Importance of mandatory training in health and social care
Whether you have a clinical or non-clinical role, you have probably heard of mandatory training if you work in health and social care. There's a misconception that mandatory training is a tick box rather than an integral part of workplace safety and effectiveness. In truth, most mandatory training elements seem common sense or just part of the job. Everyone knows that common sense is subjective and differs from person to person.
In this article, Dr Richard Dune discusses why mandatory training is essential in health and social care. He will also explain what mandatory training means, what it covers, and how it ensures a safe and effective working environment.
Why is mandatory training important?
The importance of mandatory training for the health and social care sectors cannot be overstated. No one wants to see a doctor or nurse who does not have the proper training. Beyond the core qualifications, health and social workers must do their jobs safely and efficiently. In other words, they have to take care of their health and safety, as well as their colleagues, service users, and the public.
Analysing the risks at work and within the job is essential to build an effective mandatory training program. Following the needs analysis, care providers must decide which training courses are needed to reduce risks and improve safety. To minimise risks, mandatory training must be planned and delivered in a structured way to ensure nothing is left to chance.
In the health and social care sectors, mandatory training is vital for the following reasons:
- Legal requirement
- Creating a safe work environment
- Ensuring the delivery of safe and effective care
- Meeting professional standards
- Creating a positive workspace culture.
Below, we will discuss these reasons in more detail.
Is mandatory training a legal requirement?
In general, UK legislation does not require specific mandatory training. When legislation requires training, it is referred to as statutory training, which is slightly different from mandatory training. Statutory training courses are required by law for specific individuals to attend. For example, EU and UK legislation mandates that all individuals working with food receive statutory training appropriate to their roles.
Mandatory health and social care training ensure employees deliver their services safely and effectively while minimising risks to themselves and others. Mandatory training is usually about equipment or devices that apply to specific jobs. Once identified by the organisation, mandatory training becomes compulsory training for the affected employees.
Mandatory training helps create a safe work environment
Almost every health and social care worker knows the risks they face at work. They can identify hazards, assess risks and take responsibility for their safety. When it comes to their work colleagues and customers, they may not take as much care. Health and social care workers are legally responsible for their safety and the safety of their colleagues, clients, and visitors. Also, they have to think about how their actions or inactions might affect others.
Completing mandatory health and social care training will help keep workers and others safe. All health and care workers can work safely if mandatory training is delivered at the right level.
Mandatory training ensures safe and effective care
Those working for care organisations or serving the general public in some capacity are responsible for caring for the people they interact with. It's important to follow infection control procedures, whether working with kids, moving large crowds safely, or protecting employees and customers.
Regardless of the work situation, mandatory health and social care training will keep everyone safe and healthy.
Mandatory training helps meet professional standards
In the UK, employees must follow local policies and procedures and meet professional standards. Health and social care organisations help employees meet these standards through mandatory training.
For example, nurses must revalidate their certifications and maintain their clinical practice. As part of the revalidation process, nurses can maintain their registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) while demonstrating their continued ability to practise safely and effectively. To maintain their professional status, nurses must engage in revalidation continuously.
Mandatory health and social care training improves staff confidence and reflects well on the organisation.
Mandatory training helps create a positive workspace culture
Organisations that promote mandatory health and social care training are committed to fostering a safe workplace. By providing mandatory training to their employees, health and social care providers show them that they value them and want them to feel respected, supported, and comfortable speaking out.
In addition to mandatory training, courses on creating and maintaining positive work relationships, promoting equality and diversity, and exploring alternative working methods can also help develop a positive workplace culture.
What are the mandatory training requirements?
Health and social care mandatory training refers to training that an organisation has deemed necessary for employees to do their jobs safely and efficiently. In light of the importance of mandatory training, it is often conducted upon beginning a new position.
Mandatory training is usually required by national and local policies and guidelines in addition to being directed by the organisation. In health and social care settings, the term mandatory training is also used to refer to statutory training.
Click here to see the complete mandatory training requirements for health and social care providers across the UK.
What are examples of mandatory training?
It is important to note that mandatory training will vary considerably from one care organisation to another.
The core mandatory training subjects for health and social care are:
- Basic life support/resuscitation
- First aid at work
- Infection prevention and control
- Safeguarding children
- Safeguarding adults.
The list of mandatory training courses above is not exhaustive. It is common for health and social care organisations to combine various mandatory training modules into one program. Click here for the full list of statutory and mandatory training bundles for health and social care providers.
When should mandatory training be completed?
In most cases, mandatory training is provided soon after someone begins working for a specific position, generally as part of induction training. Without the necessary mandatory training, it is likely that employees are not fully prepared for their roles or that there are some aspects that they cannot perform until they receive the necessary training.
After the initial induction, usually in the first week, additional mandatory training courses can be completed as part of staff onboarding. Such training courses may cover specific procedures, safe use of the equipment and other relevant protocols particular to the job role and organisation.
Mandatory training refresher courses are usually completed annually, for example, basic life support/resuscitation, moving and handling and fire safety awareness. Other mandatory training refresher modules, for example, safeguarding, equality and diversity and conflict resolution, can be completed every three years in line with local policies and procedures.
Where to take mandatory training
Employees must undergo various training when they begin a new position. In large organisations, learning and development departments ensure staff have the appropriate courses, certifications, and qualifications. Often, smaller businesses seek external training providers to meet their training needs.
There is also the option of e-learning, which is becoming increasingly popular with health and social care organisations. Individuals can work on their computers, tablets, or smartphones through interactive and engaging courses. They are popular with organisations because they are cost-effective, don't require travel time, and can be implemented over time.
Mandatory health and social care training helps create a safe working environment and establish a positive workplace culture that supports staff in meeting the professional standards necessary to deliver safe and effective care.
Providing high-quality services is a key component of mandatory training in the health and social care sectors. Investing in safe work practices and improving staff skills with up-to-date training can help health and social care settings to reduce risks among staff and service users and foster a culture of excellence.
Click here for online health and social care courses and resources to help you and your organisation comply with your 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 mandatory courses and training programmes for health and social care settings.
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:
- 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
HM Government (1974) - Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
HM Government (1999) - Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
Nursing and Midwifery Council (2023) - The Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Royal College of Nursing (2022) - Training: statutory and mandatory.
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