Ensuring that your staff members are fully trained is an essential part of any caregiving service. While this should include any new starts within your organisation, it is vitally important to know when to conduct refresher training for long-serving employees or seek it out yourself.

So, here are some tips to help you understand when you or your employees may need to consider training and what you should look for when choosing a provider.

What prompts a need for skills training?

Knowing when to train or retrain employees is an essential skill for any manager. Knowing the right time to carry out a training program will allow your practice to remain fully compliant, offer the highest levels of service, and help reassure your patients. Luckily there are a number of widely acknowledged triggers that point the way toward considering training for yourself or your team.

These include:

Pre-empting staff shortages

With the NHS increasingly under strain, widely publicised staff-shortages highlight problems for caregivers in the years ahead. Simply put, this means that many institutions will have to do more with less. This can involve mandatory training for new staff to help them get ‘up to speed’ quickly or tabling additional training to bolster the knowledge of employees with specialised roles.

Following an incident

No matter what profession you find yourself in, accidents will happen. Whether an event occurs internally or with another company, relevant issues that gather public attention should be responded to quickly and decisively. For example: widely reported issues around elder care may require additional catheterisation training or moving and handling training with relevant staff. This not only protects your patients and staff but acts as a powerful indicator that you prize patient care above all else.

Returning to work

Fully supporting your staff should be a central part of managing a caregiving institution. This can sometimes include ensuring that an employee’s return to work is as easy as possible, with many employees taking mandated leaves of absence in the wake of bereavement, pat and mat care, or ill-health. A short refresher course can help individuals step into their roles again with greater efficiency and add to their learning in the process.

Enacting changes in policy

Any government-stipulated changes in policy for praxis and care delivery should be accompanied by relevant training or guidance. While some changes may be sweeping, others may be more specific – letting you take advantage of bespoke or comprehensive training sessions.

Listening to staff requests

While training is a key part of professional development, individuals working face-to-face with clients will always enjoy a front-line view of where the provision of care may be falling short. Giving employees an avenue to voice these concerns is critically important, as is asking for feedback during quarterly reviews meetings.

Of course, while the above are all valid triggers, training should never be undertaken without understanding the value that it represents.

Why is skills training valuable?

Aside from the legal requirements around mandatory skills training, discretionary and mandatory staff training carries a number of benefits to any business.

These include:

Reducing the risk of ‘embodied knowledge’

Having key skills and knowledge centralised to one individual is a risk in any field but is especially dangerous in the healthcare sector. Running regular training sessions for all employees can help ensure that all staff are trained equally, with individualised training fully documented where needed to help with knowledge-sharing.

Saving money on future training

Professional training can often prove to be expensive but offering members of staff ‘Train the trainer’ training can allow them to dispense knowledge to other employees. This can save money on larger sessions, increase efficiency through holding internal workshops and actively help to prevent knowledge loss.

Improving care quality and efficiency

A key concern for all practitioners, quality training will help sharpen your skillset and ensure that all staff members achieve a useful level of generalised and specific training. This can reduce unnecessary time spent on procedures, reduce error rates, or help make tasks more efficient.

While training is inarguably useful, what should you look for in the external body that is going to administer it?

What should you look for in your trainer?

Carrying out due diligence on your potential trainer is absolutely key. Always make sure you fully review their website for testimonials, look over their training options and review how they map onto your current practice. In addition, it is worthwhile to ask the following questions:

“What courses do you offer?”

A training provider should offer a selection of programs ranging from generalised health and social care training to specifics such as complex care training and clinical training. These should also be customisable to suit the unique needs of the trainee and your business, ensuring the best return on your investment.

“How do I want my training to be delivered?”

Modern training providers should be able to provide training for caregivers in a number of different ways. This should range from class-based learning, individualised sessions, and e-learning in order to offer maximum flexibility for those taking part.

“How reliable are they?”

Any training should always be delivered by accredited professionals who enjoy testimonials from established businesses and are validated through sites like Trustpilot, Yelp, or Which. It is also recommended that you contact businesses directly and learn more about their overall structure and the professional who will deliver your training package.

“What pricing options do they offer?”

Ask, does the trainer provide a range of options and a willingness to work within your allocated budget? The provider should be upfront about the fixed price point for each package and be willing to engage with you to ensure that you receive the greatest value from your training commitments.

To learn more about the range of training we offer and our delivery methods, please click here.

If you would like to review or query our selection of services, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team directlyby calling 01782 563333 and let us know what you need to improve or add to your professional skillsets.