In many sectors of British employment, there are standards that employees must meet in order to work, and be considered fully competent in their role. One of the most important sectors where this takes place is health and social care, which employs millions in this country alone, and serves nearly everyone in matters of health and more.
Firstly, let’s clarify what the term ‘health and social care’ actually refers to. Health and social care is a hugely broad grouping that covers anything to do with healthcare, which might include hospitals, surgeries, and clinics, and anything to do with care, which can include elderly care homes and community work. Anyone working in these industries will be required to complete a range of mandatory training in order to do their job properly.
In this article, we’re going to look at mandatory training in health and social care, what it involves and what the training should cover.
Mandatory training refers to all of the training that is deemed compulsory by an organisation in order for someone to properly do a job. By making certain types of training mandatory before someone can do a certain role, standards are kept high in industries like healthcare and work can always be completed safely and efficiently.
Given the sensitivities surrounding health and social care, all members of staff must be thoroughly trained. As a result, organisations including the government, local governing bodies, individual NHS trusts and individual businesses, will all have types of training that are deemed mandatory to work in the sector. These are set in different ways, with many training providers following systems such as Skills For Health’s Core Skills Framework.
Mandatory training generally refers to all of the smaller elements that make up an overall skill set, which almost everyone working in health and social care should have. Many different Health and Social Care qualifications can be taken for different job roles, and while they might be mandatory for a particular job, they’re not relevant to everyone.
It’s also important not to get mandatory training confused with statutory training. Statutory training in health and social care is a requirement under law, whilst mandatory training is just deemed as necessary for a role by a governing body in an industry.
It’s important to make clear that no single set of training types will be applicable to all health and social care providers, whether public or private. Each role will have different requirements and therefore require different training modules, but there are some elements and topics that are covered in the majority of courses because of their universal importance.
Below are some of the major elements that will be found in most training courses for healthcare and social care workers.
As health and social care workers have a responsibility to maintain a happy and healthy society where possible, it’s very important that they understand the rules and approaches that form best practices when it comes to dealing with the issues of equality and diversity. Healthcare workers and social care workers should treat all of their patients with respect, regardless of their identity, and will be given training to remove any bias and ensure that their work won’t be impacted.
Training for care workers and healthcare staff also involves knowing what the recognised human rights are and how this applies to everyday work. Healthcare in particular is an industry where human rights and universal codes of practice must be upheld, and social care also involves supporting an individual’s rights to respect, dignity and autonomy, where possible.
Take a look at our ‘Statutory & Mandatory Training: Equality, Diversity and Human Rights’ online course here.
Health and Safety is a recognised subject in most workplaces, but as health and social care workers often have a responsibility for looking after others, it’s especially important that they understand how to keep people safe in whatever environment they’re working in.
Healthcare workers will often require high levels of first aid training as a minimum, along with other medical training relevant to their role and sector. Social care workers will also often need a reasonable level of medical training, especially if they work in a care home. All staff will need to be aware of how risk assessments are carried out and how to follow the guidance that they identify as necessary.
Leading on from the above point, fire safety training is mandatory in most workplaces. It becomes even more important when you are caring for people who may not be in a position to follow fire safety best practices of their own accord, meaning that health and social care workers may have to get others to safety in the event of a fire, as well as themselves.
When it comes to health and social care, manual handling often means the moving of people themselves, which poses a risk to both worker and patient. As a result, the manual handling of patients is often a part of health and social care mandatory training so that employees know how to safely move someone from one place to another, often with the aid of equipment.
Take a look at our ‘Statutory & Mandatory Training: Moving & Handling’ online course here.
Infections in health and social care settings are a major risk, which is why providers will place a major focus on ensuring that people do not become ill while under their care. Infection control mandatory training courses usually cover things like identifying the signs of infection, ensuring that it does not easily spread and keeping yourself free from infection so that you and your patients don’t become ill.
Take a look at our ‘Statutory & Mandatory Training: Infection Prevention & Control’ course here.
Safeguarding is all about protecting people, especially those who are vulnerable, from harm, abuse or neglect. Depending on the working environment, this mandatory training in health and social care may be geared either towards adults or children.
Health and social care workers are more likely to encounter individuals that need safeguarding because they tend to interact with vulnerable groups of people more than those in other industries. Some social care roles may revolve around safeguarding and therefore require high levels of mandatory training for care workers on specific safeguarding topics, whilst healthcare workers will likely need a low level of mandatory safeguarding training for their role.
Take a look at our ‘Statutory & Mandatory Training: Safeguarding Adults’ online training course here.
Confidential information is naturally very prevalent in these industries, and it must be handled correctly to comply with law. As a result, information governance is an essential part of mandatory training for nurses and care staff so that they know how to process and respond to confidential information and don’t breach any privacy laws when discussing patients or cases.
Take a look at our ‘Statutory & Mandatory Training: Information Governance Awareness’ online training course here.
Perhaps the most important purpose of mandatory training in health and social care is that it ensures that the care given by these professionals is safe and effective. Not only do we trust people in these industries to take care of us, but we also trust them to take care of vulnerable members of society, and this necessary training means that the care delivered will keep all patients safe. Mandatory training also ensures that nobody enters these industries unprepared for their role, which reduces the likelihood of harm coming to a patient because a worker didn’t know how to help them.
Enforcing mandatory training in an industry sector or for a specific role also keeps overall standards of work high, as people working in these roles have to have completed and passed several courses that deem them suitable for the role. This keeps overall standards in healthcare and social care high, helping to deliver excellent care to all patients.
Mandatory training for healthcare workers and social workers is very important because it creates safe working environments in the healthcare and social care industries. When you undertake mandatory training, you become aware of various health and safety practices and guidelines that need to be followed at work, and in following these you ensure that your working environment is safe for colleagues and patients.
A safe environment with confident and competent staff also creates a more positive workplace, which increases the enjoyment and satisfaction that health and social care workers feel in their roles. Patients being cared for in these industries will also benefit from a positive atmosphere.
Finally, having standardised mandatory training requirements for care workers and medical staff means that patients have more trust in the people that are treating or supporting them. When people know that the health and social care industry is rigorous in training their staff, they have more trust in the care they receive and will be easier to treat and interact with.
Statutory and mandatory training in health and social care are two different things. Statutory training is required of all staff by law to ensure that their employer meets legal requirements. Mandatory training is a requirement of the specific organisation that someone is employed by that has been deemed necessary for their role.
Different types of mandatory training require refreshing after different time periods. Safeguarding training should be given to staff every year or so, whilst things like first aid training and fire safety training only need to be refreshed every couple of years. Since mandatory training is decided on an organisational level, different organisations will have different requirements for how often training takes place.
The most common kinds of mandatory training required by staff that work in care homes are:
Mandatory training is an essential part of maintaining high standards of care in the health and social care industries. If you work in this area, completing all of your mandatory training courses will help to prepare you for everything that your role might involve and ensure that you’re able to do an effective job in a range of different situations.
Most organisations will look to outside training providers to serve their mandatory training needs, and we’re very pleased to be able to offer a variety of online healthcare courses and packages to suit this industry, including ‘Statutory & Mandatory Training: Clinical Package’ and ‘Statutory and Mandatory: Non-Clinical Package’ online courses.
All courses are mapped to Skills for Health’s Core Skills Training Framework. As a result, they meet National Occupational Standards, GMC/NMC Standards, CQC – Essential Standards of Quality & Safety and NHS Litigation Authority Standards. The courses are all CPD certified and also meet the Care Certificate standards where applicable. What’s more, healthcare e-learning means less time away from the ward, care home, or wherever you or your employees work.