Man in Wheelchair and Carer smiling and giving the thumbs up sign

Assess how well own knowledge skills and understanding meet standards

Although I have only been working in the health & social care sector for just over a year, I feel that my knowledge has increased exponentially. I have undergone training in Health & Safety, Food Hygiene, Manual Handling, Medication and First Aid (Common Induction Standards) and read my all of my company’s policies and procedures, which has given me the knowledge to carry out my role within the boundaries of the law, CQC compliance and best practice.

CQC has identified 13 standards that standard of care across the industry should not fall below. I regularly review these standards to ensure that my working practice is up to scratch.

EDIT 2018: Since I originally wrote this, I have undergone far more training including all CIS, internal training with my company (covering Safeguarding, Epilepsy, ASD, Mental Health, Learning Disability, MCA and Medication. I have also completed a leadership course (Aspiring Managers) part of which was the Manager Induction Standards.

As well as formal training, experience is also an essential part of the job. It is worth spending some time to reflect on the things that you have done well and those that you could do better. Whilst we should not let our successes go to our head and believe ourselves perfect, we should also not be too hard on ourselves when we make mistakes. Both should be treated as part of our own personal development.

Similarly, we can also improve our own knowledge, skills and understanding by asking others to assess our work. This could be a manager, colleagues or other professionals. One should not be afraid of constructive criticism as this is what drives us forward.

I feel it is always important to keep learning in this industry as legislation and best practice can change frequently. If you do not keep improving yourself and striving for the highest standards, you can easily get left behind.

For this reason, assessing your own skills, knowledge and understanding and aligning it with current standards requires that you look at what you have learned in the past and creating a road-map or Personal Development Plan to improve in the future. My own plan includes starting work on my Diploma Level 5 in early 2019. All staff should have their own PDP as agreed between themselves and their manager.