What is statutory training in health and social care?
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates all health and social care services in England. The CQC ensures safety and quality in hospitals, dental care, ambulances, clinics, community care services and care homes. A vital component of the CQC's single assessment framework is statutory training. Many people need to be aware of which training courses are considered statutory, which is often confused with mandatory training.
In this article, Dr Richard Dune defines the term statutory training, outlines examples of statutory training subjects, and describes when and how statutory training is delivered.
What is statutory training?
Statutory training is typically required by law or when a statutory body instructs an organisation to provide training based on specific legislation, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
In the health and social care sector, employers often describe statutory training as ‘mandatory training’, 'essential training', or 'compulsory training’. Regardless of the term used, statutory training helps to maintain a safe and healthy working environment for employees and service users.
Which training courses are statutory?
New health and social care organisations employees must undergo health and safety awareness training. Statutory training in health and social care organisations typically includes the following subjects:
- Knowledge of the local health and safety policy
- Awareness of risk assessment and management processes
- Control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) regulations
- Knowing when and how to report injuries, diseases, and dangerous occurrences (RIDDOR)
- Awareness of fire safety procedures, including hazard identification and risk management
- Theory and practice of moving and handling objects and people
- Annual updates in the essential health and safety areas of fire safety, moving and handling, and manual handling.
When should statutory training be completed?
Upon starting a new job, all health and social care employees undergo an induction programme (including statutory training), usually within the first month. All new employees must complete statutory and mandatory training sessions not covered in their induction in the first year.
It is usually part of the terms and conditions of employment that employees attend statutory and mandatory training. All employees must be familiar with their contracts and local policies.
How does statutory training differ from mandatory training?
Statutory training is often confused with mandatory training. Unsurprisingly, many people cannot distinguish between mandatory and statutory training. Both types of training are referred to as mandatory training in many health and social care organisations.
Mandatory training refers to the training required by a healthcare or social care organisation to provide safe and efficient care. This type of training aims to reduce organisational risks and comply with local or national policies.
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 statutory training is not completed?
Health and social care organisations must ensure that all staff attend induction training and relevant annual refresher courses. All health and social care employees, including clinical and non-clinical staff, must complete their statutory and mandatory training. Those who are registered with professional bodies, such as nurses, allied health workers, dentists and doctors, are required to complete the necessary training to remain certified. Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action, dismissal, or dismissal from the professional register.
In recent years, staff shortages and unsustainable pressures at work have hindered employees' ability to undertake statutory training. However, failing to complete statutory training can result in the CQC taking regulatory action, which may result in prosecution or even service closure.
Are employees entitled to statutory training?
In England, Wales and Scotland, employees working in an organisation with 250 or more employees have the right to request a time for study or training.
To make a statutory request for time to train, they must have been an employee and have worked for their employer continuously for at least 26 weeks before they apply.
Please note that your employer can refuse your request if they have a good business reason. If you are in England, Wales and Scotland, more information is available from the government website, training and study at work.
Agency and bank workers do not have the statutory right to request ‘time to train’ or paid time off to study; this is detailed below.
Statutory training: Equality and diversity considerations
The Equality Act 2010 (the Act) requires employers to eliminate discrimination, harassment, and victimisation and promote equal opportunities. As a result, employers should consider those protected under the Act when designing and delivering statutory and mandatory training. It is the employer's responsibility to consider what adjustments can be made for staff with disabilities. It may be necessary to ensure that the training's times, locations, and delivery are convenient and accessible. If necessary, the employer should remove physical barriers or provide extra equipment or aids.
Under the Act, employers are required to ensure that training policies and practices do not adversely affect protected groups. If mandatory training sessions/updates were only held on certain days of the week, employees with religious beliefs might be unable to attend.
People with protected characteristics experiencing discrimination should contact their line manager, HR manager, or union representative for advice.
To obtain more information, please refer to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) publication, 'Your rights to equality at work: training, development, promotion and transfer’ (EHRC, 2011).
If you are based in Northern Ireland, you should contact the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.
Statutory training for agency and bank workers
Employee contracts with temporary work agencies should outline their staff to access statutory training. Agency and bank workers are typically required to complete the following statutory and mandatory training courses:
- Safeguarding children
- Safeguarding vulnerable adults
- Data protection/information governance
- Health and safety at work
- Infection prevention and control
- Manual handling
- Lone working
- Fire safety awareness
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)
- Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).
Bank and agency workers do not have the right to request time off under the government's guidance or paid time off for studying.
CPD training for agency and bank workers
Agency and bank nurses are generally required to receive statutory and mandatory training. Still, they are usually responsible for funding any further career development. Professional bodies and trade unions provide career advice to help with career development and legal advice for bank and agency workers.
The Mandatory Training Group provides various accredited online courses and packages for health and social care workers. Many agency and locum workers, including NHS professionals (bank staff), complete most of their training online. They also facilitate webinars, workshops, short courses and virtual conferences with various speakers.
Click here to learn more about the multiple opportunities for continuing professional development provided by The Mandatory Training Group.
Employers and employees in the health and social care sector are required to comply with statutory training to maintain a safe and healthy working environment. Statutory training sets out the minimum levels of knowledge and competence required to meet the current legislation, regulations and best practice recommendations while providing safe and effective services.
In a rapidly changing health and social care industry, understanding the importance and reach of statutory training will help you manage inherent risks and meet the requirements of the CQC’s single assessment requirements.
Click here to see online courses and resources that will help you comply with statutory 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.