What is mandatory training and why is it important
The cost of mandatory training in the UK is estimated to be £10 billion per year
If you’re considering a career in healthcare, you’re embarking on a path of profound purpose and satisfaction. As a new healthcare worker, you’ll undergo comprehensive mandatory training to ensure patient safety and help you thrive in your role.
This may sound tedious, but it’s actually fascinating and purposeful when you realise the “why.”
We believe you are here to explore the most common required learning topics, what makes them essential, and how they’ll equip you to serve.
Remember this important point as you read on: training lays the foundation for fulfilling work ahead.
What is Mandatory Training in healthcare?
Mandatory training refers to learning that healthcare organisations require staff to complete on key topics. This ensures they have core understandings and skills to perform their duties safely and effectively.
Required healthcare mandatory training typically includes:
- Safety: Infection control, emergency response, incident reporting.
- Compliance: Privacy, harassment prevention, cybersecurity.
- Clinical care: Patient handling, fall prevention, wound management.
- Communication: Customer service, team collaboration, cultural sensitivity.
- Administrative: Charting, equipment use, policies and procedures.
Training protects patients, employees, and organisations by establishing standards.
Continuous learning and development can bring a sense of purpose and fulfillment through dedication to training and retraining.
Reasons for Mandatory Training
Healthcare mandatory training aims to:
- Fulfil legal and regulatory requirements from oversight agencies.
- Reduce organisational risks like lawsuits or penalties.
- Facilitate consistent, high-quality care across locations.
- Address issues identified by risk assessments and audits.
- Ensure staff know how to use technologies properly and safely.
- Onboard new staff thoroughly on policies, systems, and equipment.
- Instil a culture focused on continuous improvement.
- Verify and document core staff capabilities.
Mandatory trainings are implemented to promote the acceptance of best practices that contribute to patient well-being, employee development, and organisational excellence.
Who Requires Training?
While the scope of practice determines some role-specific training, foundational modules apply universally:
- Clinical staff – Nurses, doctors, therapists, health technicians
- Support staff – Healthcare assistants, medical secretaries, janitorial
- Leadership – Department heads, medical directors, executives
- Administrative staff – Admissions, human resources, finance
- Facilities staff – Engineering, biomed, sterile processing
- Ancillary staff – Transporters, nutrition services, chaplains
- Students – Medical, nursing, allied health trainees
Preparation is essential for all individuals who contribute to care delivery, whether they interact directly with patients or not, to ensure consistently high-quality care.
Yes, many healthcare institutions and training providers offer the option for healthcare workers to complete mandatory training online.
Online training has become increasingly popular due to its flexibility, allowing healthcare professionals to participate at their own pace and often from the convenience of their own locations.
When Training Occurs
Mandatory education is provided:
- Initially: Comprehensive onboarding training to instil core capabilities from day one.
- Ongoing: Annual refreshers on policies, procedures, equipment plus new topic introduction.
- Upon role changes: Acquiring new skills may be necessary when transitioning to a different position.
- After concerning events: Timely training to deter recurrence.
- With new systems: Thorough user training is essential for effective implementation of electronic health records and other healthcare technologies.
Both robust introductory and ongoing training maintain patient safety through changes.
Mandatory Training Delivery Formats
Training is delivered through:
- In-person sessions: Live skills practice and lectures enable questions and interaction.
- Online modules: Flexible on-demand learning online at your own pace.
- Blended programs: Combine online and in-person elements.
- Job shadowing: Learn through observation of experienced staff.
- Simulation: Practice skills on lifelike manikins.
- Microlearning: Refresher content delivered in condensed formats like videos.
Effective learning uses variety of training formats, from mandatory e-learning training to immersive drills.
Introducing Common Mandatory Training Topics
While some training is role-specific, common modules for most staff include:
Preventing infectious spread protects you and vulnerable patients. Core competencies are:
- Hand hygiene – Washing technique, sanitizer use.
- Isolation protocols – Donning/doffing personal protective equipment (PPE) properly.
- Disinfecting – Cleaning rooms and equipment between patients.
- Sharp safety – Using retractable needles and sharps containers.
- Waste disposal – Correctly sorting hazardous materials.
- Exposure incidents – Needlestick injury protocol.
- Disease outbreak response – Quarantine, enhanced precautions.
Infection control makes every interaction safer.
CPR and Basic Life Support
Performing CPR and first aid saves lives in an emergency until expert help arrives. Key skills are:
- Assessing consciousness – Tap and shout technique.
- Recovery position – Safely positioning ill individuals.
- Choking – Back blows and abdominal thrusts.
- CPR – Effective chest compressions and breaths.
- Defibrillation – Using automated external defibrillators (AEDs).
- Calling for help – Contacting emergency responders.
Rapid response minutes matter tremendously. Your actions give patients their best chance of survival.
Fires present catastrophic risks in healthcare facilities. Core knowledge needed includes:
- Prevention – Avoiding ignition hazards.
- Detection – Recognising signs of fire.
- Alarm activation – Knowing alarm types and locations.
- Evacuation – Safely clearing occupants during code calls.
- Containment – Isolating fires by closing doors.
- Extinguishing – When and how to operate extinguishers appropriately.
We all play a role in staying vigilant and prepared.
Preventing harm ensures patient wellbeing. Key concepts include:
- Types of abuse – Physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, financial
- Risk factors for vulnerability – Dementia, disability, language barriers
- Signs of possible abuse – Unexplained injuries, behaviour changes
- Reporting procedures – Documenting and escalating concerns
- Preserving evidence – Maintaining chain of custody
- Providing support – Trauma-informed response and practical resources
Your awareness protects those needing care.
Ergonomics and Safe Patient Handling
Using proper body mechanics protects you from chronic strains:
- Risks of manual handling – Back, shoulder, wrist, and knee injuries
- Principles of ergonomics – Efficient postures and movements
- Assistive equipment – Slides sheets, transfer belts, lifts
- Proper techniques – Lifting, repositioning, ambulating
- Asking for help – Co-worker assistance policies
- Listening to your body – Stopping at discomfort
- Exercises – Stretches to support mobility and strength
With some mindfulness, you can stay active in demanding roles.
Communication and Customer Service
Quality interactions ease challenging conversations:
- Active listening – Making eye contact and reflecting back key points.
- Clear explaining – Avoiding jargon, checking understanding.
- Defusing anger – Staying calm, understanding triggers.
- Addressing biases – Tactfully redirecting inappropriate remarks.
- Setting boundaries – Refocusing tangents politely.
- Adapting style – Adjusting terminology and tone for different audiences.
- Non-verbal language – Interpreting body language, using open gestures.
Every patient encounter influences their care experience.
Common Clinical Skills Training
While clinical tasks depend on your role, common hands-on training may include:
- Specimen collection – Blood draws, wound swabs.
- Administering medicines – Oral, IVs, injections.
- Assisting providers – Rooming patients, prepping instruments.
- Measuring vital signs – Blood pressure, pulse, respiration, temperature.
- Transferring patients – Lifting, mobility aids, body mechanics.
- Wound care – Cleaning, dressing selection, compression.
- Operating equipment – Infusion pumps, monitors, lifts, beds.
Developing clinical skills takes ongoing practice under expert guidance.
Addressing Training Challenges
To succeed with required learning:
- Ask questions rather than staying confused. There are no dumb questions!
- Highlight unclear areas to managers to improve future training.
- Discuss struggles openly so teams can help each other improve with empathy.
- Use provided materials like quick reference guides and videos to refresh skills.
- Take initiative seeking extra practice for tough techniques until mastered.
- Consider concepts relevant by reflecting on how training protects patients.
- Have patience as you build competency. Stick with it!
With the right mindset and support, you’ll steadily gain confidence.
Infection Control Training Essentials
Controlling infections improves safety for you and patients.
Key principles are:
Thorough hand washing between patients and procedures prevents cross-contamination:
- Use soap and water when hands are visibly soiled.
- Waterless alcohol sanitizer adequately cleans clean appearing hands.
- Follow WHO technique for hand washing times and coverage.
- Always wash after removing gloves, before/after procedures, after body fluid spills, and before preparing or eating food.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Correctly donning and removing PPE protects from pathogens:
- Follow donning/doffing sequences precisely.
- Change gloves/gowns after each patient or heavily soiled.
- Remove PPE gently without dispersing contaminants.
- Always perform hand hygiene after removing PPE.
Cleaning and Disinfection
Proper disinfection eliminates microbes between patients:
- Know required disinfectant dilution and contact durations.
- Change wash cloths/mop heads frequently.
- Let surfaces air dry completely after cleaning.
- Deep clean rooms after patients requiring isolation.
- Follow endoscope reprocessing steps exactly.
Taking care with needles and clinical waste prevents injuries:
- Use safety engineered devices whenever possible.
- Recap, bend, or cut needles only if no other option per protocol.
- Dispose of sharps immediately at the point of use.
- Report needlestick and splash exposures immediately for treatment.
Correct waste disposal stops the spread of hazards:
- Sort different categories of waste properly
- Follow protocols wearing PPE when handling waste
- Ensure biohazard bags/bins are properly sealed
- Clarify any questions on handling unfamiliar waste immediately
Infection risks surround us. But simple habits create safety.
Fire Safety Fundamentals
Fires pose constant catastrophic dangers to healthcare facilities. Personnel should know:
Avoid ignition hazards through precautions like:
- No smoking policies, including outdoors.
- Safe oxygen storage and delivery.
- Restricted electrical appliances.
- Secured heat and chemical sources.
- Reporting risks like frayed cords or obstructed exits.
Detection and Alarm Activation
Recognising fires early allows faster response:
- Know fire alarm box locations on your units.
- Understand different audible alarm codes.
- Report signs (smell, smoke, heat) immediately.
- Never assume an alarm is just a drill or false alarm.
- Pull the alarm if you discover a fire to alert others.
Isolating fires prevents spread:
- Close all doors and windows when exiting.
- Shut off fans and ventilation systems.
- Follow fire door protocols keeping them closed.
- Move flammable materials away if safe to do so.
Safe orderly evacuation protects lives:
- When the alarm sounds, evacuate patients laterally as coached.
- Use back-up evacuation methods if hallways are blocked.
- Check room by room to ensure no one is left behind.
- Report missing individuals immediately.
- Never use elevators during fire emergencies.
Only attempt fire suppression where safe:
- Attempt firefighting only if trained and fire is small/contained.
- Have retreat route planned in case fire grows.
- Use proper extinguisher for fire type – Class A, B, C, electrical.
- Follow PASS technique for safe operation.
We all have a shared duty to prevent catastrophe through vigilance.
Principles of Basic Life Support
Performing CPR and first aid saves lives until expert help arrives.
Key skills are:
Check for responsiveness verbally and tactically:
- Shout question like “Are you okay?” while tapping shoulders.
- Look for eye opening, sounds or movement in response.
- If no response, call for help immediately.
Safely position unconscious individuals:
- If breathing, place on side with arm and leg bent to protect airway.
- Tilt head to open airway – chin up, but don’t hyperextend.
- Check continuously for breathing changes.
- If stops breathing, begin CPR – see below.
Effective chest compressions and rescue breaths sustain oxygenation:
- Correct hand placement on breastbone.
- Compress at least 2 inches deep at 100-120 beats per minute.
- Allow full chest recoil between compressions.
- Coordinate with partner for cycles of 30 compressions and 2 breaths.
Rapid response for obstructed airways saves lives:
- If coughing, encourage continued attempts to clear airway.
- Perform back blows then abdominal thrusts if unable to clear.
- Modified techniques for infants, obese and pregnant individuals
- Offer CPR if an individual becomes unresponsive. Visit our CPR and AED Course page.
Restoring normal heart rhythms requires early defibrillation:
- Confirm cardiac arrest then immediately retrieve AED.
- Ensure no one is touching patient when shocking.
- Place pads according to diagrams, allow AED analysis.
- Deliver shock if advised. Resume compressions.
- Continue CPR and re-analyze rhythm every 2 minutes.
You may be the only person able to intervene before permanent injury or death. Every action matters.
Safeguarding Vulnerable Patients
Caring for the vulnerable means protecting from harm. Key considerations:
Recognise patterns suspicious for mistreatment:
- Unexplained physical injuries or behaviour changes.
- Resistance to care, agitation or fear with certain staff.
- Vulnerable individual associating with known abuser.
- Unkempt appearance and untreated medical conditions.
Voice concerns promptly through proper channels:
- Report any worries objectively without accusations
- Document observations thoroughly but avoid conclusions
- Follow organisational escalation policies
- Understand legal duties as a mandated reporter
Proper evidence collection aids investigations:
- Note details like bruising sizes, shapes and locations.
- Preserve items potentially containing DNA evidence.
- Secure areas where incidents occurred.
- Avoid disturbing potential evidence before investigators arrive.
Trauma-informed assistance promotes healing:
- Listen compassionately if individuals disclose abuse.
- Show unconditional positive regard toward patients.
- Respect dignity and privacy surrounding sensitive exams.
- Offer advocates like social work and practical resources.
Your empathy and voice help safeguard wellbeing.
Ergonomics and Safe Patient Handling
Using proper techniques protects your body from injury:
Recognise contributors to workplace strains:
- Repetitive bending, twisting and lifting.
- Static standing or neck flexion for prolonged times.
- Reaching or overhead motions frequently.
- Poor posture and inadequate core strength.
- Pressures to complete procedures rapidly.
Posture greatly impacts physical stresses:
- Always maintain neutral spine alignment.
- Get close instead of leaning and reaching.
- Avoid neck twisting – turn whole body instead.
- Use smooth motions instead of abrupt movements.
- Share any discomforts early before injuries develop.
Tools reduce caregiving physical burdens:
- Sliding sheets facilitate lateral transfers. You can read more about slide sheets and its importance here.
- Powered sit-to-stand lifts do the heavy lifting.
- Raised toilets and shower chairs reduce bending.
- Transfer belts redistribute weight.
- Bariatric equipment for larger patients.
Two or more caregivers make maneuvers safer:
- Coordinate grips and timing verbally.
- Have leader call out step-by-step directions.
- Share the load instead of one person lifting.
- Avoid hazardous unilateral pulls and twists.
- Plan lifting routes accounting for tight spaces.
Protect your body so you can continue caring long-term.
Effective Healthcare Communication
Quality communication enhances each interaction:
Focusing fully fosters understanding and trust:
- Give the speaker your undivided attention.
- Reflect main points to confirm.
- Clarify meanings of unfamiliar terms.
- Ask thoughtful questions to learn more.
- Avoid interrupting so they feel heard.
Explaining well ensures comprehension:
- Use simple language avoiding technical jargon.
- Break explanations into small logical chunks.
- Ask patient to explain back key points.
- Offer analogies relating concepts to their experiences.
- Supplement with demonstrative handouts, images, or models.
Staying calm and identifying triggers resolves tensions:
- Let them express frustration completely.
- Apologise for their experience, making clear you want to help.
- If feasible address the source of dissatisfaction.
- Express empathy and partnership moving forward.
- Set boundaries if any aggression persists.
Tailoring communication fosters inclusion:
- Learn and use terms familiar to the listener.
- Clarify preferred terminology around identity, conditions, body parts.
- Modify speech pace and complexity to ability levels.
- Offer assistive devices like hearing amplifiers.
- Use the teach-back method – have them explain in their words.
Meet patients where they are by listening first and explaining clearly.
Introduction to Clinical Skills
While clinical tasks depend on your role, common skills training may include:
Proper technique gives accurate results:
- Explain procedures and prepare patients.
- Choose correct collection containers.
- Use aseptic technique for blood drawings.
- Label specimens at bedside per policy.
- Handle samples appropriately until delivered to the lab.
Precision prevents medication mishaps:
- Verify orders, drug, dose, patient, route, time.
- Master administration procedures – IV, injection, oral, topical.
- Assess effects and side effects.
- Teach patients about newly prescribed drugs.
Smooth handovers and procedures speed care:
- Prepare rooms, supplies and equipment.
- Help position patients, drape sterile fields.
- Anticipate needs before asked like handing instruments.
- Provide gentle holding or retraction as directed.
- Keep procedural spaces clear of unnecessary items.
- Assist with specimen handling as instructed.
- Update records, reorder supplies after procedures.
Seamless assisting makes workflows more efficient.
Measuring Vital Signs
Accurately assessing vitals highlights changes needing intervention:
- Use proper technique to avoid erroneous readings.
- Take baseline vitals at initial encounters.
- Monitor temperature, blood pressure, pulse, respiration rate relative to patient condition.
- Validate unusual or concerning readings by rechecking.
- Report alerts like high or low readings urgently.
- Record all vital sign measurements in information systems completely.
Subtle signs on vitals can indicate improvement or worsening.
Safe Patient Handling
Proper lifting and moving methods prevent injury:
- Use mobility aids like lifts and transfer belts for mechanical advantage
- Keep back straight and engage legs when lifting
- Avoid twisting – pivot feet instead to turn
- Communicate clearly with coworkers during team lifts
- Share the load and coordinate movements during multi-person manoeuvres
- Speak up about patient handling discomforts early before injury
Work smarter, not harder by using sound body mechanics.
Proper Use of Equipment
Healthcare technology requires skill and care:
- Complete user training before first use of any equipment.
- Follow instructions for care, cleaning and maintenance.
- Ensure alarms and safety features function properly.
- Clarify any unfamiliar device functions before using.
- Report concerns or malfunctions preventing safe use immediately.
- Document equipment utilisation thoroughly.
Improperly used tools put patients at risk. Prevent problems through vigilance.
How Long Does Mandatory Training Take for Care Workers?
Expect 15-30 hours of onboarding training initially covering core topics like moving and handling, fire safety, infection control and records management.
Annual refreshers average 6-12 hours reviewing policies, new threats, equipment and specialty skills like dementia care.
More advanced modules like medication management take additional hours of focused education.
Ongoing learning enables safe, high-quality care.
Do you get paid for mandatory training?
Embarking on a healthcare career brings great rewards, but also requires significant mandatory training investments. Between attending various trainings programs, online and offline, healthcare professionals devote substantial time and effort to building and maintaining their qualifications.
But what about getting paid for all those mandatory requirements?
When it comes to payment for any training, it is first important to check your contract with the employer or organisation and what is stated there. This is the T&Cs that really specifies what to expect.
However, we would do some explanation this topic further.
The Right to Paid Training Time
Legally, healthcare employers have a responsibility to pay workers for essential job training time under principles established by the National Minimum Wage Act 1998. Key points include:
- Required courses completed during contracted working hours are paid time. This includes in-person group trainings provided at your workplace.
- For mandatory e-learning assigned for completion remotely, hours spent should also be compensated at your normal wage.
- Even training done outside of usual shifts technically counts as “work” by broad definition and merits pay.
- Only voluntary, optional learning pursued independently for personal development can go uncompensated.
So, in short – any training deemed required by your employer for your actual healthcare job duties should be paid time. But the format chosen can blur those lines.
What should be the training compensation by format?
Let’s look at conventions and advice for handling payment across training formats:
In-house group training:
- Attending mandatory courses, workshops, simulations, and refreshers during contracted work hours should be paid at your normal rate. This includes any prep or post-training paperwork.
- Be sure to clock in and record training hours accurately on timesheets.
- If your employer sends you to complete mandated training externally (CPR certification, specialist qualifications, etc.), expenses like registration fees, travel, and materials should be covered.
- Time in training sessions and related travel time qualify for pay at your normal rate.
- Submit expenses per company policy and report external training hours.
Online or e-learning:
- For virtual courses assigned as required training, aim to log in and complete during paid shifts when possible.
- If required to complete outside working hours, ask that the estimated training duration be paid at your base rate or overtime rate if applicable. Some employers may count only passing the final evaluation as paid time.
- Try to get remote training agreements in writing if the expectation is that it will be on your own (unpaid) time. Be aware of your rights.
Self-study and competency building:
- Voluntary self-study like reading journals or reviewing procedures need not be specifically compensated.
- But if an employer mandates completing X training modules or attaining certain competencies by a deadline, it should pay for associated time invested.
The key is differentiating voluntary extra learning you pursue for growth versus education assigned as a job requirement.
Logging all training time transparently via timesheets and expense reports helps maximise appropriate compensation.
How do employers actually go about compensating for training then?
Here are some common models:
- Paid hourly: Your normal hourly wage applied to training hours.
- Stipend or flat fee: A fixed amount estimated as fair for the scope of training.
- Adjusted salary: Some professions allot time and pay for training in annual salaries or contracts.
- Shift adjustment: Schedule changes to accommodate training time.
- Tuition assistance: Funds to offset mandatory external training costs.
- Reimbursement: Submitting approved training expenses for repayment.
There are pros and cons to each approach, but the priority should be fair rate alignment.
Don’t hesitate to raise questions or concerns to your employer if asked to complete training unpaid.
Maximising Paid Training Opportunities
What can healthcare professionals do to advocate for and benefit from mandatory compensated training?
- Know your rights and eligibility criteria for paid training time based on regulations but also consider what is clearly written in your employment contract.
- Log and submit all mandatory training hours worked consistently via timesheets, expense reports, or training logs. Don’t work unpaid time without clarity.
- Clarify upfront via written communication how any remote or self-study training will be compensated by the employer.
- Ask about access to paid training time allowances or continuing education funds if available.
- Consider negotiated training compensation and support when evaluating job offers and contracts.
- Give constructive feedback on past training compensation approaches during reviews. Suggest improvements.
- Share and discuss best practices for fairly compensating training with colleagues.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, mandatory healthcare training requires real investments of time, dedication, and brainpower from professionals.
This education directly enables you to perform your healthcare job duties safely and effectively.
As such, fair compensation of your hours is both a legal right and an ethical obligation – whether online, in-person, or self-directed.
Of course no system is perfect, and employers may need to balance priorities amid understaffing and tight budgets.
But by tracking obligations transparently, providing feedback on needs, and understanding potential tradeoffs, healthcare professionals can work constructively with employers to optimise training compensation practices.
Your training time warrants pay, but may also require some proactive planning and advocacy. With a shared commitment, both workers and organisations stand to gain from highly qualified, well-prepared healthcare teams.
CQC Mandatory Training for Care Workers
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) mandates certain training for registered UK care services including:
- Safeguarding and protection from abuse
- Mental capacity and deprivation of liberty
- Managing challenging behaviors
- Infection control and hand hygiene
- Fire safety
- Health and safety
- Food safety
- Effective communication
- Equality, diversity and inclusion
- Information governance
CQC learning standards promote safety and dignity.
With dedication, mandatory learning prepares you for a career of meaningful service.
Again, training lays a foundation of skills and ethics that enables excellent care.
While a lot to absorb initially, stick with it! In time, you will appreciate how essential education protects patients and carers alike.
Healthcare Mandatory Training FAQs
The specific requirements for mandatory training vary depending on the employer and the industry.
However, in general, all employees who are exposed to certain hazards or risks on the job are required to complete mandatory training related to those hazards or risks.
Mandatory training for healthcare workers covers a variety of topics, including but not limited to:
Basic Life Support (BLS)
Safeguarding (Adults and Children)
Equality and Diversity
Data Protection and Confidentiality
Health and Safety
Specific Clinical Procedures
The consequences of not completing mandatory training can vary depending on the employer.
1. Employment consequences, such as suspension or termination.
2. Impact on professional licensure or certification.
3. Legal implications, as failure to comply with training requirements may violate regulatory standards.
4. Compromised patient safety and quality of care.
Mandatory training is a type of training that is required for employees to complete in order to perform their job duties safely and effectively.
It is typically mandated by law or by an employer’s policies and procedures.
Mandatory training in the National Health Service (NHS) includes a range of topics to ensure staff competence and compliance with regulations.
Common mandatory training topics in the NHS include infection control, manual handling, fire safety, safeguarding, equality and diversity, and basic life support (BLS).
Different jobs and industries have their own rules for mandatory training.
But, in simple terms, if your job has certain dangers, you need to do training to understand and handle those dangers.
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