More and more frequently in the news, we are seeing negative stories about failings within the care sector.

With anything, the media are quick to publicise the negatives, and because of this, the care sector has been deemed inadequate, underpaid and to put it bluntly, an undesirable field within which to work. We are quick to overlook the fact that care workers provide fundamental support to our loved ones, enhance their quality of life and are an essential part of our community. Another aspect of care that we overlook, is the importance of high quality training for those working within the care sector.

As a new training provider, Best Practice Training have already recognised the challenges that care providers are faced with, meaning they often opt for cheaper training alternatives such as online materials, books and DVDs, rather than face to face tuition. The cheaper options don’t offer evaluation reports to show where staff could improve and build on their new skills, the chance for staff to ask questions about the subject matter and most importantly, to engage in practical activity in order to ensure the new knowledge is enjoyable, engaging and interactive.

Claire Turner, Head of Learning & Development at Best Practice Training said: “It’s interesting how Health and Social care employers view distance learning as convenient and a more cost effective alternative to face-to-face training. Distance learning has its place and is ideal for learners who are self-motivated, have the ability to read or listen to information, then make sense of it and can then put it into practice.  In reality, we know that people have a variety of learning styles, and feedback indicates that people have a preference for face-to-face learning. It enables them to learn through shared experiences and have discussions around scenarios.  They have the opportunity to ask questions to check their own understanding and then discuss how they can apply the learning in their day to day role.”

She continued: “In my experience face-to-face learning is much more cost effective and reduces the risk of learners becoming confused and employers then having to revisit the topic. It creates opportunity for interaction between learners, sharing their experiences and feeling valued. Recent analysis of our face-to-face training programmes have indicated that over 95% of all participants found their learning experience to be excellent.”

So, why should care providers invest in high quality, face-to-face training?

You probably didn’t know that high quality training can do more for you than tick CQC boxes, Skills for Care have recognised that training can also assist with:

  • Staff retention: Through structured learning and development, staff feel more appreciated as they are gaining new skills in order to progress in their career, therefore making them more engaged with their work.
  • Cutting costs: As a result of this, companies can cut recruitment costs, therefore saving valuable funds that could be used to better their service.
  • Service quality: By having an expertly trained work force, the company’s ability to provide high quality care will be recognised by both clients and CQC.
  • Marketability: As a result of this, the company’s reputation will increase and bring more clients into the business.

The National Minimum Data set by Skills for Care shows that the average wage for a support worker is around £13,500 per annum. The financial reward may not be enough to keep support workers truly engaged and enthused by their work. The ability to develop, gain new skills and move up within the company could contribute to support staff feeling more valued and therefore putting more into their role.

There are two types of care providers: ones that look for training shortcuts, and ones that invest in high quality training. In our opinion service users, staff members and CQC will always be able to tell the difference. It’s time to ask yourself which you want to be.

Please check back for future posts on funding and much more!

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