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What are the Mandatory Training Requirements for Care Workers?

schedule 9th January 2019 by Virtual College in Healthcare

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Training is a very important part of both compliance and personal development when it comes to the care industry, and indeed there are many types of training that are entirely essential. In this article, we’re going to look at mandatory training - what it means, and what it involves when it comes to this particular industry.

What is mandatory training?

It’s important to understand at this stage that the phrase ‘mandatory training’ can mean two things. In cases where mandatory and statutory training is differentiated, mandatory training is of the type that an employer believes is essential to carrying out the role safely and effectively, but it isn’t necessarily legally required or a matter of compliance. Statutory training on the other hand would be training that must legally be completed, so that the organisation is meeting their obligations when it comes to governing bodies such as the CQC, or laws such as the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA).

However, in the care industry, it’s very common for the term ‘mandatory training’ to refer to any kind of training that an employee must undergo, whether it is training deemed essential by the employer for the purposes of effectively carrying out the role, or it’s training that must legally be completed. If you’re ever unsure about which definition is being used, check with the employer, authority or training provider. However, confusion between the two terms is usually unimportant, as in all scenarios it means training that has to be taken.

What are the most common requirements?

For the purposes of this article, we’re going to take ‘mandatory training’ to mean any kind of essential training, whether deemed as such by the employer or the law.

It’s important to be aware that there is and can never be a catch-all list of training requirements for the care industry. This is because there are a huge number of different roles within the industry, there are different authorities (such as the CQC and local authorities), and of course there are continual updates to the appropriate legislation and guidance. For example, one local authority may insist on specific food hygiene training for all care home workers, and another may not. Under EU law, individuals must be appropriately trained, but it does not specify how.

With this in mind, we’re going to go through some of the most common types of mandatory training in this industry.

Health and safety is perhaps the most common issue of compliance for all businesses in the country, with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 being the main piece of legislation concerned with it. As a result, general training courses on this subject are generally mandatory across the care industry. Related to this is of course fire safety, which is hugely important for all workers.

Manual handling issues are responsible for many sick days and long-term health issues amongst staff, which is why manual handling training is one of the most common types of training in all industries. In the care industry this may be accompanied by training on how to move people safely.

Infection prevention and control helps ensure that care workers don’t eventually cause strain on health workers, and protects those in their care. Homes especially can be problematic when it comes to the spread of illness, which is why this training is important. The Code of Practice on the Prevention and Control of Infection and Related Guidance (2010) is an addition to the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

Safeguarding adults and children is of course critically important to delivering a safe service and being mindful of wider issues of social care. As a result, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) mandates that employees must take the relevant training.

Equality, diversity and human rights are now recognised as being very important issues in health and social care, so much so that training on the matters is generally mandatory as a result of legislation such as the Human Rights Act 1998 and Equality Act 2010.

Food safety and hygiene is often a consideration in care homes and ultimately anywhere where people are being served food. As a result, it’s usually seen as mandatory for care staff to undergo at least basic training in this subject, to make sure that safe food is being eaten.

How are these training requirements met?

Large organisations, such as the NHS, will have their own internal training teams that are equipped to ensure that all members of staff are fully skilled and knowledgeable, and are up-to-date in matters of compliance. However, it’s convenient for many organisations to use outside training providers to meet their needs. In social- and healthcare e-learning is popular, and we’re pleased to be able to offer a number of online healthcare courses that make it simple to ensure employees have the right training. Find out more here.


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