and Skills for Care Codes of Conduct.
- It helps to promote a positive culture in practice, builds on a safer working environment, improves service delivery and outcomes, and promotes a better workplace culture.
- Feedback from employees and managers is critical to identify concerns and providing better training opportunities.
Consequences of not completing statutory and mandatory training
Statutory and mandatory training ensures a safe, healthy, and effective workplace culture. Failure to provide proper training can lead to various negative consequences, including an unsafe working environment, increased likelihood of incidents and accidents, failure to deliver high-quality care, poor staff engagement, increased dissatisfaction with work, and increased incidence of mental health problems. These consequences can also result in severe implications for service users, staff members, managers, and the organisation as a whole.
If staff members fail to complete the required statutory and mandatory training, they may face an impact on their pay, progression, and development, loss of professional registration and indemnity, and claims relating to work-related injuries or ill health. Health and social care managers are also expected to provide time, opportunities, and access to mandatory training for all staff. They may face the consequences like halting their progression or not receiving their pay increment if their teams need to meet their training targets.
Regulatory and legislative implications exist for organisations that fail to provide their staff with statutory and mandatory training. The Health and Safety Act 1974 requires employers to protect their employees' health, safety, and welfare, and they must instruct and train employees to deal with the risks. The UK’s health and social care regulators monitor and regulate compliance, i.e., the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA), Health Improvement Scotland, and Healthcare Inspectorate Wales.
They may issue an improvement notice, prosecute or fine an organisation for not meeting the standards. Therefore, it is crucial to provide adequate training to employees. Health and social care organisations must have appropriate systems to effectively support their employees in fulfilling their roles.
Click here to find out more about statutory and mandatory training guidelines.
Statutory and mandatory training for agency and bank workers
There needs to be more clarity surrounding how and which statutory and mandatory courses should be provided to locum, agency, temporary staff, and bank workers. These workers typically receive mandatory training from their employing agency, and it is the responsibility of each locum agency to outline their staff's access to this training. However, while these workers should not have to fund the training themselves, they do not have a statutory right to request paid time off to complete it.
Agency staff must keep up-to-date with mandatory training to maintain their professional qualifications and increase their chances of securing work placements. Organisations that use agency staff must ensure that these individuals have undergone training on delivering safe care and maintaining a safe working environment. This may be a contractual obligation in the agency contract or a shared arrangement between the agency and the organisation. Even if an agency worker only works one shift, they pose significant risks if they have not been adequately trained or inducted into the organisation.
Recruitment agencies in the health and social care sector must adopt healthy workplace initiatives similar to those in NHS and private sector organisations. They should address the issues raised by their workforce, including ensuring a healthy and safe working environment for staff and patients.
Click here to find out more about statutory and mandatory training for agency and locum workers.
Barriers to engaging with statutory and mandatory training
Several barriers are related to the design, implementation, and acceptance of statutory and mandatory training. Despite the importance of compliance training, many organisations fail to meet their targets due to time and cost constraints, quality and relevance issues, access and inclusion challenges, and negative culture.
Many health and social care organisations lack the resources to release staff for training. Often, staff may feel obligated to prioritise their duties over training. The number of mandatory and statutory training courses can also become overwhelming, leading to an increased emphasis on online learning for almost all subjects. Additionally, access and inclusion to training can be problematic for staff with different working hours or accessibility needs, and a lack of IT equipment and support can hinder e-learning.
Lastly, a negative culture surrounding mandatory and statutory training can create a poor perception and reluctance to engage in training. Improving training quality, relevance, access, and inclusion can address these barriers and improve uptake. Training and compliance managers should invest in understanding the culture around mandatory training in their organisations to identify and address these challenges.
Click here for guidance on health and social care workforce development strategies.
Promoting positive learning cultures within organisations
To promote positive learning cultures in organisations, compliance and training professionals should consider several factors when delivering statutory and mandatory training. These include time and cost, quality and relevance, assessment and inclusion, and culture.
Statutory and mandatory training should be completed during work time or with time off in lieu. Cost efficiency should not be the primary driver. All statutory and mandatory training courses should have defined objectives and outcomes. They should also be delivered appropriately and include various activities to suit different learning styles. Assessment should demonstrate understanding and application to practice, and feedback should be used to enhance provision. Mandatory and statutory training should be based on individual knowledge and experience, and recent training at a previous employer should be transferable.
Statutory and mandatory training should be relevant to support the individual's role, and organisations should map training to relevant workplace themes. Training should be accessible to all staff members' work patterns and locations, and staff should be offered support to improve their IT skills. Staff should understand the importance of statutory and mandatory training and value the organisation's learning provision.
Click here to find out more about improving learning cultures within health and social care organisations.
Role of training and compliance teams in changing culture
Training and compliance professionals are crucial in changing the culture around statutory and mandatory training. They can use their questioning and influencing skills to identify issues and work with employers to deliver high-quality training programs that engage staff. They can also participate in staff side/management meetings, health and safety committees, and other forums to raise issues, suggest improvements, and share good practices.
Key questions that can facilitate action and change of culture include those related to time and cost, quality and relevance, access and inclusion, and culture. These questions help to evaluate current provisions, compliance, and culture around mandatory training. They can also help identify improvement areas and develop an action plan for partnership. Compliance and training professionals can also engage with key influencers, such as the chair and secretary of partnership forums, to discuss partnership working and assess the quality of training provided by external providers.
Ultimately, training and compliance professionals can help to create a positive learning culture within their organisations by ensuring that:
- It is delivered during work time
- It is relevant to staff roles and experience
- It is accessible to all staff
- It is valued by staff and employers alike.
Statutory and mandatory training frameworks
The Health and Safety Executive’s guidance provides owners and managers of businesses with health and safety training guidance. The Social Partnership Forum in the NHS offers guidance for partnerships in all settings and countries. Many other resources provide a practical guide for compliance and training officers to question and influence on behalf of members in their workplace.
Good practices in the transferability of training, such as manual handling passport schemes in Scotland and Wales and the Skills for Health’s Core Skills Training Framework, offer detailed learning outcomes, standards, and guidelines for each training subject. Streamlining London, a collaboration of 36 NHS trusts, provides ideas, case studies, and outcome reports on facilitating statutory and mandatory training.
We acknowledge that the examples provided are currently weighted towards the NHS, and it would be helpful to have examples from other organisations. Compliance and training managers should be mindful of involving all staff, including those who are and are not contracted into the NHS and independent sector employers, as they strive for best practices.
Click here to find out more about UK statutory and mandatory training frameworks.
The role of training and compliance professionals in UK health and social care workplaces is undeniably vital. They are significant in delivering workforce development programs, ensuring compliance with statutory and mandatory training, and advocating for staff needs. Employers should provide the necessary support and resources to ensure all staff members, regardless of their employment status, are competent and capable of delivering safe care.
Compliance and training professionals must stay updated on the latest developments, regulations, and best practices in the industry. By doing so, they can play a pivotal role in shaping the future of health and social care workplaces, making them safer, more efficient, and ultimately better places for staff and service users.
Statutory and mandatory training frameworks provide essential guidelines for compliance and training professionals. By adhering to these frameworks and continually improving training provisions, organisations can ensure a positive workplace culture, improve staff well-being, and provide better care and services to their clients.
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 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:
- Why is staff training important in health and social care?Defining statutory and mandatory training
- What is the difference between statutory and mandatory training?
- What is the guidance on statutory and mandatory training?
- Employee statutory and mandatory training requirements
- Who pays for statutory and mandatory training?
References and resources
- Skills for Health (2021) - Core Skills Training Framework (England)
- Productive People (2023) - Streamlining London
- Health and Safety Executive (20230 - HSE
- HM Government (2023) - Training and study at work: your rights: Who can and cannot ask for time off to train
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