Training is the process of developing staff to an agreed standard of competence so that they have the knowledge and skills to carry out their work in line with the requirements of their job description and contract of employment.

A planned programme for the training and development of staff is essential to ensure good practice and the provision of a quality service. The programme should include induction, mandatory and further training suitable to the needs of individuals and the service.

Once competent, experienced and qualified staff have been recruited, it is essential to keep their skills up to date and to keep their interest. Managers can do this by helping staff achieve qualifications in line with the needs of the service and individual career plans.

(See also related topics on Induction Training, Staff Supervision and Appraisal and Developing and Managing Workplace Learning.)

During the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, there had to be a more flexible approach to training with extended use of distance and e-learning, and some assessment programmes being deferred or carried out remotely.

As restrictions have now been lifted, care providers should revert to their previous training strategy, eg for induction, mandatory and further training. However, they might continue to use any methods developed during the pandemic that will be equally effective under normal circumstances and which reduce risks of infection. These could consist of a mixture of e-learning, face-to-face, remote and virtual teaching and learning support.

The workforce development organisation for England, Skills for Care, provides guidance and resources on potential training strategies post-Covid-19 under its essential training programme as it did during the pandemic. There is similar guidance from Social Care Wales and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

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