What is mandatory training in health and social care?
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is England's independent regulator of health and social care services. The CQC ensures safety and quality in adult social care, general practice, hospitals, ambulances, hospices and community services. Mandatory training is vital to the CQC's new single assessment framework for assessing and rating service providers. In our experience, many people do not know which training courses are considered mandatory and sometimes confuse mandatory training with statutory training.
In this article, Dr Richard Dune explains what mandatory training is, outlines examples of mandatory training subjects and how they fit with the CQC's regulatory framework, and explains when and how mandatory training is delivered.
What is mandatory training?
Mandatory training is training that an organisation deems essential to providing safe and effective care, following current regulatory requirements. Mandatory training helps service providers to minimise risks to employees, visitors and service users while complying with current legislation, local and national policies and guidance.
Health and social care providers must carry out training needs assessments (TNA) to determine which mandatory training courses are required. TNAs help to identify the skills required by employees to mitigate risks and improve service user outcomes.
Which training courses are mandatory?
Which training courses are considered mandatory for health and social care staff? This is one of the most common questions asked by health and social care organisations. Many providers expect to see a list of mandatory training courses for their organisation, be it a care home, fertility clinic or domiciliary care agency.
The simple truth is that there isn’t a single list of mandatory training courses for the health and social care sector. However, based on the CQC single assessment framework and comprehensive workforce needs assessments, the modules in the table below apply to most organisations (although this list is not exhaustive).
The most common mandatory training courses in health & social care
- Complaints Handling
- Conflict Resolution
- Display Screen Equipment (DSE)
- Dementia awareness
- Disability Awareness
- Documentation & Record-Keeping
- Equality and Diversity
- Eliminating Bullying and Harassment
- Food Hygiene/Food Safety
- Infection Prevention and Control
- Information Governance/Data Protection.
- Liberty Protection Safeguards
- Lone Working Awareness
- Managing Violence & Aggression
- Mental Capacity Act
- Mental Health Awareness
- Safeguarding Adults
- Safeguarding Children/Child Protection
- Safe Handling & Administration of Medicines
- Slips, Trips and Falls
- Resuscitation/First Aid.
When to complete mandatory training
Upon starting a new job, all employees are expected to attend an induction program, usually within the first month. Mandatory training modules are usually included in most induction training programs. During the first year of employment, employees must complete mandatory training sessions not covered in their induction. The terms and conditions of employment often require employees to attend statutory and mandatory training.
Employees should read their contracts, along with local policies, so they know what to expect.
How does mandatory training differ from statutory training?
There is often confusion between statutory and mandatory training. As a catch-all term, some organisations use essential and compulsory training to cover both mandatory and statutory training. Legislation, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, typically requires statutory training to be provided.
Staff shortages or other issues related to unsustainable pressures at work may affect the ability to undergo training. Legislative and regulatory requirements require employers to provide staff with appropriate training.
The table below lists the main subjects considered as statutory training and their related legislation and regulations.
|Statutory Training Subject||Related Legislation/Regulation|
|Health and Safety at Work||• Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
• Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
|Fire Safety||• Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
• Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
|Equality, Diversity and Human Rights||• Human Rights Act 1998
• Equality Act 2010.
|Infection Prevention and Control||• Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
• Health and Care Act 2022
• NHS England: National infection prevention and control manual for England.
|Manual Handling||• Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
• Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
• Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, as amended by the Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002.
|Safeguarding Adults, Children and Young People||• Care Act 2014.|
What happens if mandatory training is not completed?
Induction training and annual refresher courses must be provided to all employees and contractors (clinical and non-clinical staff) in the health and social care sector. Employees registered with professional bodies, such as nurses, doctors, dentists, and allied health workers, must complete the appropriate training to remain certified. Non-compliance with continuing professional development requirements can lead to disciplinary action, dismissal, or exclusion from the professional register.
During the past few years, staff shortages and unsustainable work pressures have made it difficult for employees to participate in mandatory training. CQC regulatory action may result in prosecution or service closure if mandatory training is not completed.
Employee rights to training time
Those who work in an organisation with 250 or more employees in England, Wales, and Scotland, have the right to request time for study or training. To make a statutory request for time to train, they must be employees and have worked for their employer continuously for at least 26 weeks. However, if the employer has a good business reason, they may refuse the request. You can find more information about training and study at work on the government website for England, Wales, and Scotland.
There is no statutory right for agency workers and bank employees to request 'time to train' or paid time off to study.
Mandatory training: Equality and diversity considerations
According to the Equality Act 2010 (the Act), employers are responsible for eliminating discrimination, harassment, and victimisation. They should consider those protected under the Act when designing and delivering mandatory and statutory training.
Employers should consider making reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities. In this regard, it may be necessary to ensure that the training times, locations, and delivery methods are appropriate and accessible. Where necessary, the employer should remove physical barriers or provide extra equipment or aids.
Under the Act, employers are responsible for ensuring that training policies and practices do not disadvantage or negatively impact protected groups. For example, some mandatory training sessions/updates may not be available to employees with religious beliefs/faiths because they are only held on certain days.
Contact your HR manager if you share a protected characteristic under the Act and are experiencing discrimination. Visit the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) website in England, Wales, and Scotland for more information. See Equality Commission Northern Ireland if you are based in Northern Ireland.
Mandatory and statutory training for agency and bank workers
To ensure worker safety and effectiveness, the temporary work agency contract should outline the agency worker's right to access essential/mandatory training. Mandatory and statutory training for agency workers includes:
- Conflict Resolution
- Equality, Diversity and Human Rights
- Fire Safety
- Health, Safety and Welfare
- Infection Prevention and Control
- Information Governance and Data Security
- Moving and Handling
- Preventing Radicalisation
- Safeguarding Adults
- Safeguarding Children.
Bank and agency workers do not have the right to request time off under the government's guidance or paid time off to study.
Other training for agency and bank workers
Agency and bank workers should receive mandatory training, but further career development usually requires self-funding. Most mandatory and statutory training courses for agency and bank workers are typically completed online. There are also many other opportunities for continuing professional development for agency and bank workers, including local study days, workshops, short courses and seminars.
Click here to see the recommended training courses for bank and agency workers.
Employers and health and social care employees must comply with mandatory and statutory training requirements. Mandatory training is essential to the health and social care sector, and compliance helps maintain a safe and healthy working environment and avoid legal action.
Understanding the importance and reach of mandatory training will help you manage inherent risks and meet CQC requirements for a single assessment framework in the rapidly changing health and social care sector.
Click here to see online courses and resources that will help you comply with mandatory health and social care training.
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 online statutory and mandatory 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:
References and resources
Care Quality Commission (2022) - Single assessment framework.
HM Government (1974) - Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
HM Government (1999) - Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
HM Government (2010) - Equality Act 2010.
HM Government (2023) - Training and study at work: your rights.
Complete the form below to find out how we can help your organisation with regulatory compliance and governance, statutory and mandatory training, continuous professional development, learning management systems and educational technologies.