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Systems that establish a culture of continual learning and development in the care setting

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: Although this page has been marked as complete, it has not yet been peer-reviewed or quality-assured, therefore it should be considered a ‘first draft’ and any information should be fact-checked independently.

Learning and development in care settings are essential for ensuring knowledge, skills and understanding are up-to-date and adhere to current legislation and standards. In addition, learning and development provide opportunities to learn new skills and improve practice as well as increase confidence and competence.

For this assessment criteria, you will evaluate the importance of learning and development in your care setting. Some areas that you may wish to consider are:

The Care Certificate

The Care Certificate is a set of fifteen standards that make up the recommended minimum knowledge, skills and understanding required for workers new to the care sector. It should be part of the induction process for all new staff and so you will need to plan how it will be delivered and assessed.

As well as providing staff with the core competencies they need to perform their role, it will be also the beginning of a journey of professional development for many.

How is the Care Certificate currently delivered in your setting? Could it be improved?

Manager Induction Standards

Manager Induction Standards are a set of eleven standards that set out the minimum knowledge, skills and understanding required by managers in care settings. If you take a look at the eleven standards, you will find that they are very similar to the eleven mandatory units of the Level 5 Diploma. You may find it useful to compare your own competencies with these standards to identify any areas that you may need further training in.

Does your organisation have a system for inducting new or aspiring managers or do they learn on the job? Do you use a coaching or mentoring program? Are the current systems in place adequate?

Reflective practice

Reflective practice is an integral part of learning and development in care settings. It is the process of thinking about areas of your practice and analysing if you do things well or could improve them in any way. If any improvements could be made, you change your practice accordingly and reflect again. It is a learning tool because it connects knowledge and understanding with experiential practice. As Gibbs argued:

It is not enough just to do, and neither is it enough just to think. Nor is it enough to simply do and think. Learning from experience must involve linking the doing and the thinking.” (Gibbs, 1988).

As a manager, it is important that you use reflective practice regularly to develop both personally and professionally. You should also promote this skill to your team members so that they, too, can ensure that they are able to learn from their experiences.

Continuing training and development for self and others

Part of your managerial role is to ensure that you and your team members have the relevant knowledge, skills and understanding. This is also your responsibility under Regulation 18 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.

During supervision and appraisal sessions you will agree on goals with your team members, which may require you to facilitate learning opportunities that can include formal training, coaching, mentoring, discussions, shadowing or reflection.

You will also need to ensure that the competencies of your team members align with the needs of your organisation in both the present and future. For example, you may need to plan for multiple staff members to receive epilepsy training in preparation for the arrival of a new service user with this condition.

Having a robust Workforce Development Plan in place can help to ensure that your staff are trained in line with the organisation’s requirements.

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