Modern eLearning courses, though, allow carers to develop their skills whilst minimising disruption to their working week. The recently created Care Certificate eLearning course is one of the largest carer training programmes in the UK, taking advantage of digital technology to create a common standard of training throughout the sector.
Development of the Care Certificate as an eLearning course
The Cavendish Review in 2013 highlighted a lack of consistency in carer training throughout the UK, which was detrimental to the quality of care provided by carers and nursing assistants. The Care Certificate was developed as a response to this; it is designed to provide a foundation for further learning and a minimum standard of induction training, providing clarity for employers as to what training staff require. Establishing a core set of competencies for new carers requires a large scale rollout, something which is hard to achieve with face-to-face tuition, but which can be completed much more readily with an eLearning platform, as course materials can be distributed with ease.
Who designed the Care Certificate course?
eLearning courses can be a potential minefield, and the sheer volume of courses available and the lack of direction from the Government has caused employers to needlessly invest in redundant courses. However, the Care Certificate was created by several major healthcare institutions working together: Skills for Health, Skills for Care, Health Education England and several other key partners developed the course, ensuring that it supplied adequate training to establish a minimum level of training for carers. By consolidating basic staff training into a single course, the Care Certificate makes it easy for employers to ensure their carers are properly trained.
Benefits of the eLearning platform
The Care Certificate training programme is carried out through digital learning, with carers completing the course remotely. Whether this is done during their own time, during work hours, or a mix of the two, this allows learners a great deal more flexibility in apportioning their time, facilitating a better work-life balance. In addition to reducing the impact on learners’ schedules, eLearning course materials can be quickly updated to comply with new developments, ensuring that all students have access to the same standard of materials, without employers having to re-invest in costly new course materials. This reduces the overall cost of the course, meaning that high-quality staff training needn’t strain an already-tight budget, especially important given the recent European Court of Justice findings on paying employees whilst travelling (another Cavendish Review recommendation).
Ensuring compliance with eLearning
With an eLearning course, there is a wealth of data available to employers, which can be used to check progress and compliance with the course structure. However, it’s always important for employers to ensure that their carers are continuing to adhere to the Care Certificate practises at work; on-the-job assessment is essential to maintaining standards of care, and employers should not neglect the importance of providing personal guidance for new staff.
Impact and ongoing support
The Care Certificate has had a strong positive impact on the care sector, and with an estimated uptake of around 350,000 new carers in the first year, it demonstrates how a well-implemented eLearning programme can have a dramatic impact on standards.
Thanks to the digital nature of eLearning, courses will continue to evolve as further refinements are developed, and the data gathered during the learning process helps to inform future deployments. For more detailed information and guidance, you can download our white paper on e-Learning in healthcare practices.
David Evans is Product Manager for training specialists, The Skills Platform.