Mental Health - CSTF Aligned Classroom Mandatory Training for Mental Health Providers 

Mental Health Training - CSTF Aligned Mandatory Training Courses

Mental Health Training - CSTF Aligned Mandatory Training Courses

Mandatory Training Courses for Nurses and NHS Care Staff

Mandatory training for nurses and doctorsThe Skills Platform lists a wide range of mandatory training courses which are suitable for NHS workers such as nurses, doctors and dentists. These training courses are also beneficial to care staff working in the social care setting such as a CQC registered care home or domiciliary care agency.

We often get asked “What is the difference between mandatory and statutory training?” - Mandatory training differs from statutory training as they are usually made compulsory by the organisation to ensure their employees are competent to reduce risks, follow guidelines and comply with their policies. Statutory training is required by law or a statutory body such as the Care Quality Commission has instructed the organisation to carry the training to meet legislative requirements. Read our in-depth article for more details.

Organisations such as the General Medical Council (GMC) and the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) are the regulators in the healthcare sector for doctors and nurses. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has provided guidance on the differences between mandatory and statutory training. Mandatory training requirements may vary depending on the job role and specific responsibilities of the employee.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) can take regulatory action if health and social care providers do not meet the Regulation 18requirements. It states that staff must receive support, training and personal development necessary for them to carry out their job role. Employees that have completed mandatory training course previously should undertake annual updates or refresher training to ensure they have the knowledge and understanding of changes in legislation and directives. Annual refresher training intervals will vary depending on the organisational requirements.

Skills for Health have created the Core Skills Training Framework (CSTF) for healthcare employers which provides guidance, mapping tools and learning outcomes to improve quality, reduce costs, track progress, consistency and standardisation of training.

Mandatory training can be delivered to a group in a classroom environment such as a training centre by an experienced trainer which will cover both the theory and practical elements. Alternatively, you can purchase an online eLearning bundle which starts from around £50 per person, this would be suitable for individuals that need to learn the theory elements. You should always assess your employees including their training needs, learning styles and identify skills gaps which will help you choose the most suitable delivery method.

In most cases these courses provide an all in one solution, providing an overview of all the core essentials such as health and safety,, safeguarding training, equality and diversity, moving & handling, fire safety and conflict resolution.

Training: statutory and mandatory

Statutory training

This type of training is usually required by law or where a statutory body has instructed an organisation to provide training on the basis of specific legislation (i.e. the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999). Employers often describe this as ‘essential’ or ‘compulsory’ training and it ensures staff have the knowledge to maintain a healthy and safe working environment for themselves and their colleagues. 

What this can include

In the NHS, all new employees are required to undertake core health and safety awareness and training. This usually includes:

  • awareness of the local health and safety policy
  • awareness of the control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH)
  • when and how to report injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences (RIDDOR)
  • fire safety awareness training  
  • manual handling training
  • basic risk assessment training
  • annual updates in essential areas of fire safety and manual handling. 

Starting a new job

When you start a new job you attend an induction programme, usually within the first month of starting work. During your first year you are usually required to complete the statutory and mandatory training sessions that were not covered in your induction. Attendance at statutory and mandatory training usually forms part of your terms and conditions. 

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Mandatory training

Mandatory training is compulsory training that is determined essential by an organisation for the safe and efficient delivery of services. This type of training is designed to reduce organisational risks and comply with local or national policies and government guidelines. Some organisations use the terms essential or compulsory training as a ‘catch all’ to cover both mandatory and statutory training.

Mandatory training might include: 

  • blood transfusion processes
  • child protection
  • clinical record keeping
  • complaints handling
  • conflict resolution (managing violence and aggression)
  • consent
  • display and screen equipment
  • equality awareness and eliminating bullying and harassment
  • incident reporting
  • hand hygiene
  • hazardous substances
  • infection prevention and control
  • information governance
  • mental capacity and safeguarding adults
  • medicines handling and management
  • medical devices
  • patient slips, trips and falls
  • personal protective equipment
  • resuscitation
  • venous thromboembolism
  • raising concerns and whistleblowing.

Attending mandatory training

We believe mandatory training should be undertaken during work time. Your employer may require you to attend training or updates on your off duty - you should, however, be given the equivalent time off to compensate. If you work regular night shifts your employer should take this into account to ensure you can attend any regular training updates.

Any work related training is counted as 'working time' under the Working Time Regulations 1998 and as such count as work when weekly hours are being calculated.

Read more on working time and breaks.

Training and updates

Mandatory training usually requires attending annual updates, dependent on the role and organisational requirements.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) does not set specific requirements stating how often mandatory training must be undertaken or completed. However, the NMC does require that registrants remain trained and competent. Your employer is free to set their own protocols and policies on training which all staff are contractually obliged to follow.

Employer obligations 

There are many frameworks under which employers should be delivering mandatory training. The NHS for example is required to meet the standards for better health, NHS Resolution risk management standards and the Care Quality Commission inspection criteria. Frameworks will vary depending on:

  • the risks encountered in the working environment
  • the needs of the workforce
  • insurers' standards
  • governance and legal frameworks in place
  • country-specific requirements
  • equality and diversity.
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Equality and diversity considerations

The Equality Act 2010 places a responsibility on employers to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and promote equal opportunities. This means employers should consider those protected under the Act when designing and delivering statutory and mandatory training. The employer should consider what adjustments can be made for staff with a disability. This this could be to ensure the times and locations and delivery of the training is suitable and accessible. The employer should remove any physical barriers, or provide extra equipment or aids where required.       

The Equality Act 2010 places a responsibility on employers to ensure any training policy and practice does not disadvantage or negatively impact protected groups. For example: arranging mandatory training sessions/updates only on certain days of the week which might prevent employees with a religious belief or faith from attending.

If you share a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 and are experiencing discrimination please call us for advice and to discuss local support arrangements.

For more information please see 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, see Equality Commission Northern Ireland

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Agency and bank worker essential training

Your contract with the temporary work agency should outline your right to access essential/ mandatory training to ensure you work in a safe manner. Common training areas covered should include:

  • data protection
  • health and safety at work
  • control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH)
  • fire safety awareness
  • infection control
  • manual handling
  • lone working
  • safeguarding vulnerable adults
  • safeguarding children.

Agency and bank workers do not have the statutory right to request ‘time to train’ or paid time off to study.

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Other training for agency and bank workers

Generally, agency and bank nurses should receive mandatory training, but usually need to self-fund any further career development. NHS Professionals (bank only flexible workers) can access the majority of their online training courses.

We can provide careers advice to help with your development.

We also be running local study days, workshops, short courses and seminars in your area. Please go to the RCN events and conferences page for further information.

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Further information

For advice on referencing this web page, refer to your university's guidance. There are different styles of referencing so it's important to check which one is preferred by your course provider. You can read more about referencing on the RCN's library site

Mandatory Training For Healthcare Professionals

Providing statutory and mandatory training is a key investment by NHS and healthcare employers, and despite budget constraints and time concerns, it can play a crucial role in ensuring a high level of care to patients. This article outlines guidance across health and social care, with tips for sector specialisms. To find quality Mandatory Training providers, search here on the Skills Platform.

Mandatory Training Guidelines for Healthcare

What do we mean by mandatory training?

Many organisation use the term mandatory training as a ‘catch all’ to cover mandatory and statutory training. The RCN have a useful distinction between these terms:

Statutory Training

Statutory training is that which an organisation is legally required to provide as defined by law or where a statutory body has instructed organisations to provide training on the basis of legislation.

Mandatory Training

Mandatory training is that determined essential by an organisation for the safe and efficient running in order to reduce organisational risks and comply with policies, government guidelines. For the purposes of this article, we will be using mandatory training as the catch all phrase throughout.

So what topics should be covered within mandatory training?

Skills for Health UK Core Skills Training Framework

To help harmonise mandatory training for NHS and healthcare workers. Skills for Health developed the Statutory/Mandatory Core Skills Training Framework.

This provides an effective framework upon which training can follow. The subjects in the statutory/mandatory Core Skills Training Framework are as follows:

These core skills and subjects all play a key role in the smooth, efficient and effective running of any healthcare organisation. Whether staff are being trained for the first time or are having their skills refreshed, this knowledge and the techniques provided all hold vital importance in the safety and level of care provided to patients.

Skills for Health have also launched specialist core skills training frameworks in the following topics:

Mandatory Training Adapted to the Workplace

In addition to the guidelines from Skills for Health’s Core Skills Framework, Mandatory training needs to adapt to the needs of the individual workplace, with guidelines available for specialist health and care sectors. 

Mandatory Training and the Care Certificate

Mandatory Training & the Care Certificate

The Care Certificate is a set standards for health and social care workers produced with the aim of standardising introductory skills, knowledge and behaviours. The goal is ensure compassionate, safe and high quality care. More information can be found here.

The 2013 Cavendish Review found that preparation of healthcare assistants and social care support workers for their roles providing care was inconsistent. The report recommended the development of a Certificate of Fundamental Care – the “Care Certificate”.

The Care Certificate is for new staff as part of an induction. The Care Certificate isn’t mandatory per se, but there is still an expectation. The Care Quality Commission will look to ensure that whatever the organisation is doing with its training that covers the requirements of the Care Certificate.

This primary audience is Healthcare Support Workers or Adult Social Care Workers. These fields consist of Health Care Assistants, Assistant Practitioners, Care Support Workers and those giving support to clinical roles in the NHS where there is any direct contact with patients. “Care Support Workers” includes the following:

  • Health Care Assistance
  • Assistant Practitioners
  • Those giving support to clinical roles with direct patient contract
  • Care Support Workers consisting of the following:
  • Adult Social Care workers in residential, nursing homes and hospices.
  • Home care workers,
  • Domiciliary care staff

Other social care roles include:

  • Caring volunteers
  • Porters
  • Cooks
  • Drivers with direct contact with patients/ service users.

Mandatory Training for Care Homes & Hospices

It is up to the healthcare provider to ensure staff are qualified, experienced and competent. The topics for mandatory training will be in line with the Care Certificate, with additional training for additional topics such as Control of Substances Hazardous to Health, Caldicott Principles and Food Hygiene. As those working in care homes often go beyond the role of nursing to provide extra support and care to patients, it is especially crucial that they understand aspects such as food safety.

Likewise, knowledge of fire safety can potentially save lives in the event of an emergency. With infection control, this can play a crucial role in ensuring illnesses, bacteria and viruses are not spread throughout a care home, which could prove fatal with vulnerable patients all living under one roof. There would also be the potential of legal cases if an infection was to spread and it was found that staff had not followed key training and management procedures.

Mandatory Training for GP Surgeries

In addition to the Core Skills Training framework surgeries will have their own strategies in place for their doctors and nurses. It is expected that each organisation will provide statutory/mandatory training depending on the needs of the practice and their staff.

It is specified under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 that all healthcare providers will have sufficient numbers of staff who are suitably qualified, skilled, and experienced for the visitors to the practice at all times. Some basic examples of training that would be expected at all practices include basic life support, fire safety training, infection control, knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, as well as training to an appropriate level for the safeguarding of children and adults who are at risk.

The CQC will undertake inspections to check that staff have the necessary qualifications and skills. They will check when the individual started their employment, what responsibilities they hold, and how the healthcare provider has been seeking to meet the learning needs of their team. They will also examine what training has been held, and whether they can see evidence of this training. They may ask for this to be demonstrated to them.

Mandatory Training for Nurses

Mandatory Training for Nurses

The CQC team will make inspections to check levels of training, and ensure all staff that are working are considered to be experienced, knowledgeable, responsible, qualified, competent, and skilled. They may be required to demonstrate these skills during an inspection, for example, showing that they can administer a vaccine, take samples for the cervical screening programme, take a blood sample, treat minor illnesses, explain the fire safety and evacuation procedures, and demonstrate safe moving and handling of patients.

The RCN break down mandatory training into statutory core health and safety and mandatory training options.

Core health and safety awareness and training.

This usually includes:

  • Awareness of the local health and safety policy
  • Awareness of the control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH)
  • When and how to report injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences (RIDDOR)
  • Fire safety awareness training
  • Manual handling training
  • Basic risk assessment training
  • Annual updates in essential areas of fire safety and manual handling.
Mandatory training might include:
  • Complaints handling
  • Conflict resolution (managing violence and aggression)
  • Consent
  • Display and screen equipment
  • Incident reporting
  • Hand hygiene
  • Hazardous substances
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Information governance
  • Mental capacity and safeguarding adults
  • Medicines handling and management

Mandatory Training in summary

In some cases, due to budget constraints within the NHS or staff being overworked and not having enough time to attend training, mandatory training has been overlooked. However, it is not an area that healthcare organisations can afford to become lax with. Not only can training help ensure staff meet all necessary criteria and can perform their duties effectively, but it can also play a key role in their confidence. There is a great need for healthcare organisations to allow their staff to get away from clinical constraints in order to allow them the time to attend mandatory training. This is something that many industry experts are now pushing for.

To search for quality training providers offering mandatory training, search the Skills Platform's database or pick a provider.



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