We believe that learning is a vital part of our professional carers journey within our organisation. We call it a journey because that is how we see our employees developing in four particular areas – Experience, Skills, Training and Qualifications.
The learning journey begins with us confirming these elements when the professional carer joins our business as we reward our employees with competitive pay rates and often come to us with significant experience.*
Our 5 day induction training supports carers to refresh and develop their knowledge. The time we spend together enables our trainers not only to ensure quality delivery of robust content but also to assess personality, behaviour and values which are key to our organisation.
Induction week is intense; we cover a wide range of subject matter which includes the following:
- Culture and Values – How TGCG was started, how our values underpin our culture and the way in which we work with each other
- Communication – NLP skills are used in these sessions, exploring how we build rapport with others, how we manage conflict etc.
- Care Pathway – the journey of both client and carer at TGCG with clear guidelines on understanding the role of a professional carer, personal development and duty of care.
- Ways of Working – the practical elements of working for our organisation i.e. expenses, pay, holidays etc.
- Carer Community – how to use our latest tool in placement with all care related paperwork
- IT & E-Learning – exploring the tools we use to support our roles
- Wellbeing – exploring how we need to look after ourselves including good mental health
- Neurological conditions – Parkinson’s, Stroke, MS
- Understanding Dementia Foundation level – split into 3 sections ‘Understanding’, ‘Seeing’ and ‘Helping’
- First Aid
- Safeguarding, Mental Capacity, Best interests and DOLS
- Medication Administration – all Professional carers are taught how to administer medications safely and also understand constraints given our regulated activities
- Urinalysis Training – focus on prevention of infections, with practical steps to identify early signs of an infection and the benefits of prompt treatment, designed to reduce the need for emergency admission to hospital
- Caring for My Client – includes the ageing process, common health conditions, personal care, skin care, continence management, nutrition and hydration
- End of Life Care
- People Moving & Handling theory and practical – incl. elements of Health and Safety and risk management and implementation
For those carers who come to us through our Values Based Recruitment, these individuals have shown us that they hold the right attitudes, values and beliefs that would make them exemplary professional carers. We recognise the need to support these individuals at all stages through to securing a placement.
The process is therefore slightly altered. Applicants are asked to complete a significant level of the Care Certificate knowledge before attending the induction week. The time spent with those who have more experience during the 5 days is often of great benefit. The carers also spend more time on their eLearning and have to complete all knowledge based aspects of the care certificate before they can commence a 5 day shadow period in a current placement.
Observations are carried out during this time with the carer receiving feedback and once they come out, they receive feedback on their progress. Once the care Certificate is complete the new recruit will work in a double up placement with the extra supervision of a more experienced carer and also under the supportive scrutiny of the Care Manager.
Our approach is to encourage the majority of new recruits to TGCG to complete the Care Certificate. We do this because the current certificate is not accredited and therefore the quality of any previous learning cannot be guaranteed unless the carer has clear evidence of their learning and it is deemed robust enough.
As the majority of people who join our organisation in a caring role, come to us with experience, we allow them time to complete this learning online. Their work is monitored, marked and verified by the training function with feedback from the Operations team.
The journey beyond induction
Once the carer has completed the Care Certificate, they have various options open to them for further learning. We operate specialist courses on a range of subjects which include advanced dementia, Parkinson’s, Diabetes, Customer Services and Hydration.
Where we identify an area that warrants more training, we will develop webinars which can be easily accessed by our workforce.
Using the structure of the Care Certificate, we deliver a ‘themed month’ to our entire workforce whether they are in direct care delivery or not. These themes are broadcast in weekly Operations updates which deliver up to the minute news on internal and external matters. This enables carers particularly to take bite sized learning, constantly ensuring their knowledge is up to date and that they can then demonstrate their competency to care through quality of delivery, feedback from clients and colleagues and also regular supervision.
Annually, carers are required to attend a face to face workshop day, which covers dementia, medication and people moving and handling. Online they complete Health and Safety, Safeguarding and Duty of Care.
Diplomas – Level 2, 3 and 4
Many of our professional carers come to TGCG with various levels of diplomas and/or degrees. For those that wish to, we offer the Level 2 Diploma (fully funded by our organisation). In 2018 we will operate a sponsorship programme for the level 3 and 4 to enable higher levels of qualification to be gained.
Louise Joslin, Head of Learning & Development, The Good Care Group