Training, learning, competence, what’s the difference?

So, is it just about delivering the right range of training courses at the right intervals? No CQC Regulation 18 is ‘Make sure that providers deploy enough suitably competent and experienced staff. 

What does that mean in practice?

Having a staff team at all levels that understand how to use their training in practice when delivering care that meets people’s individual needs. 

The actual training course, whether face to face or remote/online is just the start. It is then a provider/manager’s responsibility to check and validate that learning has taken place ( staff understands the training and how to apply it). Further, the provider and manager should assess whether that learning has improved the staff’s knowledge of the subject. It is also very important to check that staff are competently applying their knowledge to their practice and how/whether this has improved outcomes for people. 

If you can evidence that training has translated into better understanding and practice then you can consciously say your investment in training has been worthwhile. You can also evidence to CQC that you are fully compliant with Regulation 18 and other relevant Regulations. 

Staff who understand what care they give and why they deliver care in a certain way are far more likely to stay and to have job satisfaction. This also translates into a better quality of care experienced by people. 

So, in practice find the best training provider you can, consider Skills for Care and/or other recognised providers. Use a variety of methods and consider your staff and their learning styles. Offer staff time to complete the training and try on occasions to even sit with a staff member or group while they complete the course. You can use many ways of checking staff knowledge and understanding of training such as, group discussions, asking short questions at handovers or during walkarounds, supervisions and/or staff meetings. Leave a short time for the training to be absorbed but not so long that it is forgotten before you commence testing staff knowledge. Build the above into a routine so it is normalised for staff. Ask staff to ask each other questions about their training. 

The next step is to test staff competency in practice. This is not a one-off and should be done and recorded frequently and with the purpose of support and personal development. Never blame for getting it wrong. 

The aim would be to build and encourage a continuous learning environment, where staff are curious about their roles and strive to develop their skills. The next step is to develop staff and give them opportunities to progress in their careers but that’s probably a whole separate Blog!

If you would like to know more or require support to run your care home better please do contact Fulcrum Care for more details.