1.1 Explain the importance of continually improving knowledge and practice It is essential, in order to provide a good quality of service and ensure best practise, that managers and their staff receive the relevant & regular mandatory training and updates. This training should be identified at the annual appraisal and then reviewed at supervision where positive/negative feedback can be given as appropriate to show how any training received is incorporated into the job role whereby improving knowledge skills and best practise. In addition to this, all new and unqualified staff must complete induction training to Skills for Care specification within six weeks of appointment.
The learning achieved through this training will enable new employees to provide the required quality of service to the clients and therefore meet their needs as set out in their individual care plans. Not only is continual personal development training essential it is in line with legislation and The Essential Standards for Quality and Safety. 1.2 Analyse potential barriers to professional development There are numerous potential barriers to professional development such as; Personal (social, emotional barriers)
Time pressures (family or other commitments)
Financial barriers if self-funding/or barriers if the organisation do not have the funds for staff training Organisational barriers (staffing levels and not enough cover) Work pressures can I get the time off, will it increase my workload) Senior management may be unwilling to cooperate /promote CPD
Compare the use of different sources and systems of support for professional development There are numerous different sources and systems of support for professional development. Here are some listed below; Appraisals and supervision sessions for 1-1 with line manager Colleagues/ supervisors/mentors can give advice and support
Team meetings for consultation and gaining information
Organisational support for personal development that links with business plans/organisational goals
Television/ news bulletins on reports/legislation
The organisational policy and procedure manual
The Care Quality Commission for advice/information
The Essential Standards of Quality and Safety manual
Codes of Practice (MCA and GSCC)
The advantages of team meetings is that there is chance for all staff members for active participation and them to have a creative discussion about any concerns or issues raised which then can be resolved as a team effectively. However, a disadvantage of this could be conflict or disagreement between staff members and this could make team meetings uncomfortable for other staff. In comparison to individual meetings such as supervisions with the manager one to one, this could be more effective as each individual has their own opinions and ideas that can be shared with the manager and also they feel more at ease maybe to talk individually then In a team as some staff maybe agree or disagree.
The manager then has the ability to gather all information from each staff and make his final decision. A good supervision can assist the manager to get the best out of the staff. This can also improve the staffs understanding and their practice. The importance of supervision is also for building emotional resilience where the job can get very stressful and sharing your thoughts to the manager can be effective and assist with continuing your role. In comparison to team meetings this requires more time for organising the meeting and sending memos in advance ensuring all staff to attend however, individual supervisions can be called at any time during working hours.
1.4 Explain factors to consider when selecting opportunities and activities for keeping knowledge and practice up to date Factors to consider:
Is the training relevant to the job role, for example if you are carer then you are required to attend training that concerns how to provide care for the service users and to understand illness such as dementia and Parkinson’s. In comparison to training for budget and finance for a deputy and home manger job role. Is it cost effective and practicable, can you afford to pay staff if they have a day off to attend the training?
the day is convenient for all staff would be impossible as there would have to be more than one day session so that all staff can attend. Will it benefit me and my continuous personal development (CPD) Will it benefit the team and ultimately the service users
Do I have the time/money/resources to complete
Is this particular training course the best I can find or would another training provider deliver more effective training. There are various factors to consider when selecting opportunities and activities for keeping knowledge and practice up to date which are stated above. Ultimately updating your knowledge is vital and is certainly an on-going process for all the team as one cannot seem to know everything. Some may understand it better than others this provides a chance for them to discuss it together so others can understand it in a simpler way.
But the above factor such as time and budget could have an effect for this. For example smaller business may not have funding for further training for the staff such as QCF. Staff maybe very interested in furthering their knowledge and are willing for this to have a chance for career progression however this limits them and only option is to do it privately. Some can and cannot afford to do this.
2.1 Evaluate own knowledge and performance against standards and benchmarks The essential standards and benchmarks consist of;
The code of practice for social care workers, Social care workers must be held responsible for the quality of their work and take accountability for sustaining and improving their knowledge and skills. National Occupational Standards (NOS) describe a paramount practice by bringing together skills, knowledge and values. NOS are respected and valued tools to be used as benchmarks for qualification as well as for outlining roles at work, staff recruitment, supervision and appraisal. The Essential Standards for quality and safety which states you can trust to be cared for by qualified staff. This includes the service user’s health and welfare needs and requirements are met by staff whom are appropriately qualified. In addition the service user will be looked after by staff whom are well managed and have the opportunity to develop and improve their skills.
Care Standards Act 2000 (CSA) created a new regulatory framework for all regulated social care and independent health care services. The act has two central aims they are to protect vulnerable people from abuse and neglect and to promote the maximum standards of quality in the care that the service user can receive. By following these standards at your work place you can be positive that you are ensuring the best practice possible. This is used to sustain quality as it can be used as a benchmark. This will enable a care home to be effective and to provide the best possible service for the residents and the staff. This is done by analysing the way you work and how you can identify you key strengths and weaknesses and work on them. As a Senior Healthcare Assistant, I have a responsibility to participate in the continuous development. By this I mean taking action to keep my working knowledge and skills up to date and seek to improve my responsibilities across the multiple tasks I carry out in my daily job.
The importance of reflecting and evaluating on what you are doing, is a vital part of the learning process. The development of the capacity to reflect in action (while doing something) and on action (after you have done it) has become an important feature of professional training programmes in many disciplines, and its encouragement is seen as a particularly important aspect of the role of the mentor of the beginning professional. For example, upon qualification all senior are accountable to have some sort of qualification is regards to medication such NVQ 2 and 3 in health and social care. This sets out the benchmarks and standards for care workers which must be followed to continue good practice. Another example is my working towards completing my QCF level 5, this is me updating my working knowledge and skills to further my career in care also to understand even better to provide great standards of care.
In addition also attending training to update on current practices such as the GSF (Gold Standard Framework) or Palliative care. These kind of training has new and updated ways to providing this services and is crucial for us to know I order to maintain the care we provide. Continually improving my knowledge is vital to my job role and this ensures that I have the appropriate skills and abilities needed to fulfil my duties and provide the best service for the clients. Personal and professional development embraces a range of approaches to learning that connect planning, based on an individual’s goals and intentions for learning or achievement, doing, recording thoughts, ideas, experiences, in order to understand and evidence the process and results of learning and reflection, involving reviewing and evaluating experiences and the results of learning. These approaches are often linked to key organisational objectives which determine the activity or approach for development.
2.2 How to prioritise development goals and targets to meet expected standards I would consider the goals and targets and decide whether or not they are relevant and are they a requirement for myself or the team to complete. This was done recently when one of the staff who had recently completed her Level 3 Health and Social Care and wanted to go straight on to Level 4. Whilst I took into account and considered her own CPD, I also had to consider the CPD of others in the team who had not yet completed Level 3 and it was required for them to do so. As the resources were not available at that time for all training I had to prioritise what was necessary and ask her to wait until either funding became available or the organisation had more money available to pay for training. I have prioritised my own development as my organisation could not fund my training for me, therefore I had decided to self-fund this training for my own development and goals to progress further in my career.
Using my working skills and knowledge as a senior care assistant is facilitating me to achieve this goal and complete this course. This is also the expected standard if I want to further my career towards being a deputy manager plus my three years of being a senior care assistant, these experienced combined will enable me to achieve working at a more senior position.
3.1 Select learning opportunities to meet development objectives and reflect personal learning style An example of this would be the development of individual staff via supervision and appraisal. The development objective would meet the objectives of the organisation/care provider. There will be some staff who wish to progress to management position and if this is within their capabilities it will be discussed at appraisal and a suitable plan for development will be implemented. This may include management training and extra responsibilities may be delegated to them. My personal learning style can be categorised under interpersonal, intrapersonal and verbal linguistics. Interpersonal intellect is more about the social interaction and understanding those around you and their emotions and perspectives. This is a more a subjective approach of working, as I’m currently working as a senior assistant it is crucial to considering these things as well as understanding certain situations.
I feel this works well and is important when managing relationships with and between the staff members. This is also an ideal way for negotiating conflict between staff and between staff and residents. This could put into practice by giving and receiving feedback from staff, residents and families. When working on a large project for example you can use your social abilities to divide up tasks and understanding all aspects of it. For example this could care plans and risk assessments as there are 40 residents on my floor but it is impossible for one senior to review all care plans therefore this task is equally shared between two seniors.
To be a senior staff is also a part of mentoring the care staff too this is known as active learning, which is also a part of their own development as well as mines for managing and mentoring them. Intrapersonal intellect is also an achievement for personal satisfaction as it connects with who you are and how you feel and knowing your strengths and weaknesses. This certainly involves is making decisions and self-management too. This could be put into practice by setting up goals for yourself and monitor your improvement frequently.
Verbal linguistics is another learning style which is associated with using words appropriately for reading, writing reports, listening and speaking. This could be using words to explain a complicated situation at work with the families of a resident for example. Even asking questions ensuring you are choosing your words carefully and collecting information from a question and answer exchange, this could between the staff and the manager.
3.2 Produce a plan for own professional development, using an appropriate source of support To plan traditional training of work skills and capabilities that links to organisational performance improvement I must first identify the organisational performance needs, gaps, and priorities. These are examples of typical training drivers which give rise to training needs. It is rare to use all of these aspects in determining training needs, rather I would select the ones which are most appropriate to my own situation, the training which will produce the most productive and cost-effective results, in terms of business performance and people-development This may be formal and/or informal learning opportunities to meet identified goals, targets and objectives for personal development e.g. being mentored or coached, shadowing another more experienced manager, secondment to another organisation or satellite premises.
I may consider accredited and non-accredited courses that would enhance my management skills and styles and give me a required management qualification I would identify and consider my own preferred learning style and recognise this within the plan; I would then consider how to evaluate my own training plan: develop a timeframe, also monitoring and review of plan. Collecting evidence of achievement and performance, self-assessment against targets, I would validate the plan with my chosen mentor, colleague or manager. This could be done during informal meetings or more formally at a supervision meeting where the results of my training evaluation would be fully documented.
3.3 Establish a process to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan Reflective practice can influence my future performance; through reflective writing, keeping diaries, documenting my achievements and any mistakes; how I can influence others through learned theories applied to my practice Evaluation: can be formal and informal evaluation – self-assessment using personal documentation; assessment by others e.g. supervisors, and colleagues. Ongoing evaluation can be achieved by using own criteria as evidence milestone assessment, against personal development plan (PDP); feeding results of evaluation into PDP to establish cycle of con8tinuous improvement.
4.1 Compare models of reflective practice
What is essential of on what you are doing, as part of the learning procedure, has been highlighted by various investigators. Reflective Observation is the second stage of Kolb learning cycle. Donald Schön (1983) proposed that the capability to reflect on action was to participate in the process of continuous learning. He stated the term “battery model”, this means how students use to charge up with working knowledge in schools and trainings so that they can be discharged when they are ready for the world of work. This theory also applies to how education is a part of preparing for the world of workforce, this is also known as Marxism. (Donald, S. (1983)
Reflective Practice [online] Available at: http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/reflecti.htm [Accessed on 19 April 2014] In comparison to reflect in action “(while doing something) and on action (after you have done it)” has developed into an imperative factor of professional training programmes in several disciplines, and its reinforcement is seen as a predominantly central aspect of the role of the mentor of the beginning professional. (Donald, S. (1983) Reflective Practice [online] Available at: http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/reflecti.htm [Accessed on 19 April 2014]
Personal and professional development holds a variety of methods to learning that connect planning, grounded on an person’s goals and “intentions for learning or achievement, doing, recording thoughts, ideas, experiences, in order to understand and evidence the process and results of learning and reflection, involving reviewing and evaluating experiences and the results of learning”. These methods are regularly connected to key organisational objectives which control the activity or method for development. (Donald, S. (1983) Reflective Practice [online] Available at: http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/reflecti.htm [Accessed on 19 April 2014]
4.2 Explain the importance of reflective practice to improve performance Reflective practice is an approach to learning that will allow an individual to transfer knowledge and skills to new and unfamiliar contexts. The application of knowledge to practice can support development and enable the learner to arrive at the unconscious competence stage of learning. In the main we benefit from our prior experiences. People improve in their ability to learn new skills more proficiently because of prior practice on a series of related tasks. A reflective approach to learning will support this process further and enable knowledge transfer to take place.
This is one of the benefits of work-based qualifications such as an NVQ/QCF Diploma. Rather than sitting in a classroom trying to absorb what the trainer is trying to teach, we are encouraged to use our own work as evidence of good practice. This evidence can be gained through what we have already written; this may be in a service user’s notes/care plan or a reflective diary etc… Or it may be achieved by an assessor observing you in your day to day work activities. In whichever way it is achieved, the object is to look at your own practice and learn from it. Did we get it right or could it be done differently next time? Through reflective practice we can identify skills and knowledge that we maybe were not aware that we had gained. Through personal and professional development we can perhaps then transfer this experience and competence within the role, to new and unfamiliar roles and responsibilities.
4.3 Use reflective practice and feedback from others to improve performance Self-assessment can contribute to both “a process of learning and an assessment product”. Self-assessment can be utilised in an informal way to motivate staff to focus on about their work and what they know in particular areas of work or subjects. As reflection and self-assessment can be articulated in many forms and used as proof of change. “Qualitative observations might be written in a learning diary or portfolio. Peer assessment is a particularly useful device for supporting reflective practice, because of its focus on dialogue and shared interpretations of teaching and learning between staff”.
This could be a vital way of learning about yourself from each other’s feedback which is provided by our peers. They could notice certain things which we cannot see ourselves. Therefore, using this type of approach, the staff/colleagues are encouraged to make subjective comments about their peers work. By doing this we can achieve what we do know and what we do not know. We can use this to support each other to make our own improvements for self-reflection. “Reflective practice is a requirement of NVQs and also supports any learning which has taken place, supporting the application of knowledge to practice”. UKCLE, (2010) Personal Development Planning [Online] Available at: http://www.ukcle.ac.uk/resources/personal-development-planning/teaching/[Accessed 19 April 2014]
4.4 Evaluate how practice has been improved through:
Reflection on best practice
Reflection on failures and mistakes
The principles of reflective practice should always be:
Can we do better? In what ways can we improve upon our services and provision? We should never become complacent in our roles and think we are so good at our jobs that there is no room for improvement, for there are always changes to be made and new things, practices and legislation to learn. Examples of this is I believe now reflected in my team with whom I work, we have a good working relationship developed from my strong and clear leadership skills. I operate an open door policy and I try to listen to the team and compromise and accommodate their ideas and requests where possible, without compromising the objectives of the organisational core values and mission statement.
By reflecting on the way I work I now realise that as much as being a supportive and approachable colleague it is also essential to be stern and not try to be too nice all the time. This requires me to keep a professional distance from the team and remember that I’m not one of the carers and to be more authoritative. This would ensure best practice and less time chatting and more focused on the job we are doing. Reflecting on mistakes that may have been made as a senior healthcare assistant.
I recognise that I may have crossed professional boundaries with the care team by being too open and friendly at times, this made it difficult if there were sensitive issues to discuss with certain individuals at supervision meetings. I have recognised with experience that as senior carer, I may have to deal with difficult situations and that the team need to have clear guidance and leadership during these times. Therefore I need to take a step back from being ―one of the gang and keep a professional distance whilst still being available to them for support and guidance.
Courtney from Study Moose
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