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Thursday, 02 June 2016

Engage: The Care Certificate - Best Practice Guidelines for eLearning success

Written by David Evans, The Skills Platform

Since its introduction in 2015, thousands of health and social care workers have completed the Care Certificate. Designed with the Cavendish Review in mind, it comprises 15 standards to which staff must adhere when carrying out their roles.

Traditionally, fitting training into already busy schedules has been a challenge; on-site training requires everyone to be in the same place at the same time, or for several sessions to be coordinated to ensure that all parties completes the course. This, in turn, can lead to inconsistencies in the quality and delivery of training, as well as increased costs.

However, eLearning offers a multitude of benefits that the health sector has been quick to embrace, with the uptake of online courses growing exponentially. This teaching method is one of the most popular ways for staff to demonstrate the knowledge requirements of Care Certificate standards.

Flexible Learning

One of the primary reasons eLearning is so beneficial to employers is its flexibility, with staff able to access training 24/7 and progress through modules at their own pace. This low-pressure arrangement also means employees are likely to perform better and absorb more of the information presented to them. However, it has been argued that there is a risk of some individuals trying to do too much too soon if they have round-the-clock access, so it is important to still encourage structured learning.

Fortunately, this can be managed thanks to the ease of tracking individual progress. As users work through their course, many eLearning platforms allow management to access real-time reporting, giving an opportunity to offer support to individuals who appear to be struggling, or even to intervene if it is felt that someone is overstretching themselves.
Meanwhile, new staff who may already have completed the training elsewhere can make use of the associated self-assessment tool to identify whether there are any gaps in their knowledge.

Quality Control

Using an eLearning platform ensures that every team member has access to identical training, and most providers should be quick to update modules to ensure that they are in line with any changes in regulation. Before selecting a provider, it’s advisable double-check that their courses are compliant with national standards, otherwise you’re in danger of staff receiving outdated information, potentially putting patient care at risk.

Finding the right course

Finally, there is an assortment of different courses and teaching styles to take advantage of, so it is important to review the resources available, in order to find those that best fit the needs of your staff. An eLearning provider can often help you with this, offering guidance and support throughout the process of switching to an online training programme.

With this, and regular feedback from your team, you can greatly facilitate the learning process, and bring your staff up to the required standards quickly, efficiently, and at a reduced cost compared to face-to-face training.

Follow It Up

Once your staff have completed their online training, they’ll have the knowledge to fully prepare them to carry out their roles. However, it is vital to ensure that they are able to successfully apply what they have learned. As such, you should round off any training with follow-up assessments, allowing staff to demonstrate their ability to put what they have learnt into practice.

About the Author

David Evans is Product Manager at The Skills Platform, the definitive hub for training and skills development in the health and social care sector.