We believe that staff training and self-development are crucial to the well-being of both our employees and our service users: As a Care Support Worker, you need to feel supported and confident in your skills so you can do your job to the best of your ability.
We therefore employ an in-house training co-ordinator who is responsible for delivering training and assessing staff who take the Care Certificate or other professional qualifications.
You are paid to attend all training sessions and we also pay for your course and examination fees. It all starts with induction training.
Care Support Workers’ Induction Training
As the company grows, it is essential that our new staff have the skills and knowledge to provide quality care for our service users. We recruit care support workers with at least six months’ care experience, but all staff, regardless of their experience or qualifications, complete a comprehensive induction training programme. Ordinarily, this would be three days of face-to-face training. However, with Covid restrictions in place, all training is currently distance learning.
Induction training topics include: safeguarding, learning disability awareness, brain injury awareness, food safety & hygiene, data protection and health & safety (including basic life support, fire awareness, moving and handling of people).
All staff are taught Safety Intervention. This isn’t just about supporting people safely when they are displaying risk behaviour, but working with the individual in a person-centered way, to help support them to prevent behaviours escalating and reduce the need for any physical intervention.
As a new Care Support Worker joining Richardson Care, you’re sent a training pack and then attend a skype training session to go over Safety Interventions. This also gives you an opportunity to see other new staff and discuss anything at all from the training point of view or to ask questions that you may not have thought about at the time of the interview. This is all done and training packs returned before you start at Richardson Care.
Person-centered care is at the core of the support that we provide, treating each person as an individual and respecting their specific needs. It cannot be ‘taught’ in a classroom environment, but the principles of person-centered care can be. During our induction training we put great emphasis on appreciating everyone’s differences and the importance of getting to know and understand our service users as individuals. We ensure our staff understand how to work with service users to support them in their lives in the way they want to be supported and to help them reach their goals.
As a new employee, it’s also important to understand that although you’re in your place of work, the service users are in their home. So we try to make the environment as close as possible to a ‘normal’ home. We support service users to develop skills of daily living and encourage them to use those skills. This means letting them do as much as they can for themselves – anything from making their lunch to tidying their room and putting out the rubbish.
Following your induction training, you’ll move to the home in which you’ll be working. Initially you shadow existing staff so that you can get to know the rest of the team and the service users who live in the home.
If you don’t already have the Care Certificate, then we will register and pay for you to take the online learning course straightaway. You will also be observed in your role by a Senior Support Worker in order to complete the Certificate. Once you have completed your induction course and passed the Care Certificate, you can choose to prepare for and take additional qualifications. As you progress in the organisation you may take the Diploma in Adult Care Levels 2, 3 & 4, then the Diploma in Leadership & Management Level 5.
Regular Ongoing Care Training
Training doesn’t stop after the induction. All staff attend regular distance learning sessions. We’re hoping that this will return to face-to-face teaching soon. Under normal circumstances, a six-hour refresher training session is run every week and staff usually attend eight to nine sessions throughout the year.
Much of this training is delivered by in-house staff including some of our Homes Managers and includes: Health & Safety, Learning Disability and Autism, Acquired Brain Injury, Dementia awareness, food safety, infection prevention and control, Safety Intervention, Epilepsy, constipation, medication, Sepsis, emergency first aid, safeguarding, data protection, equal opportunities, record keeping, DoLS (LPS), fire safety and manual handling.
Some staff are also completing additional learning with the Open University to develop knowledge in certain areas on top of the training we provide. More specialised training is also sought from qualified medical professionals as and when appropriate such as managing insulin, buccal midazolam and PEG feeding.
This ongoing comprehensive training programme contributes to our low turnover of staff. And with six care homes, it also means that as a care support worker you have the opportunity to apply for a promotion within the company. The longevity of some of our staff provides valuable stability and consistency of care for our service users. However, we also recognise the importance of continual learning and development to provide peer support, increase motivation, update knowledge and avoid complacency in our team.