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Level3 Shc 32 Health and Social Essay

Engage in personal development in health, social care or children’s and young people’s settings The knowledge and skills addressed in this unit are key to working effectively in all aspects of your practice. It is essential to know how to evaluate your work and how you can improve on what you do, and to understand the factors that have influenced your attitudes and beliefs. With the major changes, new policies and ongoing research in this sector, you need to make sure that you are up to date in work practices and knowledge, and aware of current thinking. This is not an option but a duty that you accept when you choose to become a professional worker in the social care sector. The people that you support have a right to expect that your practice is always of a high standard and up to date.

In this unit you will:
■■ understand what is required for competence in own

work role
■■ be able to reflect on practice ■■ be able to evaluate own performance ■■ be able to agree a personal development plan ■■ be able to use learning opportunities and reflective

practice to contribute to personal development.
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Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma

1. Understand what is required for competence in own work role 1.1 Describe the duties and responsibilities of own work role The specific duties and responsibilities of your job will vary depending on your role and the employer you work for. If you work for a large employer, whether in the public, private or voluntary sectors, you will probably have had a period of
induction, where you will have learned about: • • •

social care. The regulator in the UK country in which you work will require that you follow the Code of Practice (see page 49) that lays out the duties and expectations for everyone who works in the sector.

Key terms
Code of Practice – a set of guidelines and regulations to be followed by members of an occupation or organisation. Induction – a formal briefing and familiarisation for someone starting at an organisation. Regulator – someone who ensures compliance with laws, regulations and established rules.

the policies and procedures of the organisation how the structures work the people who are your managers and supervisors.

Working for smaller private or voluntary organisations, or working as a personal assistant directly employed by the person you are supporting, may mean that your initial induction was less formal and you learned ‘on the job’. In each case, you will have been given an idea of the duties and responsibilities of your job and what your employer expects of you, and what you can expect in return. However, the duties and responsibilities required by your employer are not the only requirements of working in

Having Codes of Practice is important in social care, because in this sector you work with some of the most vulnerable people in society. They have a right to expect a certain standard of work and a certain standard of moral and ethical behaviour. In order to be employed in social work anywhere in the UK and in social care in some parts (soon to be all) of the UK, there is a requirement to be registered. This means having, or working towards, a certain minimum level of qualification and agreeing to work within the Code of Practice that sets out the required behaviour.

Case study: Dealing with theft
Joanne works as a personal assistant to Esme, who lives in Cardiff and has cerebral palsy. Esme is a regional organiser and fund-raiser for a large
charity; she has a very busy and active life. She needs support workers to accompany her during all her business time in order to support her personal needs and to take notes at meetings. Esme has recruited a team of support workers and they work in shifts. Several months after Joanne started working for her, Esme noticed that items were going missing from her house. Initially this was just small things like CDs, then larger items, and money also started going missing from her purse. It always seemed to link in to when Joanne had been working. Esme confronted Joanne, who initially denied any involvement. Eventually she broke down and admitted that she had been stealing the items because her boyfriend had a drug habit and he kept demanding more and more money. Esme dismissed Joanne from her post and reported the matter to the police. She reported Joanne to the Care Council for Wales, where she was interviewed by a disciplinary panel and was banned from working in social care for three years. 1. Do you think that Esme took the right actions? 2. What else could she have done? 3. What would have been the consequences of these other courses of action?


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Engage in personal development

Unit SHC 32

Employers have to ensure that everyone who works for them is registered and eligible to work in social work or social care.

1.2 Explain expectations about own work role as expressed in relevant standards Your job may have come with a job description, but while that tells you what you need to do, it does not usually tell you how you need to do it. To find that out, you need to look at the Standards that apply to your work. Standards, as with Codes of Practice, will vary depending on the UK country in which you work. Each UK country has National Minimum Standards
that are used by inspectors to ensure that services are being delivered at an acceptable level (see page XXX). Finally, and most importantly in terms of how you carry out your work, there are the National Occupational Standards (NOS). These apply across the whole of the UK, and explain what you need to know and be able to do in order to work effectively in social care. The National Occupational Standards form the basis for all the qualifications in the social care sector, and are divided into units of competence. Some of these are mandatory, and everyone should be able to demonstrate competence in these areas. Other units are optional and you should be able to demonstrate competence in those units relevant to your job role.

important to understand that competence is not only about doing the job; it is also about understanding why you do what you do and the theoretical basis that underpins the work.

Activity 1

National Occupational Standards
Each of the units of assessment in the Level 3 Diploma is based on units of competence from the National Occupational Standards. 1. Choose any three of the units of assessment from your Diploma qualification and find the relevant units of competence. 2. Look at how the work you are doing for your Diploma links to the units of competence. Create a table showing these links. 3. How can you show that you have met the requirements set out in the National Occupational Standards?

Key term
National Minimum Standards – these are used by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) to inspect the quality of care in services. National Occupational Standards – UK standards of performance that people are expected to achieve in their work, and the knowledge and skills they need to perform effectively. Competence – demonstrating the skills and knowledge required by the National Occupational Standards.

In performing your job role, competence means that you have been able to provide evidence that you can demonstrate the skills and the underpinning knowledge contained in the National Occupational Standards. It is

Getting ready for assessment
This assessment is knowledge-based. You are likely to have to prepare an assignment that shows how your job role is linked to the relevant standards, and how the duties and responsibilities of your role are reflected in the standards. This could be a written assignment or it could be in the form of a presentation.

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Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma

2. Be able to reflect on practice
2.1 Explain the importance of reflective practice in continuously improving the quality of service provided The social care sector is one which constantly changes and moves on. New standards reflect the changes in the profession, such as the emphasis on personalised, quality services, the focus on tackling exclusion, and the influence of the culture of rights and responsibilities. There has been a huge increase in understanding in all parts of the sector, and a recognition of the satisfaction that comes from working alongside people so that they are direct their own support, rather than being passive receivers of services. Developments in technology have made huge strides towards independence for many people, thus promoting a changing relationship with support workers. At the same time, these developments have brought different approaches to the way in which social care work and the administration and recording of service provision are carried out. Legislation and the resulting guidelines are a feature of the work of the sector. Sadly, many of the new guidelines, policies and
procedures result from enquiries and investigations that followed tragedies, errors and neglect. Despite all this, much of what we do in the care sector will remain the same. The basic principles of supporting people and treating them with dignity and respect, and ensuring they have choice and control, will continue. This means that the skills of good communication remain as vital as ever.

Being aware of new developments
There are many ways in which you can keep up to date with new developments in the field of social care, and particularly those which affect your own area of work. You should not assume that your workplace will automatically inform you about new developments, changes and updates which affect your work. You must be prepared to be active in maintaining your own knowledge base and to ensure that your practice is in line with current thinking and new theories. The best way to do this is to incorporate an awareness of the need to update your knowledge constantly into all of your work activities. If you restrict your awareness of new developments to specific times, such as a monthly visit to the library, or a training course every six months, you are likely to miss out on a lot of information.

Case study: Researching sleep deprivation
Joe, a senior care assistant, has recently started to work nights on a rota system. Unfortunately, at first, things did not go as well as he had hoped. Everyone said he would get used to it, but that simply did not happen. At three o’clock in the morning, no matter how busy he was, he found himself getting light-headed and feeling quite nauseous. The other major problem was that he found sleeping during the day quite difficult. He managed to get through his first week, but dreaded the next time it was his turn on nights. He felt that the quality of his work might be unsafe if he did not learn to cope. Joe mentioned his concerns to Maria, a nursing friend. It turned out that she had once researched sleep deprivation, and found that there are all sorts of ways of coping. She recommended that he look at one or two helpful websites, and also that he read some of the research on night working, at the local library. The websites she suggested were www.sleepeducation.com and www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sleep Joe looked at the websites and the
research. He found them very helpful and followed some of the advice given within them. He is now able to cope better and more safely with his night shifts. 1. Was Joe right to be concerned and to follow up his concerns? Why? 2. Why do you think Joe went to a friend rather than his manager for advice? 3. Should Joe have talked to his manager? 4. How could Joe share what he has learned with his colleagues?


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Engage in personal development

Unit SHC 32

Sources of information
The media
Health and care is always in the news, so it is relatively easy to find out information about new studies and research. You will need to pay attention when watching television, listening to radio news bulletins or surfing the net to find out about new developments, legislation, guidelines and reports related to individuals using health and care services and workers in this area.

Articles in newspapers and professional journals are excellent sources of information. When reporting on a recently completed study, they usually give information about where to obtain a copy of it.

Reports and reviews
You can read the findings of enquiries into the failures experienced within social work and health and social care. This might provide you with a focus for reflection. In the past there have been many cases where children and adults have been neglected or abused and social services have failed to protect vulnerable people adequately. Currently there is great national
concern about the cleanliness and safety of hospital wards. While you may not be involved in policy-making decisions about these services, there may be many principles such as whistle-blowing that are relevant in your own work setting. Many past serious failings might have been preventable if people had been able to identify the issues and take action earlier.

Activity 2

Health and care in the news
For one week, keep a record of every item which relates to health and care services which you hear on a radio bulletin, see in a television programme, or read in a newspaper article. You may be surprised at just how many references you manage to find. For reference, note down where you found the information and which places are likely to be useful sources of information in the future.

Key term
Whistle-blowing – reporting concerns about practice in your workplace.

How often do you check for current information?

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Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma

As well as reflecting on failures of the service, it will be important to reflect on positive practice. The websites of the inspectorates and professional bodies contain many examples of good practice, as do those of the Sector Skills Council. For social care with adults this is Skills for Care (www.skillsforcare.org.uk) and for children and young people it is the Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC www.cwdcouncil.org.uk).

in the social care sector is becoming increasingly widespread and important. If you have access to one, you may use the Internet on a daily basis. However, you need to be wary of the information you obtain on the Internet. It provides free access to vast amounts of information, but it is an unregulated environment – anyone can publish information on the Internet, and there is no requirement for it to be checked or approved. People can publish their own views and opinions, which may not be based on fact. Make every effort to check the validity of what you are reading and do not assume anything to be factually correct unless it is from a reliable or accredited source, such as a government department, a reputable university or college, or an established research centre.

Professional journals also carry advertisements for conferences and training opportunities. You may also find such information in your workplace. There is often a cost involved in attending these events, so the restrictions of the training budget in your workplace may mean that you cannot attend. However, it may be possible for one person to attend and pass on the information gained to others in the workplace, or to obtain conference papers and handouts without attending.

Key term
Accredited – given official recognition or approval.

The Internet
The development of information technology, and in particular the Internet, has provided a vast resource of information, views and research. The use of computers

Treated with caution, though, the Internet can prove to be one of the speediest and most useful tools in obtaining up-to-date information. One of the simplest and most effective means of keeping up to date with all

Do you attend conferences for up-to-date information?


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Engage in personal development

Unit SHC 32

How often do you use the Internet to find out information?

the latest information is to subscribe to an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) news feed on your computer or phone. This will download headlines on any relevant news items, and you can then follow up any that look interesting.

you are reading. It is important that you know how new theories are developed and how research is carried out.

Reliability and validity
There are specific methods of carrying out research to ensure the results are both reliable and valid. Research is judged on both of these factors, and you need to be able to satisfy yourself that the reports you read are based on reliable and valid research. Reliability means the results would be the same if someone else were to carry out the same piece of research in exactly the same way. Validity means that the conclusions that have been drawn from the research are: • • •

Your supervisor and colleagues
Never overlook the obvious: one of the sources of information that may be most useful to you is close at hand – your own workplace supervisor and colleagues. They may have many years of experience and accumulated knowledge that they will be happy to share with you. They may also be updating their own practice and ideas, and may have information that they would be willing for you to use too.

Understanding new information
Reading and hearing about new studies and pieces of research is all very well, but you must understand what

consistent with the results consistent with the way in which the research was carried out consistent in the way in which the information has been interpreted.

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Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma

The research process
You will need to understand some of the basic terms that are used when discussing research in any field. Primary research refers to information or data that is obtained directly from the research carried out, not from books or previously published works. Secondary research refers to information obtained from books, previously published research and reports, CD-ROMs, the Internet, and so on – any information obtained from work carried out by others. For example, if you were asked to write an assignment, you would be most likely to find the information from secondary sources such as textbooks or the Internet, rather than carrying out a research project yourself in order to obtain the information you need. The information obtained from research is often referred to as data – this is regardless of whether it is in numbers or in words. There are two broad areas of approach to research and they determine both how the research is carried out and the type of results obtained. They are: • •

Key terms
Primary research – the collection of data that does not already exist. Quantitative research – research that is measurable and in numeric form. Qualitative research – research that is based on attitudes, opinions and
perceptions – it analyses data in terms of quality. Secondary research – the summary or gathering of existing research and data.

Quantitative research
Quantitative research is about measuring. It produces hard facts and figures, and uses statistics and numbers to draw conclusions and make an analysis. Many researchers in the field of health and social care use quantitative approaches and produce quantitative data. They may carry out ‘experiments’ using many of the rules of scientific investigation. In general, if you are reading research that provides statistics

quantitative research qualitative research.





News programmes

Current and emerging theories and research

Current affairs programmes



Newspaper articles

Are you making use of all the options for finding out up-to-date information?


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Engage in personal development

Unit SHC 32

and numerical information and is based purely on facts, it is likely to have used one of the quantitative approaches. Many government publications are good examples of quantitative research – they give statistics in relation to the National Health Service, for example, such as the numbers of patients on waiting lists, the numbers having a particular operation or the numbers of residents in nursing homes throughout the country.

Activity 3

Quantitative and qualitative research
Find two pieces of research (one quantitative and one qualitative) carried out within the past two years using any of the following sources: • • • • • • newspapers journals reports television the Internet textbooks.

Qualitative research
A qualitative approach looks at the quality rather than the quantity of something. It could be used, for example, to investigate the feelings of people who have remained on the waiting list for treatment, or people’s attitudes towards residential care, or the relationships between those in residential care and those who care for them. Generally, qualitative data is produced in words rather than figures and will consist of descriptions and information about people’s lives, experiences and attitudes. Your work practice should be updated and improved as a result of reading research articles, watching TV programmes and attending training days. It is often difficult to find time to keep up to date and to change

Read the results of both pieces of research and make a note of the differences in the type of information provided.

the practices you are used to. Any form of change takes time and is almost always a little uncomfortable or unusual to begin with. You will need to make a very conscious effort to incorporate new learning into your practice. You need to allocate time to updating your knowledge, and incorporating it into your practice. You could try the following ways to ensure that you are using the new knowledge you have gained.

Case study: Opportunities for self-directed training
Olesya works as a care worker at a big, busy day centre and meets many of the families of people who have chosen to use the centre as part of their support plan. One day she was chatting to the son of one of the older people using the centre and they ended up discussing the issue of teenage drug use and crime. Olesya was critical of the young people taking drugs until the man she was talking to mentioned that his son was an addict. He explained how it had taken a hold on his son’s life, but he was trying to get better through a local drug programme. Olesya felt embarrassed, and decided she needed to know more about the drugs issue. She got in touch with the local drug programme and spoke to the manager, explaining that she would like to learn more about the drug rehabilitation services available to young people. She arranged to spend some time on a selfdirected ‘work experience’ placement at the centre, and is now a volunteer there, helping to run the coffee bar. In her reflective diary she writes the following.

Really tired tonight. All day at work and then two hours at the centre. Spent half an hour with a young girl who was crying because her dad has threatened to kick her out. Helped her fill in some forms and arrange to see social services. All this is making me more aware, and I hope a better all-round support worker.

1. What benefits do you think will come from Olesya’s self-directed training? 2. Who will benefit from her new experience? 3. How can training help to overcome prejudice?

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Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma

New knowledge is not only about emerging theories. It is also often about day-to-day aspects of your practice, which are just as important and can make just as much difference to the quality of support you provide. It is also about taking your practice forward by developing your knowledge across a range of situations.

Doing it well

Applying new skills and knowledge in practice
• Plan out how you will adapt your practice on a day-to-day basis, adding one new aspect each day. Do this until you have covered all the aspects of the new information you have learned. • Discuss with your supervisor and colleagues what you have learned and how you intend to change your practice, and ask for feedback. • Write a checklist for yourself and review it at the end of each day. • Give yourself a set period of time, for example, one month, to alter or improve your practice, and review it at the end of that time. Do you talk to colleagues about day-to-day practice?

Most supervision will take place at scheduled times but you may also be able to discuss issues in the course of hand-over meetings or team meetings, and other dayto-day activities. Use supervision time or quiet periods to discuss situations which have arisen, problems you have come across or new approaches you have noticed other colleagues using.

Activity 4

Enhancing your practice through reflection
1. Plan a feedback session with your manager. You may have straightforward questions, or more complicated issues to do with appropriate decisions about rights and risks, such as, ‘How did you make the decision that it was safe enough for Mr Jackson to go out to the shops by himself, when there are obvious risks?’ 2. Try discussing such issues with different experienced colleagues – you may be surprised at what you learn.

2.2 Demonstrate the ability to reflect on practice
Not all of the learning you do will take place on a course or a lecture, or through the latest textbook. A very large amount of your learning will take place while doing your job. Everything you do at work is part of a process of learning. Even regular tasks are likely to be important for learning because there is always something new each time you do them. A simple task like taking someone a hot drink may result in a lesson – for example, you may find that the person tells you they do not want tea, but would prefer coffee this morning. You will have learned a valuable lesson about never making assumptions that everything will be the same. Learning from working is also about using the huge amount of skills and experience that your colleagues and supervisor have. Not only does this mean they will be able to pass on knowledge and advice to you, but also you have the perfect opportunity to discuss ideas and talk about day-to-day practice in the service you are delivering.

Using your mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes – they are one way of learning. It is important not to waste your mistakes, so if something has gone wrong, make sure you learn from it. Discuss problems and mistakes with your supervisor, and work out how to do things differently next time. You can use reflective skills in order to learn from situations that have not worked out the way you planned. It is important that you consider carefully why things turned out the way they did and think about how you will ensure that they go according to plan next time.


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Engage in personal development

Unit SHC 32

Unfortunately, there are real people on the receiving end of any mistakes in social care, and learning how not to make mistakes again is vitally important.

Using your successes
Talking to colleagues and supervisors is equally useful when things work out really well, as it is important to reflect on success as well as failure. If you reflect on why something worked, this will make it more likely that you can repeat it.

friendships, it is natural to spend time with people who share your interests and values. However, the professional relationships you develop with people you support are another matter. As a professional, you are required to provide the same quality of support for all, not just for those who share your views and beliefs. This may seem obvious, but knowing what you need to do and achieving it successfully are not the same thing. Working in the social care sector, you are bound to come across people whose views you do not agree with, and who never seem to understand your point of view. Awareness of differences, your reaction to them and how they affect the way you work is a crucial part of personal and professional development. If you allow your own preferences to dominate your work with people, you will fail to perform to the standards of the Codes of Practice for social care workers set out by the UK regulating bodies. All the codes require care workers to respect and promote people’s individual views and wishes. But how do you manage to make the right responses when there is a clash between your views and those of the people you are working for? The first step is to identify and understand your own views and values.

2.3 Describe how own values, belief systems and experiences may affect working practice Everyone has different values, beliefs and preferences. What you believe in, what you see as important and what you see as acceptable or desirable is an essential part of who you are. The way in which you respond to people is linked to what you believe in, what you consider important and what interests you. You may find you react positively to people who share your values and less warmly to people who have different priorities. When you develop

Have you noticed how you have friendships with people who reflect your own values, interests and beliefs?

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Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma

Being aware of the factors that have influenced the development of your personality is not as easy as it sounds. You may feel you know yourself very well, but knowing who you are is not the same as understanding how your beliefs are influencing your reactions – understanding how you got to be you.

Think about the factors that have influenced your own development, and the values and beliefs that you now hold. Which factors have had the strongest effect in making you who you are? Which factors continue to influence you and the way you work? The factors can include your background, education and family, but they can also include individuals – perhaps a teacher, a supervisor or a friend. This is not something you can do in ten minutes – take your time; think about it over a period of days or weeks if you need to. Then try to find a colleague or a friend, preferably with a very different background, who is also prepared to do this exercise. Compare results and try to imagine what it would have been like to live their life
and to have experienced the influences that they have.

Activity 5

Exploring your values
1. Take a range of about six or seven items from a newspaper. Make a note of your views and your feelings on each one – does it shock or disgust you, make you sad or angry, or grateful that it has not happened to you? 2. Think about why you reacted in the way you did to each item. Think about what may have influenced you to feel that way – this may include complex factors such as your upbringing and background, experiences you had as a child and as an adult, and relationships you have shared with others. 3. Think about how your reactions could affect your work. Do any of the people you support share some of the views you disagree with? Have any of them been involved in situations you disapprove of? Do any of them annoy you? What about colleagues? 4. Make some notes about aspects of your attitudes or working practices that you may need to change.

Key influences on development
The following are some of the key factors associated with differences between people – the factors that can result in different people having different values. We are strongly influenced by our contact with other people. But different people live very different lives and mix with communities that have very different beliefs. People have different cultures, family values, religions, social class backgrounds and so on. Men often grow up with very different expectations and experience of life from women. Older people are likely to have had different life experiences than younger people. Some ways in which people are different from each other (or diverse) are shown in Table 1 on page 52.

Unravelling these influences is never easy, and you are not being asked to carry out an in-depth analysis of yourself. You simply need to begin to realise how your development has been influenced by a range of factors.

Factors that influence your development
Everyone’s values and beliefs are affected to different degrees by the same range of factors. These include the following. Each of us will be influenced to a greater or lesser degree by these layers of influence. As each individual is different, the extent of the influences will be different for each person. It is therefore important that you have considered and reflected on the influences on your development so that you understand how you became the person you are.

Key term
Diverse – being different; people are unique according to their own background, culture, personality, race, any disability, gender, religion/belief, sexual orientation and age.


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Engage in personal development

Unit SHC 32

Circles of influence.

The way your parents/ carers taught you to behave as a child

Ideas and ways of thinking that you developed with friends when you were a teenager

Ideas and beliefs associated with your current network of friends and work colleagues

Own beliefs

Ideas and beliefs that you developed from mixing with others in you local

Ideas and beliefs associated with your culture

Ideas and beliefs associated with your religion

Ideas and beliefs you have developed from newspapers, magazines and TV programmes Possible influences on your ideas and beliefs.

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Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma

Area Age

How they differ People may be classified as being children, teenagers, young adults, middle-aged or old. Discrimination can creep into our thinking if we see some age groups as being ‘the best’, or if we make assumptions about the abilities of different age groups. In the past, men often had more rights and were seen as more important than women. Assumptions about gender, such as what is women’s or men’s work, can still result in mistakes and discrimination. There are ethnic categories such as black or white, or European, African or Asian. Many people have specific national identities such as Polish, Nigerian, English or Welsh. Assumptions about racial characteristics and beliefs, or thinking that some groups are superior to others, result in discrimination. People differ in their upbringing, the kind of work they do and the money they earn. People also differ in their lifestyle and the views and values that go with different levels of income and spending habits. People may discriminate against others because their class or lifestyle is different. People grow up in different traditions of religion. For some people, spiritual beliefs are at the centre of their understanding of life. For others, religion influences the cultural
traditions that they celebrate; for example, many Europeans celebrate Christmas even though they might not see themselves as practising Christians. Discrimination can take place when people assume that their customs or beliefs should apply to everyone else. Many people see their sexual orientation as very important to understanding who they are. Gay and lesbian relationships are often discriminated against. Heterosexual people sometimes judge other types of sexuality as ‘wrong’ or abnormal. People may make assumptions about what is ‘normal’. People with physical disabilities or learning difficulties may become labelled, stereotyped and discriminated against. People choose many different lifestyles and emotional commitments, such as marriage, having children, living in a large family, living a single lifestyle but having sexual partners, or being single and not being sexually active. People live within different family and friendship groups. Discrimination can happen if people start to judge that one lifestyle is ‘right’ or best. People can develop different views as to how a government should act, how welfare provision should be organised and so on. Disagreement and debate are necessary; but it is important not to judge people as bad or stupid because their views are different from ours.






Ability Relationships


Table 1: Ways in which people differ.

Key term
Discrimination – unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice.

Problems arise because our own culture and life experience may lead us to make assumptions as to what is ‘right’ or ‘normal’. When we meet people who are different it can be easy to see them as ‘not

right’ or ‘not normal’. Different people see the world in different ways. Look at the image on the following page. If a person was used to seeing this cube in one way, they might be sure that view was the right one. In the same way, our culture may lead us to think that some habits are more ‘normal’ than others. However, in a multicultural, multifaith society such as the UK, it is more difficult to define what ‘normal’ is.


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Engage in personal development

Unit SHC 32

This is the normal front of the cube


No – this is the normal front
Which is the ‘normal’ front of the cube?

Which is the ‘normal’ front of the cube?

Getting ready for assessment
This assessment is competence-based and requires you to show that you can
evaluate your own performance. You need to be able to demonstrate that you can measure your own work against relevant standards. You may do this through a written evaluation or in a verbal presentation. To do this you will have to show how you can demonstrate where your practice meets the standards and where there are areas that need further development. The requirement to reflect on your own values and beliefs may be a written assignment or it may be in the form of a discussion with your assessor.

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Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma

3. Be able to evaluate own performance
3.1 Evaluate own knowledge, performance and understanding against relevant standards Once you have begun to identify the major factors that have influenced your development, the next stage is to look at how they have affected the way in which you work and relate to the people with whom you work. This is the basis of developing into a ‘reflective practitioner’ – someone who evaluates what they do. When working in social care, to be effective and to provide the best possible service for those you support, you need to be able to think about and evaluate what you do and the way you work, and to identify your strengths and weaknesses. It is important that you learn to think about your own practice in a constructive way. Reflection and evaluation should not undermine your confidence in your own work; rather, you should use them in a constructive way to identify areas for improvement. The ability to do this is an indication of excellent practice. Any workers in social care who believe that they have no need to improve their practice or to develop and add to their skills and understanding are not demonstrating good and competent practice, but rather an arrogant and potentially dangerous lack of understanding of the nature of work in the sector. Becoming a thoughtful practitioner is not about torturing yourself with self-doubts and examining your weaknesses until you reach the point
where your self-confidence is at zero. But it is important that you examine the work you have done and identify areas where you know you need to carry out additional development. A useful tool in learning to become a reflective practitioner is to develop a checklist which you can use, either after you have dealt with a difficult situation or at the end of each shift or day’s work, to look at your own performance.

Doing it well

Checklist to evaluate practice
1. How did I approach my work? 2. Was my approach positive? 3. How did the way I worked affect the people I support? 4. How did the way I worked affect my colleagues? 5. Did I give my work 100 per cent? 6. Which was the best aspect of the work I did? 7. Which was the worst aspect of the work I did? 8. Was this work the best I could do? 9. Are there any areas in which I could improve? 10. If so, what are they, and how will I tackle them?

• • •

what you are trying to achieve how you are you going to achieve it how you will be able to tell when you have achieved it.

If, for example, you were planning to develop your communication skills, you might have the aim of establishing a degree of trust with someone you support. You would not be able to plan a set strategy to produce trust – it is a feeling that might grow and develop within a supportive relationship. But you could list some of the skills you would be using in your communication that would contribute to the development of a supportive relationship. You will need to have an understanding of relationships in order to be able to explain what you are planning. You should use theory during the planning stage of your work in order to identify how you will know if you have achieved your aim. Thinking clearly about what you are doing can have benefits, as shown by the following diagram.

Your approach to professional development
A key factor is to be organised in your approach to professional development. You should know:


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Unit SHC 32

Stability, security and clarity for individuals

The ability to stay focused on important issues

Increased professional credibility

Improved ability to negotiate

The importance of a systematic approach

Less stress if care workers are clear about their intentions

Improved ability to manage workload Improved job satisfaction

Better opportunities for learning

The importance of a systematic approach.

Case study: Setting aims and objectives
Mr Gommer has been very unhappy since the death of his wife just over a year ago. He has stopped going out and has had no interest in meeting other people or becoming involved in activities. You provide support to Mr Gommer and he has asked you to help him in re-establishing contact with other
people. You make a plan so that you can check how well this has worked. This type of plan will help you see if you are achieving your aim at each stage, by checking your progress. You will then know at which point something has not worked and can ask for help if necessary from your colleagues and supervisor. It will also help you to know when something has gone well and if your plan has worked. Do not simply pat yourself on the back! Explore why your work went well. Use your supervision time and opportunities to talk with experienced colleagues.

What needs to be achieved (the aim): Improve Mr Gommer’s social contacts Goals which help to measure success (objectives): Mr Gommer to agree to meet local organiser of Age Concern Mr Gommer to attend St Chad’s luncheon club How to do it (method): 1. Talk to him about meeting the organiser and secure his agreement 2. Arrange the meeting at his home 3. Be there for the meeting 4. Be positive and encouraging 5. Offer to accompany him for his first visit to the luncheon club 6. Arrange transport for his first visit 7. Go with him

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Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma

Making good use of training and development opportunities
Personal development is to do with developing the personal qualities and skills that everyone needs in order to live and work with others, such as understanding, empathy, patience, communication and relationship-building. It is also to do with the development of self-confidence, self-esteem and self-respect. If you look back on the ways in which you have changed over the past five years, you are likely to find that you are different in quite a few ways. Most people change as they mature and gain more life experience. Important experiences such as changing jobs, moving home, illness or bereavement can change people. It is inevitable that your personal development and your professional development are linked – your personality
and the way you relate to others are the major tools you use to do your job. Taking advantage of every opportunity to train and develop your working skills will also have an impact on you as a person.

Professional development is to do with developing the qualities and skills that are necessary for the workplace. Examples are: • • • • • • •

teamwork the ability to communicate with different types of people time management organisation problem solving decision making the skills specific to the job.

Continuing professional development involves regularly updating the skills you need for your work. You can achieve this through attending training sessions both on and off the job, and by making the most of the opportunities you have for training by careful planning and preparation.

How to get the best out of training
Your supervisor will work with you to decide on the types of training that will benefit you most. This will depend on the stage you have reached with your skills and experience. There would be little point, for example, in doing a course in advanced micro-surgery techniques if you were at the stage of having just achieved your first aid certificate! It may be that not all the training you want to do is appropriate for the work you are currently assigned to – you may think that a course in advanced therapeutic activities sounds fascinating, but your supervisor may suggest that a

Key terms
Personal development – developing the personal qualities and skills needed to live and work with others. Professional development – developing the qualities and skills necessary for the workforce.

Case study: Choosing appropriate training
Michelle is a health care support worker in a large hospital, on a busy ward. She was very aware of the fact that she lacked assertiveness in the way she dealt with both her colleagues and many of the people whom she supported.
Michelle was always the one who agreed to run errands and to cover additional tasks that others should have been doing. She knew that she ought to be able to say no, but somehow she could not. She then became angry and resentful because she felt she was doing far more work than many others on her team. Her supervisor raised the issue during a supervision session and suggested that Michelle should consider attending assertiveness training. Although initially reluctant, Michelle decided to take the opportunity. After six weeks of attending classes and working with the supportive group she met there, Michelle found that she was able to deal far more effectively with unfair and unreasonable requests from her colleagues. She was also able to deal in a firm but pleasant way with the people she supported. 1. What difference is Michelle’s training likely to make: a) to the people she supports b) to herself? 2. Have you ever said ‘yes’ to extra work or additional responsibility when you wanted to say ‘no’? How did this make you feel? 3. What could you have done about it?


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Unit SHC 32

Do you know about all the different types of training?

course in basic moving and handling is what you need right now. You will only get the best out of training and development opportunities if they are the right ones for you at the time. There will be opportunities for training throughout your career, and it is important that you work out which training is going to help you to achieve your goals.

Doing it well

Make the most of training by: • preparing well • taking a full part in the training • asking questions about anything you do not understand • collecting any handouts and keeping your own notes of the training • thinking about how to apply your learning to your work, by discussing the training with your supervisor later • reviewing the ways in which you have benefited from the training.

Get the most out of training and development
You should work with your supervisor to prepare for any training you receive, and to review it afterwards. You may want to prepare for a training session by: • • •

reading any materials which have been provided in advance talking to your supervisor or a colleague who has attended similar training, about what to expect thinking about what you want to achieve as a result of attending the training.

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Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma

Activity 6

Training session review
1. Think about the last training or development session you took part in and write a short report. 2. What preparations did you make beforehand so that you could benefit fully from it? 3. What did you do at the session? For example, what and how did you contribute, and what did you learn? Do you have a certificate to show that you participated in the session? Do you have a set of notes? 4. How did you follow up the session? Did you review the goals you had set yourself, or discuss the session with your supervisor? 5.
Describe how you have used what you learned at the session. For example, how has the way you work changed, and how have the people you support and your colleagues benefited from your learning?

3.2 Demonstrate use of feedback to evaluate own performance and inform development You will need to be prepared to receive feedback on your performance. It may be from your supervisor, your manager, your colleagues or the people you support. It is not always easy to welcome it and to use it to improve your practice, but you will need to work hard until you can do just that. While it is best for feedback to be given in a positive way, this does not mean that it will be uncritical. Many people have considerable difficulty in accepting criticism in any form, even where it is intended to be supportive and constructive. If you are aware that you are likely to have difficulty accepting criticism, try to prepare yourself to view feedback from any source as valuable and useful information that can add to your ability to reflect effectively on your work. This is not easy, but it is essential if you are to develop into a reflective and effective practitioner.

Do you get the best from supervision by preparing well?


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Activity 7

Constructive criticism
1. Ask a colleague, or a friend or family member, to offer some constructive criticism on a task you have undertaken – for example, a practical activity such as cooking a meal, or work you have undertaken in the garden or in the
house. 2. Work hard on accepting the criticism as constructive and helpful. Try to make a positive response. 3. How did the constructive criticism make you feel? If you found it hard to deal with, why do you think this was? If you are able to practise receiving feedback on something that is relatively unthreatening, you are likely to be able to use the same techniques when considering feedback on your working practices.

Your response to negative feedback should not be to defend your actions or to reject the feedback. You must try to accept and value it. A useful reply would be: ‘Thank you, that’s very helpful. I can use that next time to improve.’ If you are able to do this, you are likely to be able to make the maximum use of opportunities to improve your practice. On the other hand, if criticism of any kind undermines your confidence and makes it difficult for you to value your own strengths, you should ask your supervisor to identify areas in which you did well. Use this positive feedback to help you respond more constructively to the negative feedback.

Getting ready for assessment
This assessment is focused on your personal development plan. The activities you review will need to be linked to one of the goals in the plan, and you will have to show how you have used the plan to record how well you are progressing towards your goals. The review of the development activities may be a written one, or you may be asked to provide a verbal presentation. In either case, you must provide a brief description of the activity and then show how it has assisted your progress towards the goals set out in your development plan.

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Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma

4. Be able to agree a personal development plan
4.1 Identify sources of support for planning and reviewing own development There are many sources of support that you can access and many different ways that you can help yourself, when developing your practice. The appraisal or supervision system in your workplace can be a good starting point. This will help you to identify areas of your practice that need to be developed, and to plan to use opportunities for training and development. Some employers provide appraisal at six-monthly or 12-monthly intervals, but supervision should be at least once a month. This gives you a good opportunity to use the experience and knowledge of your supervisor to help you plan how to move forward in your practice.

Working as a personal assistant
If you work as a personal assistant and the person who employs you is also the person you support, then you may not have formal supervision sessions. Alternatively, your employer may be linked into other employers and able to access a local scheme offering support and supervision through the Local Authority or through a Sector Skills Council. However, if there is no support, you will be on your own and will need to find ways to access training and development with the support of your employer. There are plenty of suggestions in this section as to where you can find information to make sure that your practice is up to date. You may want to find some opportunities for volunteering in order to gain work experience in areas of practice that you want to develop.

Getting the most out of supervision
Make sure that you are well prepared for sessions with your supervisor so that you can get maximum benefit from them. This will mean bringing together your reflections on your own practice, using examples and case notes where appropriate. You will need to demonstrate to your supervisor that you have reflected on your own practice and that you have begun identifying areas for development. If you can provide evidence through case notes and records to support this, it will assist your supervisor greatly.

Activity 8

Supervision of staff
1. Ask your supervisor for a copy of the relevant policy or plan at work on the supervision of staff. 2. Read the plan and note down what it covers – for example: • how you will be supervised • how often you can expect to be formally supervised • what things your supervisor will be able to help you with in your work role and career. 3. If the plan is not clear, make a list of the things on which you would like your supervisor’s support, and agree a time and place to discuss these items with them. 4. If you are working alone, work out how you are going to keep your practice up to date. How will you find out about any training and development programmes that may be useful?

Your supervisor’s role
Your supervisor’s role is to support and advise you in your work and to make sure that you know and understand: • •

your rights and responsibilities as an employee what your job involves and the procedures your employer has in place to help you carry out your job properly the approach to social care where you work – that is, the beliefs, values and attitudes of your employer regarding the way that people are supported, and how you can demonstrate values in the way you do your work your career development needs – the education and training requirements for the job roles you may progress into, as well as for your current job.

Using informal networks
Informal support networks are likely to consist of your work colleagues. These can be major sources of support and assistance. Part of the effectiveness of many teams in many workplaces is their ability to provide useful ideas for improving practice, and their provision of support when things go badly.


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Do you have any informal networks to support you?

Some staff teams provide a completely informal and ad-hoc support system, where people give advice, guidance and support as and when necessary. Other teams will organise this on a more regular basis, and they may get together to discuss specific situations or problems that have arisen for members of the team. These are often called Action Learning Sets and provide excellent opportunities to share issues and good practice with colleagues in similar roles to you. In order to develop and improve your practice effectively, you need to be sure that you are making maximum use of all opportunities to gain support, advice and feedback.

Activity 9

Formal and informal support networks
1. Identify the formal and informal support networks in your workplace. 2. Note down the ways in which you use the different types of network and how they support your development. 3. Think about an occasion when you have used a network to improve your practice. How did you feel about being supported by colleagues? How useful was it? If you can, makes some notes so that you can use the network again in the future. If you do not have access to a network, think about starting one.

Key term
Action Learning Set – a group of between about four and seven people, who meet regularly to support one another in their learning in order to take
purposeful action on work issues.

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Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma

4.2 Demonstrate how to work with others to review and prioritise own learning needs, professional interests and development opportunities Using training and development sessions
One of the formal ways of reflecting on your own practice and identifying strengths, weaknesses and areas for development is during training opportunities. On a course, or at a training day, aspects of your practice and areas of knowledge that are new to you will be discussed, and this will often open up avenues that you had not previously considered. This is one of the major benefits of making the most of all the training and education opportunities that are available to you.

4.3 Demonstrate how to work with others to agree own personal development plan A personal development plan is a very important document, as it identifies your training and development needs. Because the plan is updated when you have taken part in training and development, it also provides a record of participation. You should work out a personal development plan with your supervisor. Remember that it is essentially your plan for your career. You need to think about what you want to achieve, and discuss with your supervisor the best ways of achieving your goals. If you do not work with a supervisor, you can still prepare a plan and follow it through for yourself. There is no single right way to prepare a personal development plan. There are plenty of different models and styles; what matters is what is in the plan. It should include: • • •

different development areas, such as practical skills and communication skills the goals or targets you have set – such as learning to manage a team
a timescale for achieving these goals or targets.

Are you getting the most out of training days?

Timescales must be realistic; for example, if you decided that you needed to achieve competence in managing a team in six months, this would be unrealistic and unachievable. You would inevitably fail to meet your target and would run the risk of becoming demoralised and demotivated. But if your target was to attend a training and development programme on

Case study: Identifying opportunities to improve practice
Palvinder is a support worker in a unit for young adults with disabilities, run by a leading charity. He was aware that his knowledge of disability legislation was not as comprehensive as it ought to be. He felt uncertain about answering some of the questions that the young people put to him. Palvinder raised this issue with his line manager, who immediately found that training days were provided by the Local Authority that would help Palvinder to learn about the relevant legislation. Following his training days, Palvinder felt far more confident, as not only had he learned a great deal during the course itself, but he had also been given some handouts and been informed about useful textbooks and websites. 1. How will Palvinder benefit personally from taking this training? 2. How will the individuals Palvinder works with benefit? 3. Are you confident about your knowledge of legislation relating to your own work? If not, what steps are you taking to improve it?


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Engage in personal development

Unit SHC 32

team building during the next six months and to lead two team meetings by the end of the six months, those goals and targets would be realistic and you would be likely to achieve them. When you have set your targets, you will need to review your progress towards achieving them – this should happen every six months or so. You need to look at what you have achieved and how your plan needs to be updated. Development plans can take many forms, but the best

ones are likely to be developed in conjunction with your manager or workplace supervisor. You need to consider the ‘areas of competence’ carefully and understand which ones you need to develop for your work role. Categorise each area as one of the following: • • •

you feel fully confident in this area there is room for improvement and development you have very limited current ability.

The headings in Table 2 are example suggestions only.

Development plan Area of competence Time management and workload organisation Goals Learn to use computer recording and information systems Action plan Attend two-day training and use study pack. Attend follow-up training days. Use computer instead of writing reports by hand

Review date: 3 months Professional development priorities My priorities for training and development in the next 6 months My priorities for training and development in the next 6–12 months IT and computerised record systems As above, and assessor training

Repeat this exercise in: 6 months and review the areas of competence and priorities Table 2: A sample development plan.

Getting ready for assessment
This assessment is essentially competence-based. You are required to produce your own development plan, with the support of a supervisor, tutor or other colleague. You will need to show that you have considered what you want to
achieve and identified the areas of your practice that require improvement.

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Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma

5. Be able to use learning opportunities and reflective practice to contribute to personal development 5.1 Evaluate how learning activities have affected practice
When you have identified skills and knowledge you would like to improve, the next step is to set about learning. There are many theories about how people learn, and being able to understand how you learn is often helpful to the process of learning. A useful theory is the Lewin/Kolb cycle of experiential learning, as shown in the diagram below. • •

Active experimentation: next time the same situation occurs, you apply your rules or theories.

This will make your experience different from the first time, so you will have different factors to think about and different things to learn – and this means the cycle continues. You never stop learning. Imagine that you are working with a man who has a learning disability that means he does not speak. It is the first time you have met him and you are offering him a drink at lunchtime. You offer a glass of orange squash by placing it in front of him. He immediately pushes the glass away with a facial expression that you take to express disgust. Within Kolb’s learning cycle you have had a concrete experience.

Concrete experience: something happens to you or you do something; it can be an unusual event or something you do every day. Reflective observation: you think about it. Abstract conceptualisation: you work out some general rules
about it, or you realise that it fits into a theory or pattern you already know about.

• •

Stage 1
Stage 1 of the learning cycle is the experience that this individual has rejected your offer of orange squash. But why has he reacted in this way?

Concrete experience

Active experimentation

Reflective observation

Abstract conceptualisation
Kolb’s cycle.


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Engage in personal development

Unit SHC 32

The stages of Kolb’s cycle.

Stage 2
Stage 2 involves thinking through some possible reasons for the reaction. • • • • • •

membership, the more you can analyse his reaction. You need to choose the most likely explanation for his behaviour using everything you know about

Perhaps he does not like orange squash? Perhaps he does not like the way you put it in front of him? Perhaps he does not like to take a drink with his meal? Could it be that he prefers a hot drink? Could a cold drink make him feel he is being treated as a child? Does he see adult status as defined by having a hot drink?

Stage 4
Kolb’s fourth stage involves experimenting, or checking out ideas and assumptions that you may have made. You could attempt to modify your non-verbal behaviour to look supportive. You might show the person a cup and saucer to indicate the question: ‘Is this what you would like?’ If he responds with a positive non-verbal response, you would have been around the four stages of the cycle and would have solved the problem in a way that valued the individuality and diversity of the person. You can expect to have to go round this learning cycle a number of times before you are able to understand and interpret a person’s needs correctly. How quickly can you work through these four stages? Would you be able to think through these issues while working with someone, or would you need to go away and reflect on practice? The answer to these questions might depend on the amount of experience you have had in similar situations.

Reflection on the non-verbal behaviour of the person may provide a range of starting points for interpreting his actions.

Stage 3
Kolb’s third stage involves trying to make sense of your reflections. What do you know about different cultural interpretations of non-verbal behaviour? What are the chances that the way you placed the drink in front of the person has been construed as an attempt to control or dominate him? You did not intend to send this message, but he may have interpreted your behaviour on an emotional level as being unpleasant. The more you know about human psychology and social group

Your learning style
Following on from this, Honey and Mumford (1982) developed a theory based on this idea of a four-stage

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Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma

Stage 1: Activists People who concentrate on experience

Stage 4: Pragmatists People who like to try things out

Stage 2: Reflectors People who like to stand back and think about experience

Stage 3: Theorists People who like to concentrate on analysis Honey and Mumford’s theory of learning styles.
Honey and Mumford’s theory of learning styles

process of learning from experience. They theorised that some people develop a preference for a particular part of the learning cycle. In other words, people learn better from different parts of the process. Honey and Mumford’s theory of learning styles fits the four-stage learning cycle as follows. • • • •

Activists enjoy the activity of meeting new people and having new experiences. Reflectors mainly enjoy sitting down and thinking things through. Theorists enjoy analysing issues in terms of established theoretical principles. Pragmatists prefer trying out new ideas in practice.

Honey and Mumford have argued that the ideal way to approach practical learning is to balance all the components of the learning cycle. Some people can achieve this more holistic approach. For other people it might be
important to recognise their own biases and to try to compensate for relying too much on one style.

Key term
Bias – an unfair influence, whether positive or negative.

Think about the ways in which you learn new things. Do you tend to enjoy or use one part of the learning cycle more than others? How have you worked this out? Use some examples and try it out so that you are sure that you have got it right. Think about ways in which you could develop your skills in other parts of the cycle.

You can test your own learning style preference or obtain further details of tests based on this theory at www.peterhoney.com The ‘four-stage’ or ‘cycle’ theory of learning from experience is just one model of learning. It may be useful in practice, especially as a way of approaching complicated, non-routine problem solving. There are many other ways in which care workers might undertake personal development.


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Unit SHC 32

Activity 10

• • •

Reflective diary
Keep a reflective diary for a week. At the end of each working day, spend
half an hour writing down one or two key issues that concerned you or irritated you, or that you did well. 1. How did you respond to these issues? 2. How could you learn from this experience to take your own practice forward?

following up information on the Internet making use of local library facilities or learning resource centres asking questions and holding professional discussions with colleagues and managers.

Activity 11

Learning methods
1. Write down the different ways of learning that you have experienced. Ways of learning that you might find useful include: • watching other people • asking questions and listening to the answers • finding things out for yourself • going to college and attending training courses • studying a distance learning course or a course on the Internet. 2. Which have been the most enjoyable and most successful for you? 3. How could you use this information about how you best like to learn in order to update your workplace skills?

Different ways of learning
Formal training and development are not the only ways you can learn and expand your knowledge and understanding. There are plenty of other ways to keep up progress towards the goals you want to achieve. Not everyone learns best from formal training. Other ways people learn are from: • • •

being shown by more experienced colleagues working and discussing issues as a team or group reading textbooks, journals and articles

Do you make use of libraries and resource centres?

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5.2 Demonstrate how reflective practice has led to improved ways of working The purpose of reflective practice is to improve and develop your practice by thinking about what you are doing. Reflection involves taking time to consider how you are working and why you are doing things in a particular way. Thinking and reflecting is like any other skill – you can learn it, and you can practise it until you become very good at it. Becoming a reflective practitioner means thinking not only about your actions, but also about the people you support. Learning to reflect will help you to understand people better because learning to take the time to reflect helps you to consider why people behave in particular ways and what messages the behaviour is trying to convey. Spending time reflecting on the people you support will ultimately mean that you have a greater understanding of them and provide a better service. The important thing is to think positively about areas of your work that you can improve. Reflection that does not identify areas for improvement is of little value – in fact, it can be highly destructive. Reflective practice means that you need to use the learning cycle (see page 64) to consider: • • •

Thinking about your practice means that you keep learning, because there is always something new. Earlier in this unit you looked at the factors that influence your practice; understanding all of this is part of being a reflective practitioner. You need to be able to see how and why your practice has developed and the factors that have influenced and shaped the development. It is not possible to consider properly what you have been doing, if you do not understand what has influenced you to take the actions that you have. Reflecting on your practice means bringing together everything you have learned in this unit and using it to understand and improve every aspect of your professional practice.

Think about an occasion when you have been able to look at an area of your
own practice or knowledge that needed improvement, and the steps you took to make the changes. What did you do, and what factors made you choose a particular course of action? Consider where you looked for help and what you found to be the most and least useful actions you took. Finally, think about how you can use this experience to make future changes and improvements to your practice. Has looking back at a previous occasion made it easier to plan for the future? What does this tell you about how you work best?

what your experience was what it has taught you how you can make use of what you have learned.

Case study: Seeking constructive feedback
Lewis works in a large residential setting for elderly adults where one of the people he supports is Mrs Kaur, an Indian woman who speaks very little English. Mrs Kaur has many relatives who visit her regularly, and has long and animated conversations with them. But when she has no visitors, Mrs Kaur is very quiet. She hardly responds at all when Lewis tries to talk to her and is unwilling to talk to the other residents or to take part in any of the activities on offer. Lewis is concerned that Mrs Kaur may feel isolated. He would like to be able to communicate with her better and to improve his own practice. 1. What are the barriers to communication between Lewis and Mrs Kaur? 2. Whom could Lewis speak to about the situation? 3. What other actions could he take to improve his practice?


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Engage in personal development

Unit SHC 32

5.3 Show how to record progress in relation to personal development Once you have completed your plan, you can identify the areas on which you need to
concentrate. You should set some goals and targets, and your supervisor should be able to help you ensure they are realistic. This is a personal development programme for you and you must be sure that it reflects not only the objectives of your organisation and the job roles they may want you to fulfil, but also your personal ambitions and aspirations. When you have identified the areas in which you feel competent and you have chosen your target areas for development, you will need to design a personal development log to keep a record of your progress. This can be put together in any way that you find effective.

In your plan, you may wish to include things as varied as:
• • •

learning sign language learning a particular technique for working with people with dementia developing your potential as a manager by learning organisational and human resources skills.

You could also include areas such as time management and stress management. All of these are legitimate areas for inclusion in your personal and professional development plan.

Activity 12

Personal development plan
1. Prepare a personal development plan. You should use a computer to do this, even if you print out a hard copy in order to keep a personal portfolio. Use the model on the following pages to prepare your plan. 2. Complete the plan as far as you can at the present time. Note where you want your career to be in the short, medium and long term. You should also write down the training you want to complete and the skills you want to gain. You should do this on a computer if possible, otherwise complete a hard copy and keep it in a file. 3. Update the plan regularly. Keep on reviewing it with your supervisor.

Personal Development Plan Name: Workplace: Supervisor: Long-term goals (1–5
years) Medium-term goals (6–12 months) Short-term goals (next 6 months) Areas of strength Areas of weakness

Training and development
This section of your plan helps you to look at what you need to do in order to reach the goals you recorded in the first section. You should make a note of the training and development you need to undertake in order to achieve what you have identified.

Short-term goals Medium-term goals Long-term goals
Table 3: Your goals.

Have you covered all aspects of a personal development plan?

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Level 3 Health and Social Care Diploma

Milestones and timescales
Here you should look at the development you have identified in the previous section and plan some timescales. Decide what the milestones will be on the way to achieving your goal. Make sure that your timescales are realistic.

Reviews and updates
This section helps you to stay on track and to make the changes that will be inevitable as you progress. Not all your milestones will be achieved on target – some will be later, some earlier. All these changes will affect your overall plan, and you need to keep up to date and make any alterations as you go along. Milestone Target date Actual achievement/ revised target

Key term
Milestone – a scheduled event to show the completion of a stage of an overall
task or part of a goal.



By when

Table 5: Reviewing your progress.

Table 4: Your milestones.

Getting ready for assessment
This assessment requires you to demonstrate a mix of competence and knowledge. You may be required to prepare an assignment that explains how reflective practice is related to quality of service. Remember that this is an explanation, so do not just describe – use words and phrases like ‘because’, ‘therefore’, ‘as a result of’, so that’ and ‘in order to’. You also have to show that you are able to be a reflective practitioner and are able to think about your own practice and identify where developments are needed. You will have to do this in relation to a real work situation.

Further reading and research
The introduction to this section highlights your duty to make sure that the service provided is the best it can possibly be. In order to do this it is essential that you are constantly reflecting on your practice and striving to develop the way you work. Here are some suggestions of further reading and research to help you to do this. • www.gscc.org.uk (General Social Care Council (GSCC) – training and learning) • www.dh.gov.uk (Department of Health – human resources and training) • www.skillsforcare.org.uk (Skills for Care – workforce development for UK social care sector) • www.skillsforhealth.org.uk (Skills for Health – workforce development for UK health sector) • www.cwdcouncil.org.uk (Children’s Workforce Development Council) • www.scie.org.uk (Social Care Institute of Excellence) • Hawkins, R. and Ashurst, A. (2006) How to be a Great Care Assistant, Hawker
Publications • Knapman, J. and Morrison, T. (1998) Making the Most of Supervision in Health & Social Care, Pavilion Publishers • Shakespeare, P. Learning in Health and Social Care, journal, Blackwell Publishing


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Essay Topics:

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