Learn, Do Not Copy!

Importance of continuously improving own knowledge and practice and that of the team

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NOTE: Although this page has been marked as complete, it has not yet been peer-reviewed or quality-assured, therefore it should be considered a ‘first draft’ and any information should be fact-checked independently.

For this assessment criterion, you will be required to explain professional development in adult care and the importance of continuously improving your own knowledge and practice and that of your team.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is an important part of working in the adult care sector. All practitioners should be committed to improving their practice over time because it ensures that their knowledge and skills are up-to-date and comply with current legislation, regulation and best practices.

As a manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that you and your team have the competence and confidence to perform their role effectively. This is a Care Quality Commission (CQC) requirement under Regulation 19 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014, which states that ‘Persons employed for the purposes of carrying on a regulated activity must…have the qualifications, competence, skills and experience which are necessary for the work to be performed by them‘.

In addition, Regulation 18 states ‘Persons employed by the service provider in the provision of a regulated activity must…receive such appropriate support, training, professional development, supervision and appraisal as is necessary to enable them to carry out the duties they are employed to perform…and be enabled where appropriate to obtain further qualifications appropriate to the work they perform‘.

The need for CPD is reinforced in standards, codes and best practices throughout the health and social care sector, including the Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers in England, which states that care workers must ‘Strive to improve the quality of healthcare, care and support through continuing professional development.’

CPD also helps to maximise the potential of team members and provide job satisfaction. Knowing that there are opportunities for progression within an organisation can motivate individuals as well as have a positive effect on team morale.

CPD and training are also linked to positive outcomes not only for team members and your organisation but also for service users. This is because well-trained staff with the right values and attitudes are more likely to provide a higher quality of care and less likely to make mistakes. And when mistakes are made, they are more likely to reflect upon what went wrong and learn from them.

The learning and development of a care practitioner will begin as soon as they start their role, in the form of mandatory training as part of a robust induction process. This will usually include completing the Care Certificate but may also comprise any specific training that the individual needs to perform their role as well as shadowing more senior members of staff.

As the practitioner progresses, they will require further learning and development, which the manager should facilitate and support. Discussions during supervision, appraisal and team meetings should be used to identify each team member’s learning and development needs. This should be a collaborative process, with both the team member’s interests and aspirations considered along with organisational objectives. Identified areas for improvement should be documented in each team member’s Personal Development Plan (PDP) along with realistic timescales for completion.

As the manager. you will want to have processes in place to manage learning and development throughout your team. Supervision and appraisal processes will form part of that along with processes for keeping up to date with legislative and regulative processes, prioritising training and managing the training budget.

This data should be used to inform your organisation’s workforce development planning. This involves looking at the current and future training needs for your organisation, in line with business goals and objectives, so that you have the right people with the skills available when needed. You will maintain a skills matrix, which sets out the skills and qualifications of all team members and compare this to what is needed now and in the future. For example, if you know that a senior care worker will be retiring in a year’s time, you will want to ensure that you plan for somebody else to take over their role when they leave and are fully trained in their role and responsibilities ahead of time.

Learners explain professional development in adult care in relation to all of the following:

  • *A manager and those they manage
  • *Mandatory training
  • *Workforce development planning
  • *CQC requirements
  • *Processes involved to managed learning and development
  • The relationship between training and positive outcomes
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